As our dependency on technology grows and the demand for our professional selves increases, it’s easy to forget the attention our bodies require to move and function with ease and efficiency. We’re more slouched, slumped, and tweaked than ever. Our distraction in our screens is crippling our necks, backs, and hips. The constant stagnant positions our chairs, desks, and couches impose on us is debilitating to our spine, shoulders, breathing and overall health.
It’s easy to turn to pain remedies to mask being uncomfortable and just keep moving forward. Some of us even turn toward natural pain relievers, and while natural, they still tend to make us forget there’s a problem in the first place. While a bit more time consuming, requiring some forward thinking and planning, it’s imperative to locate the problem and fix it instead of ignoring and masking. Even better, avoid future complications all together by completing consistent preventive maintenance. It’s easily done by moving, flowing, stretching, breathing, and working out every millimeter of every working piece our body’s have as a part of its system; good posture is the first step, here are seven easy tips to improve yours.
The goal is to keep all of your joints and muscles supple and strong. Move your body. Stretch and lengthen. Rotate and roll. Twist and tweak. Move often and use full your full range of motion for all of your joints. Do whatever you can to work out all of the kinks, increase blood flow, and prevent the same constant positions that create permanent bad habits and avoidable injuries. If you don’t already practice it, yoga is the perfect antidote to all your flexibility needs.
When you slouch your internal organs squish preventing you from digesting your food properly or inhaling enough air thus not receiving enough oxygen to your blood system.
Sit up or stand straight stretching your entire spine towards the ceiling, your shoulders should be down and back and your belly should be stretched providing enough room for your lungs to expand as thoroughly as possible. Breathe in through your nose as deep as possible and out through your mouth as fully as you can. Suspend at the top and bottom of each breath pushing out any stale air that may be trapped in your lungs.
This works your lungs as a muscle and stretches the space your organs use. Deep breathing also reduces stress, elevates your oxygen intake and improves your use of all that extra oxygen you’re inhaling.
In order for strong posture stance, you must maintain a strong, foundational core. Even just sitting and standing could be a workout – make sure your shoulders aren’t rolled forward, keep your belly button pulled in and your core engaged. Your joints should all be stacked on top of eachother with your weight evenly displaced over your entire foot.
To strengthen your core you can do exercises such as plank and sit ups. For each muscle group there is an opposite muscle group that must remain as strong as the former, in this case it is the back, upper and lower. You can strengthen your back by doing exercises such as Cobra or the Row.
Wear the Right Footwear
Limit unsupportive, harmful footwear like high heels. Shoes should be supportive and even minimalistic to strengthen the muscles in your feet (aka the foundation of your posture). Just walking bare footed also strengthens the nerve receptors between your feet and brain, it smooths coordination, movement quality, and posture.
Practice your balancing maneuvers. If you walk on uneven surfaces such as uneven terrain, sand, or even use workout equipment like a wobble disk or a bosu ball it will challenge your core and balancing stability. It will strengthen your joints and all of the tendons and ligaments that eventually get slack along with your other muscles and posture habits.
Another great exercise is practicing perfect posture. Place your back to the wall, heels slightly away from touching the wall. Your shoulders and butt should touch the wall and your lower back should be as close to touching as possible – in order to accomplish this you must pull your belly button up and into engage your core. Place your arms at a 90* angle also touching the wall and start raising and lowering, sliding up and down. Exercise this often to see major improvements. As you see improvements and obtain comfortability in the exercise you will see the same in your posture.
Sit, Stand, and Sleep Properly
- Place your feet on the floor
- Don’t cross your legs
- Ankles should be in front of knees
- Knees should be below hips
- Support your low and mid back
- Relax your shoulders
- Get up and move often
- Bear weight on the balls of your feet
- Knees should be slightly bent
- Feet should be shoulder width apart
- Allow arms to hang naturally
- Shoulders should be back
- Stand straight and tall
- Tuck your stomach in
- Head should be level, not pushed forward or back
- If you’re standing for long, shift weight slightly back and forth and from side to side
- Find the right mattress for you and your needs, same with a pillow
- Avoid sleeping on your stomach
- If you sleep on your side, place a pillow between your knees
- If you sleep on your back, place a pillow under your knees