It creeps up — I mean down — on me so gradually that I hardly notice. I start out looking where I’m going, but pretty soon I’m watching where my feet are going instead.
A couple of posts ago I wrote about the dramatic difference a stronger back has made in my life, and how a better back brought a nice surprise — better posture. This might seem like trivia in light of a life that’s already filled up, but keeping your body healthy is so important to how you move through your days. You might not remember to fit it in, but that’s why you have me, your nagging little reminder.
Over time poor posture takes a toll on spines, shoulders, hips, and knees. It can cause structural flaws that lead to back and joint pain, reduced flexibility, and compromised muscles, all of which limit your ability to burn fat and build strength. All contribute to a body that’s probably aging prematurely.
I’ve met plenty of people, men especially, who have really strong backs because of rigorous physical work over the years. Hauling stuff, torquing stuff, lifting stuff. The heavy work usually defaulted to them and they rose to the occasion. So strengthening your back is just the first step. Getting educated, changing habits, and a strong desire to improve your health all play a part to better posture..
Here’s one small tip to that end. I’ve noticed that wherever my eyes drift, so goes my back. I’ve tested this theory by sitting in the parking lot of large super markets and watching people go in and out. Most everyone is looking down at the ground when they walk. Of course, they’re never thinking about this at all when they go in and out of stores because their mind is on cooking and eating and the high cost of cereal. You do have to watch where you’re going, but having your eyes downcast instead of straight ahead usually means your back and neck are pitched forward as well.
It happens so automatically. I start out walking with chest up, head and neck back, eyes straight ahead. But ever so gradually, eyes start to drift downward and pretty soon my back is no longer straight. The same happens when I dance. I start out head high and pretty soon, I’m looking at the floor or my own silly feet.
Taking care of our bodies not only keeps you healthier, but it helps stave off the effects of the passing years, reducing the anxiety that we sometimes feel when youth starts slipping away and the aches and pains of age start creeping in. Think of this as your pre-emptive move toward aging