Exercise In Pregnancy
What is the first sign that one is losing good posture? Loss of height (Figure 2.16). As the spine and the rib cage compress, the body shifts its center of gravity forward and loses its upright posture (Figure 2.16b). This leads to the typical hunched posture of old people, but we also see it more and more today with young people, who spend countless hours sitting in front of computers and TV sets.
As we give in to gravity over the years, we bend more and more forward, putting more and more pressure on our lumbar and cervical spines. It is only a matter of time before we have a permanently hunched-over spine that can no longer bend backwards. In compensation, the head, which is now facing down, lifts up, thereby compressing the back of the neck and stretching the front of it (Figure 2.16c).
All of this moves the body’s center of gravity forward, shifting the weight from the heels to the toes, which causes instability. This degenerative process continues until the person can no longer see ahead. The only solution is to bend at the knees in order to raise the angle of the eyes (Figure 2.l6d).
Exercise In Pregnancy Photo Gallery
Now the whole body is being supported by the knees. Since the knees are weaker than the hips, one eventually needs support from a cane or a walker as the knee joints give out (Figure 2.16e).
When one can no longer stand at all because the knees and arms are too weak, one can only sit in a wheelchair.
The final stage of degeneration comes when one can no longer even sit up and must lie down.
When clients first come to us, we take a photograph of them from the side to record their beginning posture. Then, every six weeks, we take a new picture to study their progress. What we have noticed is that, at the beginning, almost everyone is tipping forward on their toes. When we draw a vertical line up from the center of the ankle to the top of the head, the ear is several inches in front of the line (Figure 2.17). In the worst cases, the whole head is in front of that line. Over time, as the individual becomes more upright, the line moves gradually toward the center of the ear.
Structural aging, like any other condition, including osteoporosis, high blood pressure, and obesity, is preventable and should not limit your quality of life. All these conditions can be prevented or reversed with proper exercise and nutrition and without medical or surgical intervention.