We’ve all probably been told not to slouch by our mothers or grandmothers, but is it really that important? As it turns out, the answer is “yes.” Poor posture not only looks sloppy, but it can also negatively affect your health, leading to back pain, headaches, and other problems.You can improve your well-being – and make Mom and Grandma happy – by following a few tips to better your posture.
5 Steps to Better Posture:
1. Keep your back straight. Slouching creates a curved spine, which puts pressure on your back. Instead, work on keeping your back straight enough to maintain the natural curves in the spine. Your spine should have an inward curve at the neck (cervical curve), outward curve at the upper back (thoracic curve), and inward curve at the lower back (lumbar curve).
Learn to elongate the spine through this Pilates Workout.
2. Keep your shoulders back. Just like a slouchy back, when our shoulders are forward, we put undue stress on our shoulder muscles. Instead, practice keeping them back by doing a shoulder roll and then maintaining the relaxed position they’re in at the end.
3. Strengthen your core. Strong abdominal muscles will better support your back and help good posture come more naturally. Exercises like those found in yoga and pilates help strengthen the core and encourage proper posture. You can also try our Work Your Core workout. You can also check out the Superman pose in our 5 Quick and Easy Moves for Absolute Beginners.
4. Tuck your tailbone. Some of us don’t realize that we our lower back is out of alignment. You may need to practice pulling your tailbone in and notice if you feel a difference.
5. Keep your chin up. It’s hard to slouch when you’re looking straight ahead.
Mayo Clinic recommends that you test your posture by standing with your back against a wall with your head, shoulder blades, and buttocks touching the wall and your feet 2 to 4 inches from the wall. Ideally, when you reach behind you and place your hand behind the curve of your back, you should feel about one hand’s thickness between you and the wall.