You may have poor posture without even realizing it. For many people, it’s natural to slouch when standing and hunch over when sitting. However, it’s worth making an effort to improve your posture because it can help you avoid back pain, muscle strains and other physical health problems.
If you’re an athlete, maintaining good posture is even more critical because it can improve your balance and strengthen your performance in activities like tennis, golf, dancing, running and skiing. Plus, people tend to look better and more confident when they’re standing up straight. Here are a few simple ways to significantly improve your posture in your day-to-day life.
1. Try Posture-Supporting Shapewear
Did you know that what you wear can significantly affect your posture? A variety of women’s shapewear garments are designed to support correct posture. In addition to improving your posture, a quality posture corrector can also shape your curves, making it a win-win solution. You may also notice reduced posture-related pain around your back, shoulders and neck. Rest assured that these products are as comfortable as any other undergarments.
2. Exercise Regularly
Although many people don’t realize it, there’s a strong correlation between fitness and posture. When your muscles are strong, they can better support your body, which helps you naturally stand and sit up straighter. Get into the habit of exercising your core to strengthen your abdominal and lower back muscles. Those muscles are connected to the spine, so they directly impact your posture.
The strength of your bones plays a role in your posture as well. Walking, running, climbing, and dancing are weight-bearing exercises that can build bone strength. Resistance workouts such as weightlifting can also help. Additionally, various types of aerobic exercise can help stabilize your spine, which will help your body remain comfortably upright when you’re moving around.
3. Adjust Your Work Setup
If you work in an office or spend a lot of time sitting at the computer, your workstation should be set up in a way that promotes good posture. First, make sure you have a chair that provides sufficient lumbar support and is properly adjusted for your body. Alternatively, consider using a stand-up desk to improve your circulation and posture.
An ergonomically correct workstation includes more than just a properly adjusted and supportive chair. It’s also important that your monitor and keyboard are positioned so that you don’t need to hunch over them. Finally, you should get up from your desk and spend some time moving around throughout the day. Staying seated all day is bad not only for your posture but also for your overall health as well.
4. Make an Effort To Stand Straight
One of the best ways to achieve better posture is by staying conscious of how you’re standing. Many people with poor posture tend to slouch when standing or walking. However, in many cases, all it takes to correct that is to be aware that you’re slouching and stand straighter. Remember to pull your abdominal muscles in. If you’re having trouble keeping your back straight, it can help to keep your chin tilted back slightly. It may be awkward and uncomfortable for a while to keep your back straighter, but it will soon develop into a habit, and your posture-supporting muscles will get stronger, making it easier to stand up straight.
5. Try Posture Exercises
While improving your overall fitness level is a great way to improve your posture, there are also several posture-focused exercises you can implement into your routine. These exercises help train your body to have proper posture throughout your day-to-day life.
One excellent exercise is the wall slide, in which you stand with your back, butt, head and shoulders pressed firmly against a wall. From there, raise your arms, keeping the backs of your hands pressed against the wall. Then, slowly slide your arms down until they’re just below your shoulders, hold them for a few seconds, then raise them back up. Do this 10 times.
Another effective posture exercise is the shoulder-blade squeeze. This one is pretty simple: All you have to do is stand with your arms at your sides, pull your shoulder blades behind you and hold them there for a few seconds.
Certain yoga positions can also work wonders for your posture — child’s pose is one great example. This pose helps stretch your back and remove tension from your body, which can significantly affect your posture.
Great Posture Requires Persistence
If you’re willing to try a few new things and stick with them, there’s no reason you can’t succeed in improving your posture. Try a few posture-support products and posture-improving exercises, see which ones work best for you, and start standing taller today.