How to improve your posture. Let’s be honest, how many times has your mother told you to stop slouching and to stand up straight? In fact, now that I think about it, I spent about 10+ years telling and showing people how to lengthen their spines. The taller you stand, the more confident you will feel and the better you will look, it’s that simple, but there are also some health issues associated with bad posture. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule and there are some people out there with bad posture who don’t experience any pain and live just fine, thank you very much. I’m willing to bet, however, that most feel the discomfort of back pain or hip pain or even that nagging ache that sometimes shows up in your side. The problem with not addressing the issue is that the worse the pain, the more you’ll slouch and that will lead to more pain. The good news is that there are lots of little things you can do on a daily basis to improve your posture and break the vicious cycle.
HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR POSTURE
Standing. The key here is to keep your body in alignment. Picture a line running straight down the middle of your body. From the side, starting with your head, your ears should be in line with your shoulders, which are in line with your hips, which are in line with your knees and ankles. Just for fun stand up straight and jut your head forward. You should feel your back straining right away. Over time this will only get worse, now imagine how it would feel years and years from now…. When you are standing around chatting with your friends, doing the dishes or just brushing your teeth, take a moment to look down and make sure that your feet are hip distance apart and your toes are pointing forward. Your weight should be evenly distributed on your heels and the balls of your feet. Your back should be straight and your head should sit right between your shoulders. Warning, you’ll feel very awkward at first, but I promise that it will get easier over time and that people will notice that you appear taller and more confident.
Sitting. This is where, for may of us, all thoughts of posture go out the window. It’s easy to sit tall for a few minutes but let’s face it, lounging is so much more comfortable. If you sit for long periods at work, using a physio ball for 20 minute stints is a good option, but if you are sitting for a long time look for a wedge. It will help shift your pelvis forward and relieve lower back pain.
Walking. You’ll want to practice this at home when you first start. Begin by standing nice and tall with your body in alignment. Now, ensuring that your toes are pointing forward, start walking. Without arching your back feel like your pelvis is leading the movement. Try to keep your body held but relaxed so that you don’t look like a robot. As you lift your back foot off the floor, take a second to see if you are engaging your glutes. They should be working when you walk. In addition, your heel should touch the ground first and then roll through to your toes.
Keep in mind that each one of us is different with our own unique shape. Some of us have a larger curve to our backs and some have less and that’s okay. The key is to keep our bodies strong and to make those everyday adjustments into permanent habits.
Do you have any tips on improving posture?
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