Hi everybody. I’m Kris Stokes from Custom Fitness Personal Training Studio and today I wanted to share with you three things that you can do right now to improve your posture. So we are more and more using computers on a regular basis throughout the day and we oftentimes don’t think about it. But just sitting up straight can be a huge piece to this. Now, why does sitting up straight and why does posture in itself really matter? Well, the big thing is that if your body is in alignment, your body’s functions can all happen at once and with ease. When you’re out of alignment, the body has to work a lot harder to make all the normal functions happen. Talk to any chiropractor and they can go a little more in depth as to how that alignment actually helps to balance the energy of how your body can heal itself and can hold itself and support itself.

So I know that as a health coach and as a personal trainer, if I take someone through an exercise program who has poor posture, they’re much more likely to get injured than if we focus on improving that posture first before we add too much load to the body because we want to make sure that the body is in good alignment before we load it. So sitting up straight can be a huge piece of this and that is easy enough right now, right? So sitting up straight from the tailbone all the way up, really focusing on pulling our shoulders back. But one piece that we don’t always think about is our head and that’s if we have our head a lot of times forward in this frontal position and we pull our shoulders back. We don’t always think about pulling the head back. The ears need to slide back on top of the shoulders. And it’s not that we look up, it’s more that there is a wall behind us that we just slid our head back against. It’s almost like pulling your chin into your chest so that is number one, sit up straight. It’s going to help to improve your health.

Number two is to stretch. We are getting so tight in all these positions and poor posture can mean a lot of things. For some people, it means being hunched over. For some people, it means just their head falling forward. For some people it means that their curve in their back is way too large. They’re sticking their ribcage out in front and their glutes behind them, which typically leads to locked knees and things like that. So posture is one of my favorite things to fix because it’s very easy to fix once we start thinking about it through the day. So stretching can help to alleviate the tension on tight areas of our body that may be pulling us into odd positions or it can help to alleviate a shortening of muscles where we’ve held our body in the same position for so long that our muscles and tendons and ligaments just started to shorten in that position and they have not been allowed to lengthen. So stretching can be great. Make sure that if you haven’t stretched in a while, that you start easy and then build into it. Don’t just go out and do an intense yoga session today. Take it and start slow.

All right, so number three is a big one for improving your posture. It sounds silly, but adjust your workspace. I’ve got a good friend who’s had a knot that she has named on her shoulder for years and years. And she’s gone to massage therapists, she’s exercised, she’s done all these things. And we work on it. But posture is something that you can’t fix in a workout session three days a week or in a once a week Pilates class or in a once a week yoga class. It has to be a daily thing that we’re working on. That sounds really scary to have to have one more thing to work on every day. But when we’re looking at self improvement, if we do just a little bit everyday, we will start to improve. Posture is one of those things that we just have to become conscious and aware of to work on a regular basis.

So back to my friend with the knot on her shoulder, it turned out that for many years, her computer had been over on the side of her desk with her keyboard, so she was constantly typing to the side. If you will just shift that so that your workspace is straight in front of you, and then obviously make sure that your arms are at the right height, that your monitor’s at the right height. If you need to stack something under the monitor to lift it up so that you don’t have to look forward and down into it. But if you can adjust your workspace, that will start to help.

I have a lot of friends who are home healthcare workers and so maybe their workspace isn’t a computer, but maybe it is sitting and being with someone. Sometimes that means doing things for them. Sometimes it just means sitting and that means some time on their phones. So if they’re going to do that, I always suggest that it’s a bigger screen rather than the smaller one because the bigger screen, the less you’re going to be chicken-necking it, if you will, going forward to look at it. And then also making sure there’s some sort of a stand on it so that you can set it on a table or the arm of a couch or whatever it is that you’re using to make sure that you’ve got appropriate setup so that your body can be in the right alignment.
If you start working on your posture today, you’re going to notice things like more energy. You’re going to notice that you have less aches and pains through your back, through your neck, even through your shoulders and down your arms. I know for me, I had a personal issue of posture a while back that actually came from how I was sleeping, that my shoulder would constantly turn in and it caused my thumb to hurt so bad that I didn’t know what was happening. I just thought it was going to fall off. So I had to tape my thumb together until I could figure out how to pull that shoulder back during my sleep because I would wake up and that thumb would just ache. And so it didn’t hurt anywhere else, just that thumb. So if we can work on holding our spine in the right alignment, holding our body in the right alignment, I think you’ll be really surprised and hopefully very happy with the results that you get.

Now if core and posture are an issue for you, those are actually two of my favorite things to work on in the whole world. So I’m inviting five people to come and work personally with me, obviously through a virtual terminal right now, to build their strength through their core and to build their posture ability. And I would love to talk more with you about that if that’s something that you’re interested in. I don’t often take a lot of personal clients. Typically, we work as a team up here, but this is something near and dear to my heart that I want to be able to help as many people through this trying time as I can. So if core strength and poor posture are something that you are having issues with, then feel free to give me a call. (806)-322-3188. And I hope that you have a wonderful day.