Maintaining correct posture is so often overlooked as we continue on with our every day living. Having correct posture is actually very important for many things in regards to the body, including balance within the body, avoiding muscles aches and it simply looks better. There are ways in which to build on this posture and all tips should be incorporated daily to keep your body upright and strong.
- Be Present and focus on your body:
Being present and focused on your body will help you to see when your posture is out of whack. We can often slip into bad posture without even realizing it. If you have focus on the position of your body is at all times, you can automatically correct yourself when you slip into bad form. If you notice the slip when standing, try to keep your back straight, your head facing forward, and your weight balanced evenly between two feet. Make sure that you stand tall. Standing tall means straightening your spine, relaxing your shoulders down to their natural resting position and breathing in to tighten your stomach muscles
- Exercise regularly:
Staying fit is a great way to ensure better posture. Even regular walking helps to loosen muscles and joints and to keep yourself flexible and agile, which are all great factors in building upon posture. Yoga is a good gentle exercise to add to your exercise routine. Yoga lengthens and stretches the body, while also building upon strength and agility. Being stretched, strong and agile are all beneficial for posture. There are some yoga moves that are better for posture then others and include forward fold, child’s pose, cat cow, side plank, high plank, downward facing dog and pigeon pose.
- Lie Flat:
Lie flat on the ground once a day, every day to assist in reversing the effects of bad posture. Letting your body adjust to its completely natural resting position will realign your body and will naturally move your body into its correct posture. Do this for two to three minutes each day without any cushions or support and make sure that you thoroughly relax.
- Uncross your legs:
Do you find that you are often crossing your legs? This could be one of the reasons you are having trouble with your posture. Crossing your legs overstretches one side of your leg muscle which can actually have drastic effects that can change your spine alignment over time. When you are sitting, aim to keep your back as straight as possible. Also, try to keep your knees and your hips level, and your feet flat on the ground. Use a footrest if necessary, to keep the knees and hips at the same level. If your job or studies require you to sit for long periods at a time, use a rolled-up towel to support your lower back.
- Consider changing your footwear:
There are many shoes designed to fix posture. Posture support shoes are made with a rocking or inclined sole. This design changes the way you walk so they do take some getting used to. It is even beneficial to stretch your feet and legs after you wear them, to help your body adapt. Some great posture rectifying brands include Sketchers Shape-ups, Orthotebb Health Shoes and Earth Shoes.
- Avoid Hunching:
To maintain correct posture, be wary of hunching over anything for a long period of time. Hunching occurs commonly when using a laptop or desktop. Be wary of how much you are hunching towards your computer to do your work and how long you sit down. Get up and move around regularly. Take breaks and go for walks to break up the strain on your spine.
- Be careful when carrying heavy or awkward objects or bags:
It is important to distribute the weight of such things between two arms. Make sure that you are not carrying things that are too heavy and are not carrying heavy things for long periods of time. If your job involves repetitive motions or heavy lifting, be sure that you have been shown the correct way to carry out the role. Damaging back and neck muscles is a quick way to bad posture.
- Make your workspace ergonomic:
Many office jobs require long periods of time in front of the computer. Making this space work for you and your posture is essential, as this is where bad posture habits can take hold. Positioning your computer monitor at the right height for you is an important factor to maintaining posture health. Also, having your mouse in a position where you don’t have to round your shoulders to reach for it is another very ergonomic move in the work-space. Constantly reaching for the mouse rounds your shoulders and weakens your upper back.
- Remind Yourself:
The day is full of errands, work, commitments and family, remembering to correct your posture is probably pretty far from the forefront of your brain. Leaving notes around your house to keep your posture in check is a great way to keep your back and neck straight. You could even put reminders in your phone for when you are out and about. The notes will remind you to straighten up and soon enough you will be doing it naturally without any visual aids.
- Use a mirror:
A mirror is a great tool for establishing good posture. Looking in the mirror and holding yourself in perfect posture helps you to feel what good posture actually is. In everyday life, you might think that you are holding yourself in good posture, when in fact, you are far from it. This helps you to feel exactly the way good posture is supposed to feel.