The topic of aging and it's "inevitable" effects on the body has come up with several people over this last week. The idea that aging = a slumping posture and the end of happy joints and carefree activity is a myth! Now is this a reality for some older people? Absolutely. But is it a given? No!
The body is made for movement. Literally. Bones grow with impact. Muscles get stronger when they contract, release, and rebuild. Our heart responds to increasing demand with increased efficiency. Joints are happiest when they are lubricated and movement helps encourage a steady supply of synovial fluid to keep them nourished and healthy.
So really, a more accurate cause/effect is that as people get older there is a tendency for less activity. This lack of movement is what leads many older individuals to have a sinking/slouching posture, difficulty breathing, problems with their blood pressure, osteoporosis, arthritis, and other degenerative diseases.
Solution? STAY ACTIVE! If you're not currently active find a trainer (pick me!) to help create a routine that is right for you and your body. Already have some postural issues? Come in and get your posture assessed complete with pictures of all 4 views of your alignment while standing in front of a grid! Awareness is the first step!
If you haven't heard of Foundation Training, check out the info on my page or go directly to their webpage. It is an invaluable tool to help reverse the effects of inactivity and improve your overall health and well-being, no matter your age or fitness level. The exercise below was developed by Eric Goodman, the founder of Foundation Training, and is a great starting point for anyone looking to improve their health, overcome training plateaus, or avoid the myth of aging. Pictures are from his amazing second book, True to Form, which I highly recommend to anyone looking to jumpstart the process.
STANDING DECOMPRESSION BREATH:
The 3-Dimensional Breath
MAKING IT A DECOMPRESSION EXERCISE:
To create the effect of "decompression" we introduce the adductors (inner thigh muscles). These muscles help to stabilize your pelvis so that while you're taking this wonderful full breath and lengthening your spine, the pelvis remains "anchored" allowing for the "decompression" effect.
If you have shoulder issues or acute lower back pain you might choose to skip this progression.
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