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Back Up!

Straightening your posture really does make a difference in muscle strength

Does your back hurt because you have bad posture? Or do you have bad posture because your back hurts?

Whichever it is, the key, says an article from The Record of Bergen County, N.J., is to do something about it. And do it now. Your muscles begin to atrophy by the time you're 25 or 30. Inactive muscle cells become smaller. Fat cells become larger. If you are not active, your muscles weaken and won't support your body properly. If you sit at a desk all day, that makes it worse.

When it comes to your posture, your lower back and rear shoulder muscles do a lot of the work. If you focus on these areas during strength training, it can help your posture. Improving your posture, in turn, can contribute to your self-esteem and well-being. You'll be alert and have more energy. Some exercises, which are explained in the article, can be done at home without any special equipment. But they should be done properly if they are going to help your posture.

About 80 percent of all people at some point experience some type of lower back pain. For one in 200, the pain is serious enough to warrant surgery. But back pain doesn't just happen, it's the result of years of neglect and poor posture, the article says.

To find out more about exercises that can help you with your posture, you can read this article from The Detroit News, or this one from

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