You might not know it but your posture really affects your body’s overall health. Bad posture causes neck, shoulder, spine and back pain, decreases flexibility, affects joints mobility, digestion, balance and breathing.
It is crucial that you fix your posture before these long term effects set in. We’re covering a few ways to help you improve your posture in daily activities.
By Mariam Elhamy
If you spend a lot of time sitting at your desk at work or at home here are the easiest things to look out for:
- Switch sitting positions often
- Take brief walks around your office or home
- Gently stretch your muscles every so often to help relieve muscle tension
- Don’t cross your legs for long. Keep your feet on the floor and make sure that they touch the floor. If not then use a footrest
- Relax your shoulders. They should not be rounded or pulled backward
- Make sure that your back is fully supported. Use a pillow if your chair does not have a backrest that can support your lower back’s curve
- Make sure that your work surfaces are of a suitable height. Whether you’re making a meal, using your computer or having dinner, each activity should not tire your shoulders or your neck and if they are then the surface is not the right length
Practice these easy exercises for a better posture and to help you stand a little taller:
- Child’s pose
This resting pose stretches and lengthens your spine, glutes, and hamstrings. The child’s pose helps to release tension in your lower back and neck. Breathe deeply and relax in this pose for up to 5 minutes.
2. Forward fold
This standing stretch releases tension in your spine, hamstrings, and glutes. It also stretches your hips and legs. You should feel the entire back side of your body lengthen. Remain in this pose for up to 1 minute.
3. Cat cow
Doing this stretches and massages your spine. It also helps to relieve tension in your torso, shoulders, and neck while promoting blood circulation.
4. High plank
Doing this helps relieve pain and stiffness throughout your body while strengthening your shoulders, glutes, and hamstrings. It also helps you develop balance and strength in your core and back, both important for good posture.
5. Downward-facing dog
The downward-facing dog pose helps relieve back pain, while also strengthening and aligning your back muscles. Practicing it regularly helps improve posture.
6. Pigeon pose
This is a hip opener that also loosens up your spine, hamstrings, and glutes. The pigeon pose can also help to stretch your sciatic nerve and quadriceps. Opening and stretching these places in your body makes it easier to correct imbalances in your posture.
- Always be mindful of your posture in your daily activities like washing the dishes or walking the dog.
- Always keep your neck and back straight. Whenever you find yourself slouching just go back to a straight posture.