Tips for proper posture
Why proper posture is important
Good posture helps maintain your spine’s natural curvature, while poor posture causes physical stress and strains muscles. When your body isn’t aligned properly, your mood can start to diminish, and you may even experience chronic back aches, pains, and stiffness.
Sometimes habits that lead to poor posture begin during childhood, perhaps when you sat slumped in your school desk or on the sofa. You might have even developed bad posture because you grew taller than your classmates at an early age, which might have subconsciously made you feel awkward when standing up straight. No matter what the reason is it’s unfortunately easier for us to slump, especially when we are tired.
How to be mindful of your posture
To test your posture, take a minute to do the wall test. Stand with your head, shoulder blades and buttocks touching a wall. Keep your heels 2-4 inches away from the wall, then slide your hand behind the curve in your lower back. Ideally, you should feel about one hand’s thickness of space between your back and the wall.
Keep these posture tips in mind
- Stand straight and tall with your shoulders back.
- Keep your head level and in line with your body. Pull in your abdomen.
- Keep your feet about shoulder-width apart.
- Don’t lock your knees. Let your hands hang naturally at your sides.
- If you have to stand for long periods of time, shift your weight from your toes to your heels or from one foot to the other.
- Adjust the height of your chair so that your feet rest flat on the floor or on a footrest and your thighs are parallel to the floor. Keep your shoulders relaxed.
- Don’t cross your legs. Keep a small gap between the back of your knees and the front of your seat.
- Stretch the top of your head toward the ceiling, and tuck your chin in slightly.
- Keep your upper back and neck comfortably straight.
Some exercises that can help
Even just a few minutes of exercise each day helps to improve your posture. Here are a few that help lengthen tight muscles and strengthen weak ones:
- To begin – Arm Circles – Rotate your arms in large, forward circles. Keep your abs tight and your eyes pointed straight ahead.
- Back Support – Sit with your legs extended, feet together, and hands placed behind your back with your fingers pointing toward your hips. Point your toes and raise your upper body off the floor so that your body makes about a 45-degree angle, hold this position for a few seconds before lowering your body back down.
- Single Arm Row – Stand next to a chair, placing your hand on the armrest for support. Step forward with your inner leg and back with your outer leg, bending forward at the waist and letting your outside arm hang down. Pull a dumbbell towards your waist, keeping your elbow close to your side. Keep your back straight and your head level.
- Swimming – Lay face down on your stomach with your legs and arms extended straight out. Lift both your arms and legs, keeping only your core in contact with the floor. Raise your right arm and left leg as you lower your left arm and right leg. Quickly alternate sides up and down as if swimming.
- Cool down – Place your hands palms down on the ground beneath your shoulders. Lift your chest up off the ground by straightening your arms. Look upwards and keep your abs engaged.
Treatment improves posture
Proper posture utilizes the correct muscles in the right way. It should make you feel like your upright, but mostly your body should just feel more aligned and natural. A mindful approach to proper posture combined with corrective chiropractic care is the best way to prevent serious issues due to long-term posture problems from taking root in your life. Contact us today; we are here to help you!
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