3 Ways To Improve Your Posture and Health
Good posture—holding the head, shoulders and trunk in perfect alignment—creates physical symmetry and balance, which allows our many physiological systems to function optimally. You know you can look 10 pounds thinner if you stand tall, throw back your shoulders and tuck in your belly. (At least my momma told me to stand up straighter and I believe that’s what she meant!)
When we habitually sit, stand or walk in a less than a fully aligned position, muscles stretch or contract to accommodate. This can result in chronic imbalances that can lead to pain, says Bill Schultz, founder of AlignMed, an apparel company that launched “posture shirts” that remind you to sit and stand with better alignment. Studies dating back a century also suggest our posture can influence and affect mood, energy and self-confidence, all of which affect how attractive we appear to others.
If you exercise or dance, posture becomes even more key. “You don’t see supermodels, A-list actors or ‘beautiful people’ slouched over as they strut down the runway or red carpet,” Schultz notes. More important is the fact that good posture can increase athletic performance and help you sidestep injuries.
Here are three more ways good posture boosts the body and mind:
1. Sit prettier. Sitting for long periods comes with many health risks, including obesity and cardiovascular disease. But sitting with less than perfect posture—most frequently, sitting with the head and shoulder in a forward position over a desk—can cause significant neck pain, which involves muscles and nerves from the neck down. Proper posture can prevent neck pain too.
2. Back out. According to a recent report from the Institute of Medicine, poor posture influences back pain. “Chronic back pain” means that a sufferer has anywhere from 30 to 60 days of lasting pain, and this massive problem is estimated to cost Americans $635 billion dollars per year. One reliable and easy way to prevent chronic pain is to maintain good posture.
3. Flatten your abs. The bulk of a body’s core muscles—hips, abs, lower back and glutes—include the trunk and pelvis. Today’s fitness fanatics firmly grasp the importance of a healthy core, but the whole truth is a strong midsection plus optimal posture that can help you prevent all kinds of pain and discomfort.
Do you know that you have good posture? Or not? I think I do…
Tags: health and wellness, meditation and relaxation, posture