How to maintain and not lose posture as we age

Maintaining good posture as we age can be a difficult proposition. If you have a job that consists of sitting behind a desk for large parts of your day, maintaining good posture can be even more challenging. The average human head weighs just over 3.5kg. When sitting behind a desk your head tends to move forward without you even realising it. Your head only needs to move forward a few inches to put tremendous strain on your neck, shoulders and upper back muscles. Over time this poor posture will cause muscles in your neck to shorten which can lead to neck pain which can then compound and lead to tight trapezius muscles, which then normally leads to shoulder or upper back pain. To compensate for this pain your bodies posture will slowly change causing your shoulders to start rounding forward and may even leave you with a hump in your upper back. Poor posture will also reduce the amount of oxygen reaching the muscles used and result in a loss of flexibility. As you can see, it’s quite the vicious circle.
Without doing anything to correct this muscle imbalance caused by poor posture you may become permanently slouched forward with your shoulders out of alignment and your hips putting extra load on your lower back by the time you reach your late 70’s.
Ok enough of the doom and gloom. Let’s talk about how we can prevent poor posture occurring and likewise if you have poor posture how we can correct the problem. Firstly you must stretch. Whether its aging in general or poor posture, muscles will shorten in length over time. Spending 30 minutes a day stretching is like an insurance policy to maintaining your flexibility. Secondly massage – preferably deep tissue. Massage will help promote good blood flow while also allowing more oxygen to get to your muscles. It can make a world of difference to how your body feels as well as helping prevent injuries. Obbie rollers are also an excellent option they are cheap and you can massage tight muscles groups everyday or whenever you need to. Last but not least make resistance training a priority if you want to maintain excellent posture. This is the very best thing you can do to maintain posture as well as improving your posture. Building muscle in your upper back will pull your shoulders back and keep your shoulders back its that simple. As we age we lose muscle. It’s no surprise that if you have poor posture and at the same time are losing muscle because of age more problems are going to occur. Hormones in our body start dropping off after 25 years of age and scientific research states that every decade after we will lose between 2.5-3 kg of lean muscle tissue if we are not doing resistance training. For that reason alone it makes sense to be doing resistance training. The added benefit will be maintaining and in most cases improving your posture even as you age.

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