Over the years I’ve seen a few complaints of neck, shoulder and upper back discomfort. Through assessment of a person’s range of motion, a pattern appeared among accountants, lawyers, and finance professionals, many had an inability to bring their arm behind their back comfortably. I gathered the symptoms, made up a diagnosis and called it Bay Street shoulder. The purpose was to inject a little practical humour into coping with a condition that builds up over time due to posture. Being chained to a desk for an indeterminate amount of time starts to a change a person’s posture and breathing.
When we look at elderly people, many are more stooped, slower and possibly shuffle. Is that diminished posture a ‘natural’ occurrence of older age or is it habit? I would argue that habit plays a major role and there is much we can do to maintain our height and posture as we age. This requires being mindful of our daily habits and tasks then making appropriate adjustments.
A regular strength training program with a focus on the core and posture is required to stand tall for as long as possible. Regular posture breaks if you work at a desk is essential in addition to specific mobility exercises. A few easy ideas are included in the video:
It has been a long hot summer in Toronto, the best one ever yet. Some days have been so warm and humid that I notice myself breathing quite shallowly. Having started studies in traditional chinese medicine this spring, I have come to the conclusion that proper breathing is extremely important to optimal health. As a personal trainer, I know that posture is exceptionally important. I have found that improved posture is the most valuable result of working with me my clients report, as it brings such a positive change to their life.
In a recent friendly discussion with a fellow professional, I realized I feel so strongly about optimal posture that I prioritize a client having optimal posture over how much weight they can squat or deadlift. I notice that I am mindful of my own posture and whenever I have my photo taken by surprise, the first thing I check is my posture. Another perspective I have taken recently is poor posture is one sign of aging that a person can avoid with their exercise program. Good posture helps a person to look their best and comes with the benefit of alignment within the body to facilitate optimal breathing, which is integral to optimal health. Good posture and breathing are keys to optimal health, as it helps to maintain peak function of the lungs, an organ we have much conscious influence on with our breathing. Take a few deep belly breaths whenever you can,