Heather Stegmaier, M.AmSAT

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This page is dedicated to answering questions submitted by my readers. To submit a question to be answered here, please email me.

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AT Question: When I'm out for my usual walk around the neighborhood, I tend to put my hands on my hips up the challenging hills, and find myself leaning forward. This doesn't make any sense, but I find myself automatically doing it and correcting myself. Any suggestions?  ~Diane

AT Answer: Great question, Diane! The key word in your question is challenging. When the body is challenged during a physical activity it can react in two ways: 1. Compensate by contorting in an awkward position, or by having other body parts work and help out the muscles that need to work. 2. Meet the challenge with length, strength, and proper body mechanics. Based on your question, you are reacting the first way. I’m assuming this is not by choice but more by default. As you say, it doesn’t make sense, but it’s an automatic response. It takes some training and awareness to meet a physical challenge with length, strength, and body mechanics. The Alexander Technique is a tool that helps you move from automatically compensating to making a conscious choice in order to use proper body mechanics. Let’s explore these two options!

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