The idea that we “shrink” as we age actually has some truth behind it. Around the half-century mark, spinal discs and vertebrae can begin breaking down and thinning. Meanwhile, cartilage and connective tissue begin losing elasticity and thickness. The combination gives the impression of lost inches, as many seniors begin finding it harder to stand fully upright. But maintaining good posture as we get older is important, which is why the certified personal trainers at Framework Personal Training here in Reno are sharing some valuable tips for improving posture as we age.
Why Good Posture Matters
We’ve discussed the value of good posture before. Standing up straight, with the spine properly aligned, has a number of physical benefits. Not only does it reduce the force on our muscles and joints, it also lessens pressure on the low back. But beyond keeping the spine and back healthy, good posture also means:
- Improved balance and less risk of falls
- Decreased risk of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis
- Improved digestion and blood flow
- Better cognitive function
- A reduced risk of depression
- A reduced risk of heart attack and stroke
And from a purely aesthetic standpoint, standing upright looks better too! It projects confidence.
How to Improve Poor Posture
Maintaining good posture is a habit, and like anything, it requires some practice before it becomes routine. Step one is becoming aware of your posture when you sit and stand. Step two is strengthening the spine for better alignment.
- Strengthen your core. A strong core is important for good posture. Many people confuse the core with the front abdominal muscles, but it actually includes the deep muscles that encircle your internal organs—that means the obliques, pelvic floor muscles, and muscles in the low back. Strengthening them all is important for good posture. Think of these muscles as a “corset” that help you stay upright. Here at Framework Personal Training in Reno, our certified personal trainers can help you build a strong core for better balance, stability, and a reduced risk of injury.
- Build muscle. Strengthening exercises that target specific muscles in the back and core can make it easier to practice good posture. Plus, strength training, especially for seniors, has its own benefits.
- Walk. This kind of weight-bearing exercise is another way to maintain strength and help reduce degeneration in the spine, so shoot for 30 to 60 minutes every day.
- Stay consistent. Staying sedentary can make your joints and limbs feel stiff and uncomfortable. The more you move, the easier it becomes.
If you’re looking for assistance improving not only your posture, but also your strength, mobility, and flexibility, we can help. It’s never too late to get started, so don’t wait any longer! Schedule a free consultation with a certified personal trainer at Framework Personal Training in Reno today.