Stop Slouching: Posture and its Effect on Your Weight Loss
You’ve probably been told to “Stop slouching!” or “Stand up straight!” a few times. There is a good reason for this. Posture can play a pretty significant role in your physical health by ensuring proper alignment of your musculoskeletal system. This can in turn aid your efforts to lose weight. You might even find that it contributes to your state of mind, assisting with better mental health too.
To implement proper posture in your day to day life, you may find it helpful to gain a basic understanding of what is happening to your body depending on how you are moving, sitting, or standing.
Posture can be described as the position of your body in coordination with the arrangements of your body parts in relation with one another. All movement should start and end with posture. The key is to maintain proper body position to allow your body the most efficient use of energy and relief of unnecessary stress or strain on your musculoskeletal system during any physical activity.
Common Causes of Poor Posture
Imbalances in muscle can throw off the mechanics of your body as a result of a lack of opposing force. For instance, if your abdominal muscles are stronger than your back muscles it can cause a rounding of your back.
Carrying additional weight.
Weight carried incorrectly can place extra stress on your spine, affecting your posture and increasing your postural sway. Postural sway can be defined as the horizontal movement around your body’s center of gravity.
Excess body weight puts more load on your musculoskeletal system than it is designed for, specifically the spine. As a result of this increased pressure, your body compensates in ways that can cause distortion in proper alignment.
Being sedentary involves prolonged periods of sitting where you might have to break proper posture to remain comfortable. It can also significantly contribute to weight gain. Distortion in the natural curve of the spine forcing your back muscles to work overtime to combat gravity is a possible outcome of sitting for long periods of time.
An injury can cause you to change the way you move, stand, sit or lay to avoid pain. This can affect your musculoskeletal system by creating an imbalance that your body adapts to over time.
The frame of Mind / Attitude.
Emotional states can affect the way that you carry yourself. For instance, when you are feeling sad, or depressed you might round your shoulders, hold your head down, and collapse your chest.
Benefits of Good Posture
Good posture can help ensure your body is in proper alignment, and that muscle groups are correctly being used. It can also assist with decreasing wear and tear of joints, ligaments, and tendons due to abnormal weight bearing. By achieving good posture, you may find it easier to engage in regular exercise, allowing for more fluid movement which can assist with building and/or strengthen muscles, tendons, and ligaments. As a result of this, you may reduce the risk of injury, prevent re-injury during rehabilitation, and even provide your body with a more stable foundation.
Weight Loss and Posture
Regular exercise should be a staple of your routine when it comes to achieving your weight loss goals. Proper posture can help ensure that you are getting the most out of your workouts by promoting an improved alignment of your musculoskeletal system which allows for optimal strengthening of muscles, tendons, and ligaments. It can also help reduce your risk of injury related to awkward movements and help alleviate related aches and pains.
Use of orthotics can make a difference with correcting posture so that you can get the most out of your exercise routines and even be a useful tool to assist in combating weak position throughout the day. Abdomen belts, insoles, and arch supports are a few options that can assist with exercise and correcting poor position. The best waist belts should provide support to muscle groups in the abdomen and back helping to improve posture while increasing blood flow, as well as assisting with tightening the abdominal muscles. They can also provide you with a constant reminder to eat a healthier diet and exercise regularly.
Proper posture will likely play an essential role in how your body deals with outside forces and the efficiency of your movements. It should be no surprise that good posture can make a significant difference in your journey to lose weight, improve mobility and even promote better mental health.
by Joe Fleming