One of the best things about the Weekend Challenges is that they do not require special machines or equipment. Some of them have an option for hand weights or bottles of water; others might require a yoga mat. This weekend, it’s a kitchen countertop!
The Easy Posture Adjuster shows you how to enhance your posture any time you’re near a kitchen counter or any other surface of similar height. As Savers know, proper posture offsets the effects of FHP (Forward Head Posture) and the rounded upper back typical of kyphosis. But intriguingly enough, the benefits of good posture go well beyond the physical to include positive emotional and psychological effects.
Let’s take a closer look at why it makes sense to make posture a focus of your bone-smart exercise regimen with postural moves.
A Dutch scientist and college professor named Erik Peper stops his lectures periodically to give students the opportunity to stand up, stretch, and counteract the posture typical of students in a lecture hall: slouched, leaning to one side or the other, heads forward and down to take notes, and so forth.
Dr. Peper has spent years studying the effects of posture on mood and energy levels, and his observations always point to the same conclusion: good posture makes people feel happier and more energetic, every time.1
Research supports this. Queen’s University researchers asked volunteers to walk either in a slumped, shuffling manner or in an upright, energetic way while they were given lists of positive or negative words. The result? The slumped walkers remembered more negative words, while the energetic walkers remembered more positive ones.2
Clearly, there seems to be an interplay between our biology, our emotions, and our attitudes, each one exerting its influence over the other.
Why Does Mood Matter For Bone Health?
You may be wondering why we’re even discussing how posture affects mood. After all, we know that good posture helps spinal bone density and prevents kyphosis; but why does it matter how happy or energetic we feel?
It actually matters quite a lot. You see, your mood influences your bone health.
This connection between mood and bone density is so significant, that an entire chapter of the Osteoporosis Reversal Program is dedicated to this proven concept. It comes down to the bone-depleting effects of cortisol, the stress hormone produced by your adrenal glands. You see, when you are depressed and/or stressed, your cortisol levels are continually high. Eventually, cortisol – like steroids such as cortisone and prednisone – begins to wear away your bones.
Another way in which mood influences your bone health is with regard to medications. The conventional treatment for depression typically involves prescription drugs that have been shown to double the risk of fracture because they inhibit serotonin, a brain chemical that plays a crucial role in new bone formation.
Given the research and the scientific facts mentioned above, it makes perfect sense to incorporate as many mood-lifting foods and exercises as possible into your daily life. While all exercise is helpful in increasing energy levels and boosting mood, posture-specific moves, aside from improving your posture, also have a direct effect on your outlook and energy.
Today’s exercise is perfect for helping you reach that goal of daily, mood-lifting exercise, especially because it can be done throughout the day as often as you like. So here’s how to do the Easy Posture Adjuster.
- Stand facing your kitchen counter (or table, or any stable object of similar height).
- Keeping your hands on the counter’s edge, step back a few feet and stand on tiptoe. Your feet should be hip-width apart.
- Bend your arms to lower your body toward the counter. Push back out again and repeat eight to 10 times (feel free to do more or less depending on your comfort level).
- Pull your belly button in toward your spine to engage your core muscles.
- Keep your body straight – imagine a straight line from your ears to your shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles.
- Step back farther from the counter and stand higher on your tiptoes for more of a challenge.
- Hold your arms close to your sides to make sure the triceps get a good workout. Your elbows should not be poking out to the sides.
In addition to the triceps, the Easy Posture Adjuster works other important muscles involved in posture: the latissimus dorsi (“lats), the trapezius (“traps”), the biceps, and the muscles of the chest and shoulders. All of these muscles work together to hold your shoulder joints in alignment and promote proper curvature of your spine.
As you strengthen these muscles to bring your upper back and shoulders into postural alignment, you’re also building bone density in the ribs, scapulae (shoulder blades), upper arm bones (humeri), and thoracic vertebrae as per Wolff’s Law.
Take Exercising For Your Bones to the Next Level!
Learn the 52 exercise moves that jumpstart bone-building – all backed by the latest in epigenetics research.
This is why targeted exercise is so crucial for building your bones, and it’s why the more than 52 moves in the Densercise™ Epidensity Training System work key areas of the skeleton (such as the wrists, ankles, and spine) to increase strength.
There are many exercises in Densercise™ that are focused on posture, too, promoting a bone-healthy, happy mood along with greater confidence, an energetic gait, and a less-stressed, younger-looking you.
Have a relaxing weekend!
1 Brown, Kristen V. “How posture influences mood, energy, thoughts.” SF Gate. September 3, 2013. Web. http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/How-posture-influences-mood-energy-thoughts-4784543.php
2 Michalak, Johannes, et al. “How we walk affects what we remember: Gait modifications through biofeedback change negative affective memory bias.” Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry. March 2015. Vol 46, pp 121-125. Web. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0005791614000809