Experts agree that our posture may be a key indicator of how well we will age. As we age, we usually begin to stoop lower and lower to the ground—oftentimes because our bodies become less flexible and agile, making it difficult to hold ourselves erect.
According to Dr. Weiniger, “People often ask if the loss of mobility, flexibility and vitality is just a normal aging process. The answer is a definite no; aging does not have to result in physical limitations. The common bent over posture of old age occurs as a result of the body adapting to long-term poor posture. Injuries and age cause the joints to stiffen and the muscles to tighten. As posture becomes more bent forward, the muscles have to work harder to keep the body balanced, which makes the muscles progressively tighter.”
Dr. Weiniger says to think of someone over 80 who looks and lives the way you want to when you get to be that age, then ask yourself, “How is that person’s posture?”
“Even though many people in their 80s suffer the bent-over slump of age, you’re probably thinking of someone who still stands tall and erect, and lives an active lifestyle.
If we let it, the aging process often begins with avoidance of movement. Some people begin early in life to limit their activity because of pain or what they perceive may cause pain. Some people limit their activity due to past injuries. The injury causes abnormal movement patterns which actually result in pain. Many other people eliminate activity just because they think it will cause discomfort. In some cases the only limitations we have are those we place on ourselves. Youth is a feeling not an age. Think young and be young.
The second key to staying and feeling young is to look young. Improving posture and an erect stature will add a lot to our youthful appearance. Better still, working towards strengthening posture now will lead to improved balance, coordination and function.
Posture can be improved at any age. While you can’t force good posture by ‘standing up straight,’ you can begin a program to improve posture step-by-step,” says Dr. Weiniger.
For more information about Dr. Weiniger and the importance of posture, please visit his website, BodyZone.com.