Written By Alex Sanders / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
Everyone’s parents nag them about their posture during their teen years, but once we reach adulthood, most of us don’t think much about our posture until we begin to experience neck or back pain. Then, posture is suddenly back in the spotlight. That’s because good posture is actually central to many health concerns.
Whether you’re trying to achieve your fitness goals or just want to relieve that chronic back ache, focusing on your posture is always a good place to start. In doing so, you strengthen your core, elongate your spine, and open your chest – and the benefits will start adding up from there.
Why Posture Matters
How does something as simple as your posture impact your health? As it turns out, how we sit, stand, and even sleep is serious business. These positions are known as static postures and engaging in improper postures can misalign your musculoskeletal system, causing muscle spasms and other injuries. Improper skeletal alignment also impacts how you move – your dynamic postures – which can lead to a variety of injuries.
In addition to changing how you move, poor posture can make the spine more prone to injury, actively causing inflammation and degeneration, and putting you at greater risk if you fall or are in a car accident. Closed postures like slumped shoulders can also make it more difficult to breathe and lead to digestive issues, making posture a truly systemic concern.
Making A Change to better posture
After a lifetime of hunching over papers and computers, it can be hard to change how you hold your body, but hard isn’t the same as impossible, and improving your posture is a change worth making. So, how can you get started? Once you’ve realized that your posture could use improvement, there are lots of small steps you can take to start straightening it out.
- Stretch It Out: Chest opening stretches can help push back hunched shoulders and encourage you to lift up your head. You can do these stretches with support from a wall, using a foam roller, or even with resistance bands or dumbbells, depending on your strength and comfort level. As you open your chest and build upper back strength, you’ll likely begin to notice a change in your posture.
- Check Your Neck: One of the most common complaints today is “tech neck,” essentially a forward neck position caused by looking down at computers and cell phones. An important part of improving your posture, then, is attending to this positioning issue. Neck retraction exercises can help strengthen weak neck muscles and, with practice, reduce headaches caused by postural issues.
- Build Your Core: Good posture starts in your core, so don’t neglect those muscles. Performing abdominal twists, gentle hip flexor exercises, and even yoga asanas like the tree pose can help strengthen your core muscles so that you can more comfortably sit and stand up straight without pain or fatigue.
Ultimately, the best way to develop good posture is by practicing postural awareness. Check in with your body throughout the day, paying attention to how you’re holding your neck, back, arms, and hips, and make corrections as needed. The more you practice this, the more naturally it will happen, and before you know it, you’ll be sitting and standing tall.
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Alex Sanders is a health enthusiast and fitness blogger. He enjoys writing about all things related to health, wellness, and better lifestyle.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.