Improve Your Posture
From a young age we’re taught the benefits of a good posture. We all had at least one teacher that demanded we all sit up or stand straight. At the time, we all had the notion that the teacher was just being authoritative, but as we get older is when we really start to appreciate the teacher’s insistence on maintaining good posture.
Good posture is so much more than just looking good. While it’s true, that a good posture helps us look leaner and taller, there are health benefits that come with having an improved posture. From less back pain to better digestion and many more benefits in between, here are 10 ways to improve your posture so you can look and feel a lot better.
1. Try Not To Slouch
This goes back to tall the times your teacher told you to straighten up and not slouch. There really is more to it than just looking attentive in class. Slouching stresses your spine which then affects your bones, joints and muscles. What’s more, it bunches your internal organs together which is bad for digestion and makes it harder to breathe. Straighten up and you’ll start to feel a lot better.
2. Focus On Perfect Body Alignment
In essence, perfect body alignment is a perfect posture. It will take some effort to focus on perfect body alignment, but after a while, it will come naturally to you. To align your body correctly, imagine a cord at the top of your head pulling you up. Keep your shoulders back and relaxed, pull in your tummy, keep your feet about hip-width apart and balance your body weight evenly between both feet. Keep your chin at a 90° angle and look straight ahead. Keep your legs straight but relax your knees. Once you learn to stand like this, it will eventually become a natural pose for you.
3. Avoid Text Neck
If you spend many hours working on a computer or using a smartphone, you may find yourself hunching forward. This is a sign of a weak upper back and a tight chest. The fact that this posture has its own name is disturbing enough, but it is a reality in this digital age. You may need to visit the gym for neck, chest and shoulder strengthening exercises. You’ll also need to take breaks from your computer or phone and correct your posture as often as possible.
4. Use A Wall
You don’t need any special tools or equipment to help you improve your posture. Just use a wall. Lean up against a closed door or a wall. The only parts of your back that should be touching the wall are the back of your head, your shoulders and your butt. Make note of how you’re standing when you do this. That’s how you should be standing to improve your posture.
5. Learn To Sit Properly
Anyone who has a desk job knows how hard it can be maintaining good posture but for this group of people, sitting correctly is a must. When sitting at your desk, make sure both your feet are flat on the floor. Sit all the way back into your chair and lean your head against the headrest as often as you can. If your office chair has armrests, you should rest your elbows on them and be able to type of write in this position. Try it for a while and see how much more comfortable it is to work at your desk all day.
6. Learn To Sleep In A Better Position
Even in bed, you can do a lot to improve your posture. First, make sure you have a good quality, supportive mattress. Be sure to replace your mattress when the time comes. Pillows should also be supportive. Stretch out and get keep your arms by your side. If you sleep on your side, the pillow should be soft enough to feel comfortable, but still hold your head in line with your spine. Bend your knees slightly and snooze away.
7. Balance The Books
We don’t mean sit down and do the bookkeeping. We’re talking about walking as though you have a couple of books on your head. Think of those old movies where young people are being told to walk with books balanced on their heads to walk with a good posture and regal stance. You don’t actually need to do this with books, just walk as though you have books on your head.
8. Tone Your Core Muscles
Exercise is something we should be doing on a regular basis anyway, so here’s another reason to get moving. Regular exercise strengthens your muscles and when your muscles are strong, they will naturally pull your body into the correct alignment. Make sure you really work on your core muscles as these are the ones that support your spine.
9. Use A Brace
If you simply can’t remember to practice good posture, it’s fine to use a bit of assistance. You can get yourself a back brace that is designed to correct posture. Wear it until you feel the benefits of your improved posture and then try going about your day without it. You can wear posture improving back braces under your regular clothes so it can be your little secret.
10. Comfortable Shoes Are A Must
We all have a variety of shoes in our wardrobes ranging from winter boots, dress shoes, running shoes and others. Dress shoes are fine for special occasions but they usually don’t offer much in terms of comfort. If shoes aren’t comfortable, they likely to force you into an unnatural walking stance and you won’t be standing correctly either as you shift your weight from one foot to another and hunch forward to take the pressure off your aching feet. Comfortable shoes make it easier to walk and stand correctly and your feet will thank you for your kindness as well. Fortunately, many shoe manufacturers now make shoes that are comfortable as well as suitable for almost every occasion.