Want to look younger, thinner and more confident? Want to be healthier, safer and have more energy? TTW my friends, TTW. This little phrase came to me a few years ago during my tenure in the Quadrant of Silence. I’m not sure whether my dear Heather or my love Jeanne J. coined it, but I learned then as I am reminded now during the endless hours of hunching over a keyboard, how important TTW is to maintain optimal posture and perspective on life.
TTW, of course, stands for Tits to the Wind(!) and is a reminder, nay, a command to throw your shoulders back, poke your chest out, suck in your stomach and stand tall. Although tits* has never been a favorite word of mine (I prefer plain old breasts, “the ladies,” or bewbs, a la Cartman, myself), the simple salutation sticks with me, particularly at the end of weeks like this where I have driven 13 hours, sat in class for 10 hours, glared at the computer for 20+ hours, sat in a conference for 10 hours, etc. A lot of sitting, hunching, and scrunching of the back and neck regions, and I feel it. For those of you who work full time in a sedentary job, I’m guessing you feel it, too.
|The bottom right is totally me! Crooked like cork screw. Credit|
Although my intro was trite, maintaining good posture provides a host of physical benefits including alignment of your back and neck which helps reduce muscle pain and fatigue. The lessening of pain and fatigue can improve concentration, not to mention muscle performance, proper body mechanics and the prevention of arthritis. And I wasn’t joking about the physical appearance parts either. In my extensive research, hunched shoulders and schlumping posture add at least 15 imaginary pounds.
Unfortunately for me at least, the habit of impeccable posture disappeared in my post-ballet days and it is incredibly hard to maintain in my mainly-seated occupation. However, as my extensive two-second google researching suggests, the key to developing a good posture habit (in addition to sitting/driving/sleeping/exercising right) is to simply start paying attention to it. Also, I’ve found that the rowing machine and other exercises designed to open** your shoulders help. 😉
So whether you remember “TTW” or your mom’s voice screeching “stop slouching,” (some do this apparently), I hope you consider some improved posture. For more information and tips to improve posture from the renowned Cleveland Clinic, click here.
* T did suggest I incorporate some “T&A” into the blog to increase readership. Me thinks this isn’t what he meant.
** I once had a physical therapist place super strong tape across the middle of my properly pulled-back shoulder blades. Every time I would slouch, the tape would pull/pinch my skin. Primitive but effective!