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Why core strength matters

by Vidya Sury June 23, 2011 2 comments
I am no self-improvement guru but I like to read a lot and apply stuff that sounds good. Usually it makes a positive difference – in terms of both physical and mental health. Now here’s something I’d like to share with you, as I feel that it could be useful to all of us. 
I’ll tell you why
You see, I’ve been making a lot of happy changes in terms of work, habits and various other things around the home front. After all, we only have one life to live and we don’t want to fritter that away with petty thoughts and actions. So these days, what I basically do is try to manage my time as productively as possible. I use Google Tasks for this, as I mentioned in an earlier post. I am also quite realistic, given all the interruptions and distractions. 
So – even as I made some decent headway clearing out a lot of clutter, getting rid of what I didn’t want to make the space and concentrate on the really important and meaningful stuff – I found my joints creaking. Yes. Now let’s not go into the aging stuff because that is not the point here. What I realized – this was a real AHA! moment for me – that it is not just our physical space that needs clutter-clearing; our body also needs to be cleared of clutter. 
What’s the connection?
See – when we clear clutter from our physical space, we focus on what is important and eliminate the stuff we don’t need. It is the same with our body. When we strive to keep fit, we need to focus on our core – which in this case is our torso. 
Our torso has a critical role with every movement our body makes. This also includes our abdominal and back muscles because they help keep us stable when we sit or stand or move around. So – we need to ensure that this “core” is strong, healthy and flexible. It contributes to our general fitness. This is similar to how our house feels healthy after all the unnecessary stuff is out.
So – how do you keep your “core” healthy?
It is well known that Yoga and Pilates are great at focusing on these core muscles and conditioning them. You could enroll in a class and enjoy the benefits. But there are also certain easy tips you can follow on a daily basis. 
Drumroll! Here they are:
  • Mind your posture. A majority of us uses the computer for our work – so this means sitting properly at the computer and also includes the laptop.
  • When you maintain proper posture, you create a “neutral spine”. Your lower back is gently curved to provide you with the flexibility and protection your back needs. What you do is: Tuck your stomach in and chin up. 
  • Be conscious about doing this through your day. This does not mean you must sit stiff and rigid; but do avoid slumping – I know I begin to droop if I sit for more than half an hour at a time, restless that I am. Then the moment I realize it, I adjust myself, or just walk around a little, drink some water and get back to work.
  • Even when you exercise, remember to pay attention to your core. While walking or jogging maintain good posture. If you do push ups, keep those abdominal exercises tight. Doing squats? Keep your head up, shoulders back and tummy in. 
  • I remember another easy exercise here to strengthen your core muscles: when my Mom had a physiotherapist working with her to mobilize her after her prolonged bed rest, she would ask her to balance on one leg for a few minutes, and then the other. She would encourage us to do it with her. Mother was right, you know.
So – there you have it. I just realized we could summarize all of it into “healthy home, healthy body, healthy mind”.  And health is wealth, right?
Got tips to share? Please do – and I’ll add them to this post.
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Farila June 23, 2011 at 4:55 pm

I do keep that in mind and after surgery sitting in wrong posture starts hurting.
The problem I face is when I use the mouse my hand starts hurting very bad. I usually try to avoid reaching out for mouse. I use keyboard shortcuts.

Vidya Sury June 23, 2011 at 4:57 pm

That’s a good idea. I learned the posture bit from my Mom who I’ve never seen slumped, ever.

And Farida, thanks for pointing out that typo! 😀 I corrected it.


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