You’re surely well aware of a common postural condition known as kyphosis, or Dowager’s Hump, typically associated with aging and osteoporosis.
The good news is that kyphosis is not an inevitable part of aging. In fact, this weekend’s challenge directly counteracts the curvature and compression associated with kyphosis by decompressing the vertebrae of the upper back and expanding the rib cage.
In addition to staving off and correcting kyphosis, The Spine And Rib Cage Extender offers more bone-healthy benefits, including alkalizing the body and increasing shoulder joint mobility.
It’s no surprise that the thoracic vertebrae are involved in posture; after all, these are the vertebrae that compress and curve forward to create a hunchbacked appearance. But what many don’t realize is the role the ribs play in posture.
One of the first ways that rib position negatively affects posture is by “rib thrusting.” Most of us have done this at one time or another, and the misconception is that it counteracts kyphosis. It’s the traditional “stick your chest out” stance that is actually another example of poor posture.
You can tell if you are a rib thruster with a simple test: stand with your back against a wall, your arms folded in front of you, and note what areas of your back touch the wall. Normal spine curvature and rib position will result in your head, mid-back, and pelvis touching the wall, with a small space at your lower back and at your neck. If you’re thrusting out your ribs, your mid-back will not touch the wall.
Rib thrusting strains muscles and weakens the abdominal muscles that attach to the lower ribs. It forces the shoulders back, pushing the scapulae together and compromising the mobility of the shoulder joint. Rib thrusting arches the back and destabilizes the spine, compressing discs in the opposite direction from a rounded-out back. And like all forced posture, it causes fatigue, both muscular and overall.
On the other side of the coin, slumped or hunched shoulders and forward head posture squash the ribs downward, allowing the muscles between the ribs and in the torso to atrophy and greatly compromising lung capacity. Today’s exercise balances these two extremes, aligning your vertebrae and opening the lungs so you can breathe deeply.
When It Comes To Rejuvenating Bone, Lung Capacity Is Essential
Deep breathing alkalizes the body. Medical science has long recognized that too-rapid breathing alkalizes the body to the point of excess, and the opposite is also true. If your breathing is shallow, which occurs when shoulders are rounded and ribs compressed, then acidifying carbon dioxide and toxins accumulate in the body.
In order for your body to remove these toxins, they must combine with oxygen. So taking in deep breaths and exhaling completely helps your body rid itself of bone-damaging poisons.
Today’s challenge puts this all together into one oxygen-boosting, skeleton-aligning move. So here’s how to do it.
- Lie down on the floor or bed, as long as the mattress is firm. I recommend using an exercise mat.
- Raise your arms straight up in front of you and bend your knees, your feet flat on the floor.
- From this position, you will be raising and bending your alternate arm and leg. You can start with either one, but for the sake of clarity, we’ll start with the right arm and left leg.
- Without bending your elbow, bring your right arm up over your head while straightening out your left leg. Leave your right leg with the knee bent.
- Bring your right arm down to your side and your left arm up over your head, keeping your elbows straight. At the same time, bend your left knee (bring your foot along the floor toward your body) while straightening your right knee.
- Repeat this motion until you’ve done 10 reps on each side (a total of 20 moves). Of course, you can do fewer or more, depending on your fitness level.
This exercise may look easy at first, but it definitely requires coordination. Like the Fall Preventer and Height Preserver, today’s challenge is very effective without pushing your body to the extreme.
Exercise does not need to be extreme to be effective. In fact, research shows the opposite is true: overdoing it may actually do more harm than good.
“Too Much” Exercise Can Damage Your Heart, Research Shows
Canadian researchers investigated the potential heart-damaging effects of hard-core, extreme exercise, which is generally defined as daily, intense exercise that causes shortness of breath and heavy sweating. Reviewing many studies and data, the scientists found that the risk of developing a specific heart problem, atrial fibrillation, increased in those who engaged in extreme exercise.
The lead study author, Dr. André La Gerche, found a link between extreme exercise and atrial fibrillation, or A-fib, an arrhythmic condition of the heart that is characterized by irregular impulses emanating from the top heart chamber. 1 A-fib can increase the risk of heart failure and stroke.
Of course, this information is not intended to scare you away from exercise. Far from it! The researchers were quick to note that their findings are not a “get out of exercise” free card. They point out that moderate-intensity and vigorous-intensity exercises are both beneficial for both the heart and the whole body.
And of course, moderate and vigorous exercises are also good for your bones, which is why regular exercise is a crucial part of the Osteoporosis Reversal Program’s bone-rejuvenating protocol. The Densercise™ Epidensity Training System is an integral part of that protocol, and it does not include extreme exercise, but emphasizes moderate, targeted moves that are specifically designed to build bone density.
Take Exercising For Your Bones to the Next Level!
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So if you thought that you have to go to the extreme in order to build bone with exercise, think again. Along with a pH-balanced nutritional plan, you can reverse bone loss with the moderate yet effective exercises such as those in Densercise™.
Enjoy the weekend!
1 La Gerche, André. “The Potential Cardiotoxic Effects of Exercise.” Canadian Journal of Cardiology. 32. 4. (April 2016): 421-428. Web. May 27, 2016. https://www.onlinecjc.ca/article/S0828-282X%2815%2901594-9/abstract