Remember all those times your mother told you to sit up straight? Standing and sitting tall not only stabilizes your balance, but it also improves your posture, which puts less stress and strain on your muscles. Ready to say goodbye to lower back aches and pains? Let’s work on your posture!
1. Do yoga
You don’t have to be into alternative healing and follow a hippie lifestyle to do yoga. The slow stretching and balancing associated with perfecting yoga poses can dramatically improve your posture. When you’re balanced, your posture is automatically improved. Plus, yoga helps burn calories to keep you fit. Try an at-home yoga program on a gaming console or television program.
2. Swap chairs
If you sit for long periods at a time–either at work or home–try replacing your chair with an ergonomic chair that promotes good posture. Try sitting on a backless chair that supports your legs in a bent, kneeling position. Or, balance on an oversize exercise ball. The initially wobbly seat forces you to use your stomach muscles and good posture to stay balanced.
3. Practice standing
Yes, practicing how to stand sounds silly. Stand up and casually stand in place. Now, take a look at your posture. Are you resting on one foot? Are you leaning against a wall or piece of furniture? Practice standing with both feet placed flat on the ground. Now, notice where your weight has shifted. You should have equal pressure on the balls and heels of your feet if you want to improve your posture and center of balance.
4. Overhaul footwear
Supportive shoes help improve your posture. If you’re always trying to balance in stilettos or feel uneasy in a wedge, swap your shoes for more supportive options. Instead, opt for flat-bottom boots, sneakers that contour to the arches of your feet, and sleek flats with cushioned insoles. You don’t have to wear your grandmother’s orthopedic shoes to enjoy good posture.
Not sure if your posture needs work? Peek in the mirror. Stand with one hip to the mirror so you can view a profile of yourself. If you appear to be slouching, pretend you’re a marionette and someone just pulled on the strings to straighten your posture. Now, practice remaining in this upright, elongated position each time you sit or stand. Your spine will appreciate it!
Need more ideas on improving your posture? Visit with your family doctor, a physical therapist, or personal trainer to learn exercises and habits that promote healthy posture.