Keeping a good posture is more than just looking smart and sharp. It also improves your body’s balance, flexibility, and strength.
Observing proper posture also prevents strain, stress, and pain, particularly on your muscles and ligaments, minimizing your risk of injuries.
But the problem is, many of us find it hard to maintain a good posture. Most of us have already grown accustomed to hunching over our office tables or desks, and gadgets every single day.
Luckily, it’s never too late to correct your posture. Read on to find out how to straighten up so you can prevent backaches, joint and muscle problems, and ligament strain.
What are the Benefits of Proper Posture?
Having good posture helps you in so many ways. It not only puts less strain on your ligaments, joints, and muscles but provides support for them too, especially during activities. Observing proper posture also helps you to:
Keep the proper alignment of your joints and bones
Reduce your risk of joint disorders like arthritis
Reduce the fatigue in your muscles
Prevent your muscles from being overused
Lessen the occurrence of muscular pain and backache
Make you look smart, sharp, and feel better
How to Keep a Proper Posture
There is, indeed, more to keep a good posture than simply looking good. So, how can you reap the benefits of maintaining proper posture? Here’s a handy list of the tricks you can do:
Avoid slouching on your desk
Modern-day desk jobs got many of us glued to our chairs and desks, which make us prone to a hunchback posture. This is nearly inevitable, especially if you’re immobile for hours on end.
But it’s never an excuse to continue hunching your back. A hunchback posture stresses your spine, which also causes strain on your muscles, joints, and bones.
It could get worse:
If you think poor posture only negatively affects your back, think again. A consistent slump also affects your internal organs, preventing your intestines and lungs to work optimally.
If your lousy posture isn’t addressed immediately, it may even be harder for you to breathe and digest food. So, know how to sit correctly on your desk.
A good trick is to imagine that your body is being held by a string. It also helps adjust your chair’s height, tilt, and position until it gives you the level of comfort you’re seeking.
Adjusting the position of your monitor, mouse, and keyboard also helps. Putting them at a comfortable distance will prevent your body from stretching in awkward positions that may affect your posture.
Stand up tall
Standing up tall not only prevents posture problems but also gives you an even, slimmer look. Standing against a wall may be a good practice.
Look for a wall or a door and press your back against it. Make sure that the back of your head, shoulders, and butt are touching the wall or door’s surface. Hold this position for a few seconds, then slowly move away.
Practice this several times until your posture is corrected. If you feel like your posture is beginning to get lousy again, repeat this exercise.
Be mindful of “text neck”
Using your smartphone all day long may lead to posture problems dubbed as “text neck”. Tilting your head down to read status updates or check messages can strain your spine.
Over time, this can add up and cause more serious problems. So, what’s a good trick to solve this? Instead of tilting your head down, lift your phone up.
It also helps to perform neck exercises such as neck rolls to get rid of tension and strain that may have built up within the area.
Adjust your car seat
It’s tempting to recline your seat, especially during a long drive for the simple reason that it’s comfortable. But while this makes you comfy, it may hurt your posture.
So, instead of reclining your seat, pull it closer to the steering wheel. Be careful not to lock your legs, though, and make sure that your knees can still bend slightly.
To provide support for your back, and for that extra comfort, put a rolled-up towel or pillow behind you.
Wear low heels as much as possible
There’s no denying it – high heels make you look sexier and more fashionable, but they aren’t very posture-friendly.
Stilettos and pumps put much pressure on your feet and nerves, which contributes to back pain. If wearing high heels is unavoidable in your job, make sure that you always have flat shoes with you.
Change into a comfortable pair whenever possible, and just put the heels back on when it’s really necessary.
Choose the right mattress for you
Did you know that your mattress also plays a crucial role in your posture? Most of the time, a medium-firm mattress allows your back to rest in a natural position.
But the right mattress for you still depends on your needs and preferences. To choose which mattress to buy, it’s best to talk to knowledgeable salespeople so you can be properly guided about your options.
Meantime, when it comes to your sleeping position, it’s helpful to also keep some tips in mind. Side sleepers should only bend their knees slightly. If you sleep on your side, remember not to hug your knees.
Back sleepers, on the other hand, should opt for a small pillow instead of a bulky one, which should be placed under the neck.
Perform exercises for better posture
For every problem, there’s always a solution. If you find it challenging to keep a good posture, you can perform posture exercises.
A workout routine may help keep your body in top shape and reduce your risk of obesity, which also contributes to added stress on your back.
Read on to find out what exercises you can perform for better posture.
Exercises for Good Posture
Working on your posture also allows you to become more aware of yourself and your body. In fact, you may even observe tightness in some parts of your body that you weren’t aware of.
The good news is, you can get rid of this tightness by following a simple workout routine. Here are some exercises you can perform to improve your posture:
To avoid back pain, you need to release the tension in your back, particularly in the lower part. This simple exercise will stretch and lengthen your spine, hamstrings, and glutes. It’s also a good workout for your neck.
How to perform Child’s Pose:
Kneel on your mat with your knees together, and sit on your heels. Walk your arms in front of you until you feel a stretch in your back. Gently rest your forehead on the floor.
Hold this position for a few minutes while breathing deeply. Avoid this exercise if you have knee injuries or problems.
The Forward Fold stretch helps to release the tension in your glutes, hamstrings, and spine. It also gives your legs and hips a nice stretch.
How to perform Forward Fold:
Stand up straight with your heels slightly apart. Bend forward at your hips, then release your hands towards the floor.
If this is your first time, and you find it hard to fold at your hips, you can use a block to place your hands on in front of you. Allow your spine to lengthen, and let your head fall to the floor. Hold this position for a minute.
Chest stretch exercises are one of the best ways to ease the tension in your back. They are also one of the most effective when it comes to helping you stand up straighter.
How to perform Chest Opener:
Stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart. Bring your arms behind you and clasp your hands together. Look straight ahead, keeping your head, neck, and spine aligned.
Lift your chest up and bring your hands toward the floor, inhaling while doing so. Hold this pose for five deep breaths. Release and relax.
If you want to activate and strengthen your glutes, this exercise is for you. Glute squeezes also help to relieve lower back pain and enhance your hips and pelvis’ alignment, contributing to better posture.
How to perform Glute Squeezes:
Lie on your back, keeping your knees bent, and your feet hip-distance apart. Put your arms on the sides of your body, palms facing down. Pull your feet towards your hips, exhaling while doing so.
Hold this position for about ten seconds, and perform this exercise for a minute. Repeat this a few times each day.
Your posture greatly influences how you feel about yourself. Aside from reducing muscle stress and back pain, good posture can also put you in a better mood.
Having a lousy posture, on the other hand, may cause adverse effects. So, if you want to feel better, and look sharper, pay attention to your posture.
These tips may come in handy, especially when you’re too preoccupied with your daily activities. Keep in mind the benefits of having a good posture, so you can get motivated to straighten up!