Stand Tall and Live Better

To really understand what I am going to try and voice here we will begin with a simple visualization exercise. First, I am going to have you close your eyes, not yet, I’ll let you know when. At that time you are going to picture a very depressed man or woman with low energy and no motivation. Okay, go ahead and close your eyes and imagine what I have just described….Got it? Great, this time I am going to have you picture a man or woman that is full of life, confident, proud, and exuding positive energies. Go ahead I’ll wait….Got it? Okay, now that you have those two profoundly different images in mind let’s take a closer look. Did you imagine the depressed man or woman slouched over, head jutted forward and down? How about the person that was full of life, were they standing tall, shoulders back, chest up? Clients of mine often tell me that when they stand up tall with shoulders back, it seems easier to drive out that extra rep or even kick it up to that next level during a cardio session. To the contrary, when slouched, reports are that it’s easier to create negative images or thoughts often causing them to fall short of a great workout. Indeed, studies do suggest that posture may significantly affect evocation of positive or negative thoughts.* In particular, positive thoughts and behaviors are easier to produce in an upright position, while negative thoughts are easier produced in a slumped position. Clinicians may need to account for, and incorporate posture, when applying cognitive restructuring techniques that involve positive and negative thought manipulation. When wanting to rid those rounded shoulders a great way to begin is by adding the following posture exercise into your current routine; Lie face down on the floor, with your hands by your sides, feet kept on the ground throughout the movement.

Start Finish

Smoothly raise your upper body a few inches of the floor, extending your hands upward and to the rear, make sure and maintain a neutral back, with your head in line with your spine. Hold the upper phase for 2 seconds and then proceed to lower slowly to the ground. Repeat these steps for 12- 15 repetitions. Next week we take a up close and personal look at colon health!

*Wilson, V. (2004, September, 02). The effects of upright and slumped postures on the recall of positive and negative thoughts. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 29, Retrieved March 04, 2009, from