Fall is almost here, and the world kind of feels brand new after such a humid summer. Your posture should feel brand new too! No more curling over ourselves and hiding inside because of soaring temperatures. Now is a great time to lighten your load–physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. We are all affected by life stressors, and that stress, whether it happens to be work related, weather related, relationship related or otherwise, will show itself first in your posture.
So, my first question is: What’s weighing you down? Maybe you’re not training enough—or not training properly? Maybe you need to leave those heavy bags at home? Maybe there’s a relationship that’s weighing on you, or perhaps work has you stressed out and fatigued. To combat that weighed down, stressed out feeling, maybe you’ve tried to pull yourself back up by yanking your shoulders back, squeezing your glutes and sucking in your stomach. All of that actually adds more stress to your body and doesn’t improve your posture!
On to the next question: How can you feel longer and less stressed in your day-to-day posture? How do you get back to walking tall? How can you be taller? Of course, feeling taller is a result of many things: feeling more confident, being stronger through your core, increasing flexibility and energy. We’re integrated beings, so here’s a short list of ways to put your postural pieces together to walk tall and feel great this fall:
- Build your chi!This practice—whether it’s meditation, tai chi, blocking out quiet time or simply resting–should be at the foundation of everybody’s training program. Remember, there’s magic in stillness and quality rest. Having more chi allows us to stand tall effortlessly. On the other hand, skimping on sleep and quiet time actually speeds up the aging process! This tip is simple, but it ties into the rest of your health program. The more tired you are, the less likely you are to work out, meditate and eat healthy.
- Embrace your fascial network.Our bodies are wrapped in a fascial web that is slightly contractile and very strong. It connects the muscles in our bodies and has an intimate relationship with the postures we hold, how we express our physical selves and what shape our bodies take over a lifetime. Did you know you can affect positive change in your posture and energy by hydrating your fascia? Start with your feet! Your feet are vital to standing tall and have an integrated connection to the rest of your body. Using tools like foam rollers and trigger point balls on your feet, hands, hips, back and shoulders will help you have healthier tissue. The result? Standing taller becomes easier! Hire a pro to help you figure out what fascial techniques will be the most beneficial for you, then start adding tissue work to your program.
3 Understand what a “neutral” position is for your pelvis.In many ways, walking tall starts with your pelvis. At Nimble Fitness, we assess our clients’ posture all the time, and they are often tucking their butts under or tilting their hips forward too much to try and “be tall.” Here’s a simple assessment that you can do: While standing in front of a mirror, turn to your side. Simply tuck your butt, tilting your pelvis backwards, and bring it back to neutral. Now do the opposite, tilting your pelvis forward and arching your back. Observe how you get taller as you find your neutral pelvis position.
- Train smart!Every thing we do in life goes into the physical “bank” that is your body. Make quality deposits into your bank, and your body account grows and contributes to a healthier, taller you. If you keep taking withdrawals, however, like burning the candle at both ends or working out hard without healthy food choices, at some point things break down and that will affect your posture.
- Little voice management! Last but certainly not least, if you set quality intentions and support them with positive language during your day, that can make the difference between being weighed down mentally/emotionally or being inspired to live with passion. Passion for life assists us in standing tall!