10 Ridiculously Easy Tricks That Will Improve Your Posture
Maintaining a good posture can be easy for some, but tough for most. Especially those who sit at desks for most of the waking day.
Unfortunately for those who struggle how we sleep, sit, stand, walk and even exercise, can negatively impact our health and wellbeing. Poor circulation, arthritis, fatigue, jaw pain and headaches, are just some of the side effects of 'the slouch', which is why it’s important to improve wherever you can.
According to the experts, it’s not as easy as “pulling the shoulders back,” with Dr. Kostyokovsky telling Mind Body Green it’s not the proper way to improve your posture.
“If you tell someone to stand up straight or sit up straight, they automatically just throw their shoulders back and stick their chest out,” she says. “That’s not the proper way to correct posture.
“It’s all about maintaining those curves in your spine in our neck and upper back and our lower back/lumbar spine.”
These ten, easy techniques will help you do just that:
Work on your core
Our core plays a huge part in how we sit, stand and move. But it doesn’t stop there. The strength of your core can also help stabilise you each time you exercise. Strengthening your core through that of yoga or pilates, for example, will help provide balance and awareness, counteracting your tendency to slouch.
According to the experts “staying as neutral as possible” while you sleep, is the key to better posture. Dr Keren Day told HuffPost she recommended sleeping “on your back with soft neck support and your knees elevated so your spine can stay neutral at night.” In addition, make sure your pillow is always under your head, and not your shoulders, for maximum effect.
It’s all in the breathing
How you breathe ultimately affects how you move and feel. By learning to breathe a little slower, and more deeply from your diaphragm, you enhance core stability while lengthening the spine and creating more balance in the body.
Believe it or not, being hydrated actually helps your posture. By having your eight glasses of water a day, you reduce the amount of fluid between your vertebrae, which reduces the risk of injury.
Apps to keep you honest
With everything going on in our lives, sometimes, we need a timely reminder to sit up, stand up or stretch. Apps such as Nekoze and Posture Man Pat, both use the Mac web cam to keep an eye on your posture, whereas Perfect Posture Workout calibrates your posture while you keep you app in your pocket. If you’re caught slouching, your phone will vibrate as a reminder to fix your posture.
Watch your iPhone (the right way)
In a digital world, craning your neck as you stare at your teeny-tiny iPhone screen isn’t doing you, or your posture, any favours. Instead of bending down, try propping your phone or tablet right in front of you to avoid unnecessary neck and back pain.
We love your heels, but...
While heels might play a big part in your wardrobe, wearing them too long, too often, puts pressure on your back, neck and shoulders. Heels tend to thrust your spine forward, over-arching your back and putting pressure on your nerves... which might be a good enough reason to opt for flats tomorrow.
In the driver’s seat
While reclining your seat might make long drives a little easier, it impacts your back and neck negatively. Make sure you pull your seat close to the steering wheel, as this will stop you from straining when driving.
Take a stand
“Standing tall” boasts many benefits, including lower levels of joint stress and muscle fatigue, as well as less back, neck and muscle pain. Improve your standing posture by extending your head directly up, but keeping your chin tucked in (like a string pulling you upwards), let your arms hang naturally by your side and ensure your feet arches are neutral. Practice this at work, by requesting a standing desk (if your office permits), which encourages you stay upright over slouched.
And change how you sit, too
You can have all the ergonomic equipment in the world, and still have a bad back, due to you seated position. Make sure, when sitting, you keep your back straight, knees and hips level and feet neutral. If you sit for most of the day, there’s no harm in putting a pillow or rolled up towel to support your lower back.