Body Shape

Practice Makes Permanent: Change Your Posture Now to Prevent Problems Later

Practice Makes Permanent: Change Your Posture Now to Prevent Problems Later

You have cells that help build bone (osteoblasts) and others that help break it down (osteoclasts). While it’s true that production of osteoblasts can slow down with age, the way you use your body continues to exert an influence on the formation and resiliency of your bones. This also holds true for your joints and muscles, as well.

Your posture—while standing and moving—creates either virtuous or vicious circles, meaning that as your posture affects your body’s health and appearance, so will those factors then influence your posture. This is why practice doesn’t always make perfect. Doing the same thing over and over reinforces that particular behavior, regardless of whether it’s beneficial to you or not.

An obvious example of this is the hunched-over posture that’s encouraged by the use of computers, phones, and modern chairs (ugh, especially car seats). As you regularly adopt this posture, certain muscles lengthen and others shorten which pull on your joints and bones in various ways. Over time, your bones will begin to take the rounded-shoulder shape and you may even develop kyphosis (excessive upper back rounding, aka a “hunch”).

If you’ve noticed this in your mirror, all is not lost. You can change your posture.

No, You Don't Have to Shrink as You Age! 4 Ways to Keep Standing Tall

No, You Don't Have to Shrink as You Age! 4 Ways to Keep Standing Tall

4 common reasons why you shrink as you age

  1. A decrease in muscle mass (known as sarcopenia) can lead to weakness and frailty, as well as a decrease in height

  2. A decrease in bone density and resilience (known as osteoporosis) can lead to weakness, fractures, and greater curvature of the spine—all of which can also cause you to become shorter

  3. The discs between your spinal vertebrae can dehydrate and compress causing shrinkage

  4. Flattening of the arches of your feet can also make you slightly shorter

This is not just a superficial concern, either. Losing one to two inches within a year puts you at a higher risk for spinal and hip fractures.

Consider getting your bone density screened at your next doctor’s visit, especially if you’re around menopause-age or have any risk factors, such as any broken bones as an adult or a close relative with osteoporosis.

But here’s an important thing to know: Just because age-related shrinking is common nowadays does NOT mean it’s natural or inevitable.

Food is Information--and Your Body is Listening

Food is Information--and Your Body is Listening

If you want to look and feel good in your skin—and why wouldn’t you?—you need to pay attention to what you eat. You know that food is fuel for your body. But you may overlook that it’s also information. What that means is that what you eat has the power to change the expression of your DNA. In other words, you’re telling your body a story with your food that it then turns into reality. This narrative helps shape everything you become.

Can't Love Kale? There's Another Way

Can't Love Kale? There's Another Way

Focusing on the Nourish Facet can transform your life. Eating real, nutrient-dense food is easily one of the most effective ways to optimize your body shape, enjoy consistent energy, and age wonderfully. You know this.

But what if—despite this knowledge—you simply can’t stomach kale?

Or maybe it’s not kale. It could be shiitake mushrooms or blueberries or sweet potatoes. It’s any food that’s touted as being “super” and is filled with vitamins, minerals, and other magical phytonutrients, yet you just don’t like the taste, texture, or both. (Many of us feel this way about one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet: liver.)

I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: There are no superfoods.

If you don’t like kale, I’m sure there’s another leafy green you actually do like (that’s chard in the picture, by the way). Blueberries aren’t the only foods that are high in polyphenols—you can indulge in other brightly colored produce and relax. If sweet potatoes are too orange-tasting for you (yes, people have told me this), there are other colors you might prefer, or you can enjoy another root vegetable. Why have rutabagas fallen out of favor? Let’s bring back rutabagas!

Because here’s the thing: Pleasure is a big part of nourishing yourself.

Quality Counts! Let it help you look and feel good in your skin

Quality Counts! Let it help you look and feel good in your skin

You have spoken. The most common complaint I heard from you about your health and wellness is that you don't like the way your body looks, especially as you age. You feel like your upper arms jiggle too much. Or you moan about the slab you can grab around your waist. Maybe it’s your saddlebags or droopy derriere—or maybe it’s all of the above.

It makes me sad. How much time and energy have you spent in your life trying to change your body? If you actually looked and felt good in your body, what wonderful things you could do?