May 6, 2009

Exercising key to youthful posture

The key to good posture -- which helps make a person appear younger -- is good muscle tone, a U.S. physical therapist says.

Greg Thielman of the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia says good posture is more than just standing up straight and holding your shoulders back.

If you don't have the muscle strength, you aren't going to be able to hold that posture for very long, Thielman said in a statement. By maintaining your strength and being consciously aware of your posture, you can maintain proper posture and mobility well into your mid-60s, before the natural onset of aging.

Doing three exercises daily -- while at work -- could help muscle strength, Thielman says. The first two are done while seated. The last standing up.

For the pelvic tilt, Thielman said push your pelvis back into the chair, hold it for three seconds and then relax. This tightens and strengthens your abdominal muscles.

For chin tucks, he said, put your pointer finger on your chin and push straight back. Be sure your head isn't tilted up or down and this exercise will realign your spine.

The lean back requires putting hands on the lower back while standing and leaning back. This exercise combats the effects of working in a forward position.