Posture, Get it Straight!: Look ten years younger, ten pounds thinner & feel better than ever! By Janice Novak, M.S.

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Stars: *****

I received this book for review through Front Street Reviews. You can find my review posted here too. (link coming soon) I am also counting it towards the Health and Wellness Challenge.

First of all let me say, I’ve always known I had bad posture but the only advice I’d heard was “stand up straight.” As Janice Novak tells us in the introduction, this advice is not helpful at all and usually incorrect. Proper posture is more than just standing up straight. It involves having your spine straight, your head directly above your shoulders, your shoulders down and back, your pelvis in neutral and other things as well.

In chapter 1 she has us assessing how our posture is now. I took photos of myself and let’s just say it’s bad. Chapter 2 shows us what good posture really looks like and chapter 3 tells us how to have better posture instantly. Once you’ve practiced these short steps a few times, you will be able to correct your posture in one minute. Chapters 4-10 focus on common posture problems and how to solve them. The chapters are entitled: ‘Getting Your Head Straight’, ‘Stop Slumping’, ‘Straighten Your Shoulders’, ‘Lower Back Alignment and Abdominal Strength’, ‘Your Knees, Feet and Ankles’, Total Posture Improvement Exercises’ and ‘Anywhere/Anytime Exercises.’ Chapters 11-19 are about posture in specific conditions like when using the computer, riding in a plane, train or car, sleeping, lifting, sports, hobbies, when pregnant, as well as information on eating for stronger muscles and bones and how to prevent Osteoporosis and how good posture can help you when you already have it. Finally the epilogue lets you know when you should seek medical help.

Throughout all of these chapters, Novak includes basic information as well as exercises to do to strengthen the muscles involved so that overtime, your posture corrects itself and it will require less effort on your part. For each exercise, the name is given along with what part of the body it helps with, instructions to do it and sometimes, a black and white drawing of a woman doing it. For the most part I found the instructions easy to understand and the pictures helped when wording was tricky but there were a few exercises that didn’t have pictures that I would have liked to see one for.

There are also a few extra tips to help improve your posture. They are very creative and although I haven’t tried any yet, I intend to. For example:

“Whenever you have ten to fifteen minutes at home, life your rib cage up. Take a string or ribbon and pin it to your shirt just above chest level. Pull the ribbon taut and pin the bottom end just above your waistline. For the next ten or fifteen minutes, just go about your business. Whenever you notice any slack in the ribbon, you will know you are slumping and can reposition.” – pg 34

Isn’t that a great idea?

My only complaint is that at the beginning of Chapter 5, a whole paragraph is repeated although I’d rather that than have a paragraph missing.

I am trying to remember to keep correct posture but it’s not easy. I intend to use the exercises to strengthen my muscles and keep working on it. In perhaps 3 months time I will take pictures of myself again and see if I’ve improved. This is a great book, very helpful and one I think many people should read. I don’t know if it will make me look ten years younger but when I stand in the correct way, I do look thinner.Just a note, at you can also order a companion DVD that shows the exercises being performed or order resistance bands.

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.