Almost all of us have been told to “stand up straight” or “stop slouching” by our parents in the past. Well, this advice is worth listening to. Posture is essentially the position we keep our bodies in while sitting, standing, or even lying down. Good posture ensures that the muscle tension in our body is correct and our whole body is symmetrically aligned. Even more importantly, it keeps the body parts in their rightful position without too much stress. A rightful posture:
- Allows muscles to coordinate in a more-efficient manner – this helps to eliminate muscle fatigue
- Holds spinal joints in place – this helps to reduce the chances of injury, as there’s less stress on the ligaments
- Helps prevent back or muscle pain - back or muscle pain can be a sign of a poorly relaxed body
- Prevents the wearing of the joints – by making sure our muscles are properly aligned and that no wear and tear of joints takes place, chronic risks like arthritis are eliminated.
Even if you’re not an athlete, it still pays to have good balance and posture. Just walking down the stairs or across the floor requires good posture. The good news is that although many people believe that it’s difficult to maintain good posture, it doesn’t have to be. If you want to improve your posture, then here are some of our top tips to help you:
1. Stretch Your Muscles
Poor posture can lead to spinal complications such as loss of bone strength or permanent hunchbacks. However, there are lots of ways you can improve your posture. Research has shown that one of the best ways to improve your posture is to stretch your muscles.
Although most people don’t think stretching their chest (pectoral) muscle is important, if this muscle isn’t stretched it can soon overpower the back muscles, which are responsible for pulling the back in place. This can cause a hunching posture.
However, these aren’t the only muscles you should be stretching. If you want to prevent poor posture, it’s also important to stretch other muscles too e.g., your quadriceps. As most of us spend a lot of our time sitting e.g., at a desk or watching tv, our quadriceps spend a lot of their time in a contracted position. Over time these muscles can shorten. When this happens, the quads start pulling on other joints. This can cause pain. In order to avoid this and prevent bad posture from occurring, it is important to regularly stretch your muscles. Here are some good stretches you can do to loosen your quads and improve your posture.
2. Improve Your Sleeping Position
If you want to maintain a good posture, then you need to be mindful of your sleeping position. Research has shown that people who sleep on their back at night are much more likely to have a better posture than those who sleep on their side or front. However, it is possible to maintain a good posture while sleeping on your side. You simply need to use pillows for proper supports. Doctors believe that sleeping on your front is bad for your posture, so try and avoid this if you can.
3. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being overweight or obese can add extra pressure to your back and shoulders. This can cause you to slouch. If you want to improve your posture but you're overweight, then you should consider losing a few pounds. It’s important to make sure you lose weight in a healthy and safe way.
4. Regular Exercise
As we mentioned above, being overweight can have a negative impact on your posture. One way you can lose excess weight is to exercise. The benefits of regular exercise cannot be overstated. Lots of studies have suggested that people who work out daily are more likely to stay healthy, live longer, and lead a happy life. They are also more likely to have a better posture than those that don’t.
5. Stop Slouching
Although most people think that their slouching habit is irreversible, it’s not. If you want to stop slouching, then you’ll need to practice walking with your back and shoulders straight. If you notice yourself slouching, then stop what you’re doing and correct your posture. Your hard work will reap rewards. If you keep trying, in time you’ll be able to correct your posture.
Maintaining good posture is crucial to your overall health. Although you may not realize it, good posture is as important as sleeping comfortably, a healthy diet, and exercise. It ensures that your body is ready to undertake daily tasks with energy and vigor, all while keeping away tiredness. Good posture plays an important part in your overall physical health. If you want to improve your posture, then follow some of our top tips above.