4 Easy Ways to Improve Your Posture

4 EASY WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR POSTURE


Practicing correct posture is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Proper posture relieves tension in your shoulders, neck, and back. It also promotes healthy blood circulation and breathing, which influence your brain’s ability to concentrate. However, practicing good posture can be difficult, especially if you are out of the habit.

Here are four ways you can correct your posture in a jiffy.

1. Strengthen Your Core

Correcting your posture may require you to engage different muscles than you're used to. Assess your posture by standing up against a wall with your head, shoulders, buttocks, and heels flat against the wall. If you find it difficult to maintain this position, you may need to strengthen your core muscles.

Strong core muscles stabilize your spine and promote better posture. Here are a few exercises you can do around the house or at the office to strengthen your core:

Desk Lunges

Stand in front of a sturdy desk or table, and reach your arms out in front of you. Grab the edge of the desk for support and split your legs so that one of your legs is in front of the other.

Take a deep breath and lunge down until your back knee barely touches the floor. Then, while exhaling, engage your abdominal muscles and fully extend your knees until you are in a standing position. Repeat the exercise a few times on each leg.

Side Bends

Place your hands behind your ears with your elbows out. Bend at the hips to one side until you feel a stretch on the side of your abdomen. Engage your core muscles and straighten back up. Repeat this exercise a few times on each side.

Shoulder Rolls

Stand up straight or sit up straight in a chair. Inhale and roll your shoulders forward and up until they are beside your ears. Exhale and roll your shoulder down and together. Do a few repetitions of this exercise throughout the day.

2. Sit Up Straight

Proper sitting posture is essential if your lifestyle requires you to sit for a large portion of the day. Hunching over a desk to type or view your computer monitor can leave your back and neck feeling sore. Plus, it causes important stabilizing muscles to weaken.

To counteract these effects, practice these sitting tips:

Sit your hips as far back in your chair as possible.
Keep your back flat against the backrest.
Keep your feet flat on the ground, and resist the temptation to cross them.
If you need to use a keyboard, keep your elbows bent at a right angle. To achieve a 90-degree elbow bend you may need to move your chair closer to your desk.
Keep your shoulders relaxed and down away from your ears.

3. Take Time During Your Day to Walk

Make sure to take breaks from sitting at least once every hour. Get up and walk around to stretch out your legs. Standing and sitting use different muscles so make sure to get some of each throughout the day.

When you walk, engage your abdominal muscles and swing your arms to maintain balance and posture. Walk as if you were balancing a book on your head.

4. Hold Yourself Accountable

Get creative and develop a system to remind you to straighten up your posture. For example, you may want to write yourself a reminder on a sticky note and place it somewhere you will see it often.

You can also let your friends and coworkers know you are trying to improve your posture. Have them give your friendly reminders when they see you slouch. Find something that works for you and stick to it.

Pick a few of these tips to put into practice today to correct your posture. Then make plans to incorporate the more difficult principle over time. You will notice an increase in energy and a decrease in back and neck aches. For more information about posture or wellness in general, contact your local wellness clinic.
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