How to get a better posture? 9 Tips and tricks
Desk jobs, no exercise and perpetual weariness can have a serious effect on your health, specifically on your spine. We don’t think about it often, in fact, most of us only start paying attention to this part of their body when it starts hurting. The truth, however, is that the earlier we start taking care of our posture, the lower the risk of ending up crippled in old age. That’s not an exaggeration, by the way. Posture can affect blood circulation, breathing patterns and, from there, a host of other things. Here are some tips on how to improve your posture:
Those desk jobs we mentioned are one of your posture’s greatest enemies. You sit down, you stare at a computer screen and you basically forget to move. Make yourself a reminder: get up, stretch and move about for a couple of minutes every half an hour. While you’re sitting, you can do the penguin exercise: touch your shoulders with your hands and start lifting and lowering your elbows. Notice how your back straightens up? Just 30 seconds is enough.
2. How to get a better posture? Get a standing desk
If you can’t trust yourself to get up every half hour – after all it could be an unwanted distraction if you’re working on something that requires a lot of concentration – get a standing desk, these are already on the market. With a standing desk you’ll be able to move while you work, gaining a lot and losing nothing apart from your bad posture. Alright, you can take breaks to sit down from time to time, nobody wants you to mimic a pillar for eight hours a day.
3. Take care of your feet (it’s not about moisturising!)
This doesn’t mean scrubbing and moisturising, it means something far more important: standing on them right. Most of us tend to put greater weight on their heels, which damages the foot. The most weight should be on the balls of your feet, and, for proper posture, they should be as far apart, as your shoulder length. We don’t have anything good to say about high heels, unfortunately. Wear them but take time to walk barefooted when you get the chance.
4. Head position matters
One way to check if your posture is proper is to see where your ears are in relation to your shoulders. If they are aligned, then you’re sitting or standing properly. If your ears are ahead, then your posture is wrong. This can be fixed with a simple exercise: drop your chin and then back, as if you’re trying to stick it to your throat. Keep this position for five seconds. If you do it ten times a day, the muscles at the back of your neck will become more flexible and your posture will improve.
5. Watch your shoulders
Sitting up straight is one way of making sure you maintain a proper posture, but it can be hard to make it into a habit, especially, if you’re currently used to slouching at your desk. So, how to get a better posture? You can make use of support tools such as a lumbar support pillow or a seat wedge. Also, do this exercise: move your shoulders down and push them back, then stretch your elbows towards the sides of your waist.
6. Even knees (and toes) position matters, when it comes to good posture
Forget about crossing your legs. Keep both feet on the floor with the ankles in front of your knees. Also, your knees should be either level with or lower than your hips. Too hard? Well, you don’t have to keep this position for the whole day. Remember what we said about getting up and moving around regularly? This is just what chiropractors recommend as a healthy sitting position.
7. Yoga and Pilates
How to get a better posture? Try Yoga or Pilates exercises. The strongest muscles in your body are those on your hips but if you don’t exercise them, they’ll weaken and affect your posture. Yoga or Pilates are two good ways to keep these muscles in good shape. If they are in good shape, they’ll support your back better and will lead to a better posture. Besides, yoga and similar exercises are beneficial for the whole body and help reduce stress, which is a contributing factor for an improper posture.
8. Exercise your balance
Here is another great tip on how to get a better posture – take your high heels off and go walking on a beach or in a forest. Any uneven surface will do. The purpose is to get out of the comfort of the smooth surfaces we’re used to and challenge your feet a bit. By doing this, you also exercise your whole support system: ankles, knees, hips and, yes, the back. This will also improve your coordination, especially, if you do it barefooted, as the nerve receptors in the soles of your feet transmit the signals coming from the walking surface more clearly.
9. Be patient
Bad posture doesn’t develop over a week and fixing it will take equally long. That’s the bad news. The good news is that everything is fixable, as long as you catch it early. You can try consulting with a doctor to see exactly what your problem is – there are as many posture troubles as there are people, even if they concern the same parts of the body. The thing to remember if you decide to go it alone: move, stretch and don’t slouch.
How to get a better posture? Do you have some other tips?
Stay happy and healthy!