How to get better posture.
“Don’t slouch, sit up straight – good posture is good manners”. No doubt all of us have heard our mom yell this several times while growing up.
The other rules were most likely;
- Don’t hunch over your plate at the dinner table.
- Walk upright with books on your head.
Especially now in the days of remote working, most of us have given up on sitting at a desk altogether and just put our laptop down anywhere, even on our actual laps! A terrible choice for back and joint health.
Having good posture develops strength and flexibility. It realigns the balance in your body, says Healthline. Proper posture can also reduce stress on your muscles and ligaments, which can reduce your risk of injury and lead to less muscle pain and more energy throughout the day.
Being more aware of your posture also makes you more present in your body and more aware of your muscles and how they are feeling. You might even notice some imbalances, tightness of pain – and the more aware you are, the better you can manage and treat them.
According to Town&Country, good posture exudes grace, strength and empowerment. And yes, we should all be aspiring to good posture. Good posture is known to lessen aches and pain, pinched nerves and sagging bellies!
Although poor posture won’t necessarily lead to long-term health problems, the experts say, but in the age of technology, sitting for hours leaning forward over a phone or hunching over a computer causes muscle contraction, and this is a leading cause of back pain.
The essence of good posture
The experts say that posture is body language and that it is an expression of confidence and respect not only for yourself but for others too.
It all begins with a mental shift to consciously position, hold and carry yourself well. Apparently, it offers a heightened awareness of behaviour and manners – how you treat others, how you communicate and the careful consideration you give to encounters. In by-gone eras, this was known as deportment and one of womankind’s key beauty enhancers – a respectful and well-bred demeanour.
Another key benefit of walking tall and standing upright boosts mental health as it provides the focus that helps you to face the world with confidence. Also, acquiring good posture can actually improve work production, experts say.
How to improve your posture today!
Improving posture affects the whole body.
The following training can assist:
- The Alexander Technique: It assists with getting rid of harmful body movements that improve posture and alleviates pain. Focussing on head, neck, feet and hip exercises, a teacher will help you to retrain your body to sit and stand comfortably and more upright. These practices are ongoing. Once you are retrained, posture becomes a way of life that you are constantly aware of and which you adjust automatically when you feel yourself becoming skew.
- Dancing: Increases your awareness of how you move your body, especially ballroom dancing and ballet, which you can learn at any age, says Elegant Woman. This helps develop a strong core which is a key to good posture and ease of movement.
- Balance: Practices like Tai Chi, yoga or surfing all help with balance and coordination. Balance means freeing yourself from the inefficiency of movement. To be balanced, you need to exercise to get a strong core and base. Such training helps you to stand properly, for instance – straight back aligned with your head, chin not too high or low, stomach held in, feet slightly apart, shoulders back and down and arms at the side.
There are many types of training that can all lead to having better posture, and once you learn just the basics, it becomes a habit that flows into every aspect of your life.
How do you do it?
- Sit on your shinbones. Place your knees together with your big toes touching each other. Ensure that your heels are splayed out to the side.
- Fold forward at your hips.
- Walk your hands out in front of you.
- Sink your hips back down toward your feet.
- If your thighs won’t go all the way down, place a pillow or folded blanket under them for support.
- Place your forehead on the floor – be sure to be gentle.
- Or, turn your head to one side.
- Keep your arms extended.
- Alternatively, you can rest them next to the body.
- Breathe deeply into the back of your rib cage and waist.
- Relax in this pose for up to 5 minutes while continuing to breathe deeply.
Always consult a doctor before performing any stretches or exercises.