Archive for August, 2007

What is Good Posture?

Posted in Fitness Articles, Top Tips, Wellbeing Articles by admin on August 23rd, 2007

The re-occurring knot between your shoulder blades, the tension headaches you get during a stressful day at work, and the low back pain you exeprience whilst cleaning your teeth are most likely all caused by poor posture. Then it stands to reason that we should look at posture and how to improve it to make life a little easier!

 

Poor posture can be caused by:

  • Skeletal or internal organ dysfunction such as scoliosis, degenerative disc disease, or respiratory conditions.

  • Psychological factors such as low self-esteem may cause slumped shoulders, and dropped head.

  • Past pain or injuries which have caused compensatory movement patterns which over time can become habitual. A temporary limp from a sprained ankle can turn into a chronic walking pattern.

  • Muscle imbalances, either innate or developed, where opposing muscle forces are not equal and therefore pull you out of alignment. An example of this is always carrying your purse or bag on the same shoulder. That shoulder will most probably be higher than the other one.

  • Excess weight especially around the middle will pull your low back into a curve as your belly pulls forward.

  • Laziness and lack of movement which leads to weak, out of shape muscles, ligaments and tendons.

  • Lack of awareness when we are not in proper posture and lack of knowledge of how to be in proper posture.

Proper posture is very important for function. Holding your body in proper alignment allows you to be capable of carrying out the activities of your daily life pain-free. It also allows vital organs to function effectively. When you are not in proper alignment your joints don’t work at your optimal capacity. For example, you won’t be able to turn your head as far when looking over your shoulder if you have what is known as ‘forward head posture’, which is an extremely common postural problem. When we have developed this forward posture the organs such as the lungs, intestines, and stomach are all compressed, limiting their ability to perform their jobs fully. Constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, limited lung capacity in sports can also all be linked to poor posture. The last reason good posture is so important is because so many people’s chronic pain is due to muscles and connective tissue either being hyper contracted, in spasm, or over stretched and weak.

Remember the knot between your shoulder blades mentioned at the beginning of this article? Why does it keep coming back even after your weekly massage? Because you have forward, rounded shoulders the muscles in your chest and between your ribs are hyper contracted, and the muscles of your upper back are over stretched and weak. Instinctually your body knows your shoulders should be held back so these posterior muscles go into spasm to try to pull your shoulders back, but because they are weak they must spasm to create stability.

If the doctors have ruled everything else out, then those tension head aches, migraines, and TMJ pain you have is most probably caused by tight muscles and connective tissue called fascia, pulling your bones out of alignment and creating trigger points in the tissue. Also, in some muscles you can develop a serious situation where muscles are so tight they cause ‘active trigger points’ which then refers pain to other parts of your body in addition to the trigger point area.

You might have your massage therapist relax the muscles and you might feel better immediately, but as soon as you go back out into ‘real-life’ with rounded shoulders, the knot will re-occur and tighten back up. Unless you take care of correcting your posture, strengthen weak muscles and stretch tight muscles, you may be doomed to a life of knots and trigger points!

Learning good posture:

  • Awareness contributes to 50% of your postural reeducation because if you are unaware of being in a faulty posture, you won’t know when you need to correct it. You must be aware of times when you are hunching up your shoulders while working on the computer, or when your head is forward because you forgot your reading glasses, or when you sleep at night with two big pillows under your head which only reinforces the faulty forward head posture.

  • Improving your muscles through strength development and stretching is the remaining 50% of this postural reeducation equation. Long-term correction of your posture will only happen when all aspects are addressed.

So now hopefully you see proper posture is far more important for function than for beauty. Begin to have good posture now, and your body will thank you in the years to come by continuing to function at it’s maximum capacity with little or no pain.

 

Good luck!

(Development of a complete stretching and strengthening program is beyond the scope of this article so please contact TJF if you require any further assistance).

To return to the TJF Personal Training homepage click here – Personal Trainer London.PS: Please visit our new website Arcanum Thailand to view our new wellness retreat in Phuket called The Arcanum.

Rod Stewart in Regents Park

Posted in Tim's Diary by admin on August 14th, 2007

So i’m running through Regents Park with a client the other morning and I see Rod Stewart fly by in a baby blue Lamborghini with the top down and the music blaring. He looked very cool although his hair is even bigger in person than it looks on TV.

To return to the TJF Personal Training homepage click here – Personal Trainer London.

Tim’s shoulder surgery dates

Posted in News by admin on August 8th, 2007

Dear TJF Clients,I hope all of you are very well.This is just a quick reminder that I have booked my shoulder stabilization surgery for 3rd October so thought I would let you know in advance that I will be unavailable for training for 1 week from then, so you can book it in your diary. I will be looking to return (in a sling) on Thursday 11th October, however this may be extended a few days dependiong on how I am recovering.If you require a weeks programme during this time please let me know.Yours in health,Tim.To return to the TJF Personal Training homepage click here – Personal Trainer London.PS: Please visit our new website Arcanum Thailand to view our new wellness retreat in Phuket called The Arcanum.