Happy Monday, ladies! Today, in our journey to cultivate everyday elegance, I am discussing two Important ways I use to help develop excellent posture over 50. Every single author I have read about elegance mentions the importance of posture. Elegant women have excellent posture and move with purposeful grace. That is a bit intimidating if you are attempting to develop elegance later in life. I realize most of us walked with books on our heads around the house when we were younger, but it is all too easy to lose the stance.
Genevieve Antoine Dariaux writes in A Guide to Elegance: “In normal life, it is always to a woman’s advantage to hold herself straight, as if she wished to stretch her height by several inches, even if she is already very tall. A rounded back, sagging shoulders and a drooping chin create an image of extreme lassitude, or discouragement with life…and of being ten years older than you really are.” Ouch! I don’t want that!
Tish Jett concurs in Forever Chic, “A major reason Frenchwomen of a certain age often appear younger than their years is the way they move. They have terrific posture – standing and sitting – and unless a Frenchwoman is strolling with a man or gossiping with her best friend, she tends to lope rather than walk down the street. She strides with shoulders back, head up, hair free, and slight swing of the arm not attached to a great bag, and her steps are long and purposeful.”
Tish adds that because of their stance, the Frenchwoman’s clothing looks smart and stylish! Jennifer L Scott writes that posture is a key part of our overall presentation.
THE MIRROR…REALLY IS YOUR FRIEND
The first major way to improve posture is to understand it takes a lot of self-checking with purpose and thoughtfulness to improve. I am still very much a work in progress. But, I try to constantly remain aware of my posture, which means I look in the mirror often to see if I am sitting or standing straight. I have been working on this for years, but if I do not stay aware, it is easy to slump….especially when I literally spend hours in front of a computer, sitting in a chair. I try to be aware to stand more than sit, and move more than be idle.
When we finally got the RING app with a camera that watches those who come and go at the front door, I was shocked and appalled at watching me leave the house. I looked like my mother in her later years…always walking hunched over. That was a big wake up call to begin paying attention to my posture … (Sign) yet again.
STRENGTH WORK IS A MUST
I began working with a strength trainer shortly after I was diagnosed with Osteopena…the beginning stages of Osteoporosis. That was seven years ago. As I stayed faithful in the beginning, my bone scans showed improvement and I was able to avoid medication and avoid the advanced stage. I personally believe that my posture improved dramatically by increasing leg and core strength. So, now that I am no longer going to the gym, it is a challenge, but very doable to keep working on my core and leg strength.
I have already mentioned that my “office” is upstairs in my house, so I am constantly going up and down the stairs. When I am faithful to carry a weight while doing that, I feel the strength in my hips and legs increase. Also, I believe one of the exercises which was most beneficial over the years is the Farmer’s Carry…so good for hips and legs. Do sit ups with a weight and it will help your core strength immensely. Do not be afraid of weights…they are important…but be careful not to overdo.
So far, I have said that the mirror, weights, and stairs are your posture building friends…but there is an enemy. Public enemy number one on my own journey to elegance is my weight. I must finally once and for all make the changes…for my health more than anything. It is much easier to practice good posture when at a healthy weight level. This desire to have good posture, poise and elegance does require discipline in many areas for me. I must be disciplined to work out, to eat healthier and to self- check my posture often. I know what to do and how to do it and must maintain the discipline to keep going forward. Laziness would be a nemesis to anyone as well.
Would anyone else like to offer their tips to help us develop good posture later in life? Just like elegance, I believe it can be learned…though there are women who seem to stand upright so effortlessly. For the rest of us, we need to be aware and remember….never too late!
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JUST A NOTE:
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Mr. B and I love our meals from Sun Basket!
My Complexion Loves Chamonix…My esthetician says my complexion is super tight!
By Pamela Lutrell