Posture and Breathing….How Pilates Can Help

Did your mom ever tell you to sit up or not to slump? Annoying, huh? Well, she wasn’t trying to be a nagging mother. She was just looking out for you and your. health.

How you sit and how you stand affects so many parts of your body and it’s ability to function properly.

There are several detrimental effects of living your life with poor posture. The effects of poor posture include the following:

1. Restricted blood flow to and from the heart.
2. The body’s decreased ability to breathe deeply…Diminished lung capacity resulting in decreased ability to oxygenate the body.
3. Musculoskeletal strain – Lower back pain and muscle weakness.
4. Digestive issues. Sitting slumped causes the intestines to become compressed, resulting in acid reflux, constipation and even hernias.

One of the main benefits of sitting and standing with proper posture is that it facilitates proper breathing function. And breathing properly is extremely important.

Benefits of proper breathing include:

1. Improved energy levels
2. Slowing the heart rate
3. It cleans out the lungs
4. It reduces stress and anxiety

Combining proper posture with learning how to truly take those deep breaths. Coupling both sets your body up to function optimally.

Posture is one of THE MOST important components of breathing properly. Sitting slumped decreases the ability to expand the lungs completely.

Here are a few tips on accomplishing proper posture:

1. Stand or sit tall – When sitting or standing tall, the body is balanced, resulting in less stress to the muscles and ligaments of the entire body. Think of lengthening through the crown of the head and balance your head over the shoulders, over the pelvis and over the feet.
2. Hold chest high – Try to establish a lifted chest as if you were in the military.
3. Retract Shoulder Blades – Pull your shoulders down and back.
4. Contract Abdominals – Pull your navel in.

Once you have established proper posture, practice breathing properly. Here is a breathing exercise that every one should do daily:

1. First, sit or stand tall so the body is balanced.
2. Second, place your hands on either side of the rib cage
3. Third, breathe in through your nose slowly for 5 full counts.
4. Then, exhale out through your mouth slowly for 5 full counts.
5. Do this 8 times. Then repeat the exercise again but increase the breath in and out to 6 full counts.

For many of us simply trying to sit or stand with good posture can be challenging. Knowing how to fully expand our lungs also takes practice. That is where Pilates comes into play. Pilates is unique form of exercise that has many of the following benefits when practiced regularly (2-3x per week):

1. It teaches us proper breathing form
2. It improves our posture awareness
3. It improves the endurance of postural muscles
4. It can improve our lung capacity
5. Pilates also balances all the muscles of the body so as to keep the body tall, strong and functioning optimally.

Ready to feel better today? Contact ABS Pilates of Sunbury, Ohio where we offer:
Pilates classes to meet the needs of all active individuals Private and Semi-private Pilates sessions
Health Coaching

ABS Pilates of Sunbury, Ohio services the central Ohio area to include but not limited to:
Sunbury, Ohio New Albany, Ohio Johnstown, Ohio Westerville, Ohio Columbus, Ohio

Blacklick, Ohio Gahanna, Ohio Galena, Ohio

All classes and sessions are lead by Amanda B. Smith, licensed physical therapist, certified Pilates instructor, ACE certified Group Exercise Instructor, ACE certified Health Coach, Certified McKenzie Therapist with more than 25 years of experience.

Contact ABS Pilates today and stand tall and breathe strong!

Amanda Smith - Licensed Physical Therapist, certified Pilates instructor, ACE certified Group Exercise Instructor, ACE certified Health Coach, Certified McKenzie Therapist. Ready to help you become stronger and healthier in a safe, fun and holistic manner.