The Beloved Body Wellness Challenge (BBWC) is back, and I’m so excited to get things rolling again after a (long) hiatus! My goal is to share a challenge at the beginning of each month. To receive motivation and reminders about the challenge throughout the entire month, follow me on Instagram (@BelovedBody).
Just as a quick reminder, the goals of these challenges are to find easy ways to squeeze in wellness activities during the day, to provide motivation to take care of yourself, and to recognize/celebrate how these activities can help you live a healthier, happier life. The goal is NOT to add one more thing to your to-do list or make you feel guilty, but rather to help you feel EMPOWERED to make small changes that ADD UP.
Ready to begin?
Our BBWC for April is called “Posture to the People,” because our posture – the way we stand and sit, the way our body is aligned- is powerful (positively or negatively). Instead of “power to the people”, we’re focusing on “posture to the people.”
I’ve had an opportunity to learn about and teach a posture class and it has been eye opening for me. Posture is more than sitting up straight because your mom told you to. It’s keeping your body in the position it was designed to be in so that you’re muscles and joints work the way they’re supposed to. When your posture is out of whack, it can limit the range of motion of your joints and/or it can recruit the incorrect muscles/joints to do extra work. That muscle/joint overtime can lead to pain, aches, etc. So what does correct posture look like?
Our challenge this month is two-fold: 1). To become aware of our posture 2). To learn and do a few exercises that promote positive posture and help alleviate pain.
- #1: Ask your spouse, friend, etc., to check out your posture (preferably at a time you don’t realize they’re watching!). Which person do you look like in the image above? Obviously some of these images are quite exaggerated. And if you’re young you may think, I don’t have anything to worry about. My response: 1). You DO have something to worry about. We’ve lived the majority of our lives hunched over at desks and looking at screens. 2). Poor posture doesn’t happen overnight. It’s sneaky and happens a little bit at a time. I do see people in my class who do look like the images above in my class. They’re working really hard to try to undo what’s been done to their bodies over time. We have an opportunity to improve posture and be preventative about it.
- #2: When walking down the street, check yourself out in a storefront window. Don’t check out your hair or outfit. Check out you posture. Is your purse causing your shoulder to drop? We want our shoulders to be level/symmetrical. Is your head protruding forward like a turtle? We want our chin back with our ears over our shoulders. Are you hunched over? If the answer is yes to any of those questions, don’t beat yourself up. Remember: awareness is the first step in making any change.
- #3: Static Back:
I LOVE this exercise. You don’t even have to move! My back always feels better after I spend a few minutes (ideally five to 10 minutes) in this position. This video explains how to get into the correct position, while this article explains the benefits of static back. Summary: this position puts your body in correct alignment and uses gravity to balance your body. In the class I teach, we begin the class in static back for 7-10 minutes.
- #4: Additional posture exercises will be featured on Instagram throughout the month.
- This book – Pain Free – by Pete Egoscue has been an invaluable resource for all things posture related.
- Follow: @BelovedBody on Instagram
I can’t wait to hear what you all think about static back and the other exercises featured throughout the month. I hope by the end of April you’re not only standing taller but feeling better.