You want to know, what is the ultimate truth about correct posture? All talks about it are soo boring! Yup, seriously. The people behind the scenes are usually some sort of posture geeks: when entering any room, they scan everyone for “bad signs” of improper spinal alignment, decide who has the worst posture that evening, and make a mental note of possible workouts to correct that person’s posture.
Now here is the confession: we, the authors of this article, are those geeks too)) But instead of terrifying you with a list of reasons why “bad posture harms you more than you think” (and secretly hoping you will repost it among your friends), we decided to take a light-hearted approach and state only one fact: Your mom was right. Correct posture is good for you.
Your mom was right. Correct posture is good for you
Now prepare to be amazed by these facts about good posture:
1.Good Posture Actually Makes You Slimmer.
Take a deep breath in, pull your belly button in and, while exhaling, elongate your spine from your tailbone to your neck and make a semicircle move back with your shoulders (like you want to get rid of your jacket). Voila! Now you look at least 7 pounds lighter and can make a fortune teaching a course “how to lose weight without diets and exercising”.
2.Good Posture Boost Your Energy and Self Confidence.
Despite all misconceptions and that highly questionable “no pain – no gain” theory, correct posture is an easy- to -fall -in – love -with habit. It is kind of inborn and a natural feature of your body. Proper spinal alignment helps our muscles to work more efficiently, preserves energy and prevents muscle fatigue.
Undoubtedly, you know how critical your body language (the juicy mixture of posture and gestures) is in effective communication. We associate flexed spines with the so called low power position, stress and anxiety. An upright body conveys an image of high power, confidence and trustworthiness. Unconsciously we label an upright person as healthy, energetic and attractive. We are even more likely to go on date with him (or her. Or with both of them, if you wish).
And now it’s time for a surprise. It turns out, our body language not only influences the way others perceive us, it can also change our view on ourselves and nourish our positive traits. Ah, how shocking is that?!
In particular, good posture can dramatically raise our self-assurance.
According to recent medical research, the level of testosterone, a hormone responsible for confidence, rises by 25% in two minutes when you straighten your back.
Furthermore, taking a high-power position (straightening the back and elongating the spine), increases your chances in job interviews and negotiations. This is directly related to the universal principle of the animal world, where straightening upright is a nonverbal expression of power, dominance and success.
Knowledge of this kind opens up a whole new world for people who feel too shy to speak in public or handle tough business deals. All you need is to inhale deeply and uncurl your shoulders. Act like a winner and you become a winner (Amy Cuddy, Your body language shapes who you are, – a highly recommended TED Talk).
The key take-away here is understanding that you are the map of your emotions. And you can draw this map by yourself.
3.Your Kids Copy Your Posture Without Paying Royalties.
That’s why watching your posture is highly important. Without doubt, you prioritize your kids’ health, so you need to take care of their posture too. A fun and easy way to achieve this is with our printable Fun posture exercises with kids: print this out and hang it on your refrigerator right now. Children will adore exercises such as “The Swan Princess”, “The Crab King”, “The Soft Little Kitty” and “The World’s Champion Swimmer”, especially, if you are gonna exercise with them. A lot of laughter is guaranteed.
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4.Good Posture Marks You Out from All Your Peers – Ultra Sitters.
As Blake Bowman stated in ‘Posture: the ultimate lifehack’, “if you have an Iphone, iPad, and iPod – you have probably got Iposture to go with it”. Excessive time spent sitting is not joyful for your back and your upper body. Our generation’s posture suffers from day-to-day working at computer desks or just reading in bed before going to sleep.
You should know that our body and our bones adjust to the stress applied to them; This means you may get used to that incorrect posture and force your body to compensate for that by giving you lower back pain. With good posture you are definitely more likely to win this battle with technology’s impact on your life.
5.You Can Have It Too.
Good posture is not only for ballet dancers. All of the posture correcting exercises below are quite gentle and reminiscent of a soft massage. Because what you really want is to be upright and relaxed, don’t you? You can even improve your posture while sleeping, or leaning back and forth on your chair (though this kind of joyful exercise is sometimes filled with hidden surprises, so be careful).
So now seems an appropriate time for
7 Tips to Improve Your Posture
It’s not rocket science, babe, just give it a try. Could you do it for us, pretty pretty please with sugar on top?
1.Try to redesign your office environment. We do not suggest you invest in the treadmill desk – an epic failure of a machine that combines a treadmill and a computer desk. You know already that multitasking is a lie (if not, read our article “Truth or Dare: 10 cutthroat facts you need to know about motivation in sports (and life)” here). Just adjust your screen so it is at, or slightly below, your eye level and make sure all parts of your body are supported.
If your boss is open-minded, ask for a stability ball. A key note for negotiations – the ball helps you to embrace your all-powerful creativity. By the way, jumping all around the office is number one way to please your inner child, but let it be our secret 🙂
2.Try sleeping on your side with a neck support and with a pillow between your legs. Treat yourself to a high-quality orthopedic mattress and sleep your way to fantastic posture.
3.Wear shoes with low heels and good arch support. Variety is a deal maker here. Changing from sneakers to classy shoes, from slippers to stilettos (the last one is for girls only, obviously) will make you ankle muscles work and prevent bad posture.
4.Use a headset for phone calls. You don’t need stiff neck muscles, excessive wrinkles and a double chin, do you?
5.Become your own personal weightwatcher. Obesity burdens the spinal column, especially in the lower back, and suppresses normal bloodflow, provoking incorrect posture.
6.Be sure to monitor your eyesight and correct where necessary – this is one more way to avoid a curved upper back and neck muscle stiffness.
7.Move smartly. If you sit a lot, get up and move around occasionally. No matter when the deadline for your life changing project is, take stretching breaks. Be sure to exercise. Actually, try to get ANY kind of physical activity.
See, not so tough!
OK, take a break to sip a lime mojito, and then let’s proceed with our soft as silk exercises to improve posture. You may browse all of them, pick your favourite and do it within the next week. Then you can come back for more. While 3 minutes of exercise is probably not a cure, it is definitely a measurable first baby step towards good posture.
Exercises for Posture Improvement
Today we are going to work with our upper back and shoulder girdle. So let’s get started!
The next video contains a demonstration of the best posture correction exercise ever. Please welcome
Our Beloved Posture Improving Minion – The Chest Opener
Time needed to perform: 1 minute (!)
Benefits: facilitates mobility of the thoracic spine, opens your shoulder blades, stretches the chest and upper back muscles, and relieves pressure after sitting in a chair all day.
Contraindications: stop if you feel any lower back pain or shoulder pain when doing this exercise, or any discomfort or pain in the hips.
The performance technique:
- Lie on your side and move your legs to your chest as if you are sitting on a chair (one knee on top of the other)
- Stretch your arms in front of you, parallel to the legs, palms one to one
- Keeping your legs and pelvis absolutely stable, open your arms to the opposite side and turn your head to the same side
- Do not try to touch the floor with that palm – allow the weight of your shoulder and arm to drop your shoulder blade to the floor and stretch your upper body muscles
- Keep that position for a few seconds then let your core muscles return to the start position
- Repeat on the other side.
Some useful tips:
- For pelvic stability: imagine you have a glass of champagne on your pelvis and you don’t want to spill a drop
- Use a towel under your neck if you feel any tension there
- Take your time: time is needed to experience the maximum range of the exercise
And if you prefer mindfulness and challenge, you are welcome to try
The Neck Stretching Pilates exercise
Please be aware that to perform it smoothly, you must keep breathing and take your time. Keep your core muscles engaged (that’s a fancy way to say “keep your abdominals in”).
Sit down on your mat or on the floor. Straighten your legs or bend them slightly if needed. Inhale to prepare. While exhaling try to elongate your spine up to the ceiling. Take a deep breath in and put your hands behind the head. While exhaling, push your chest backwards, trying to close your elbows in front of your face. Take an inhale and straighten your spine back, moving your elbows backwards. Repeat 5 times.
If you feel like doing more, try this:
the initial position is the same: your spine is elongated, abs are engaged, hands behind the head. While exhaling, put your chin to the chest and roll down and touch the floor with your elbows. Than inhale and roll up while exhaling. Keep belly button close to spine, pal! Repeat 4 times.
And the most challenging modification (you would like that, yes?). Try to reach your favourite knee or even the floor next to it with an opposite elbow. And repeat for the opposite elbow-knee combination. Please keep your abs in tensed.
Ok, now you are stuffed with all posture essentials.
First, have fun and watch the cartoon “The Benefits of Good Posture” on our Facebook page
Second, make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up to date with our latest fitvize videos.
And… Please share this article to your friends. Because too many people are suffering needlessly (and we cannot completely suppress our posture geek’s urge).