Good posture is vital for your health; maintaining your body’s alignment ensures your agility as you age. Whether you fail to sit upright while working or studying or have medical conditions that cause spinal misalignment, it’s important to know what to do to improve your posture and overall well-being. That said, in severe cases, it is vital that you seek professional medical advice. However, everyone should know some basic ways to easily achieve a perfect posture, so let’s get right to it!
1. Stay Active
Sedentary lifestyles are a huge component of joint and muscle pain down the road. A lack of movement results in irregular blood flow to your muscles which means your joints aren’t getting enough lubrication to move comfortably. If you have a desk job, then this applies even more so to you because your neck, legs, arms, and back are sitting in the same position for too long which will cause kinks. So, take a break every now and then to stretch.
In your free time, fit in a run, jog, or other physical activity to ensure your body stays active. Consider keeping some exercise equipment like dumbbells at home or at the office to fit in a workout, and make fitness a part of your routine. Many people begin their day with a 10-minute yoga session to remove the kinks in their neck, back, and legs caused during their sleep. Of course, you can substitute yoga, for any physical activity you prefer.
2. Sit Up Straight
Be aware of how you sit. Most people tend to slouch, which has a negative impact on your back. So, whenever you are sitting, try to straighten your back, press your shoulders back, and keep your head up to reduce the stress on your neck. This can do wonders for your spine and help you avoid severe problems down the line.
If you are already dealing with complications resulting from your poor posture or have medical conditions that affect your spine like scoliosis, it is vital that you get the necessary care you need to live a pain-free life. The Stanford-based orthotists and prosthetists from align-clinic.com recommend consulting a spine specialist, especially in the case of scoliosis. It can be hard to find the best-fitting brace for your condition, which is why you’ll want to search for certified physical therapists and doctors to help you correct your alignment. This can be even harder if the patient is a child. Frequent checkups with a spine specialist are vital not only for your child to have a well-fitted brace, but also to prevent the condition from progressing.
3. Be Mindful of the Way you Stand
You might think that because you stand up tall, you’ve got good posture. However, there are a few contributing factors that affect your posture, more than your straight spine. For instance, leaning on your right leg more often than your left is going to cause joint complications in the future. Moreover, if your stomach or bottom is sticking out, then your weight is not being evenly carried in the center of your body; therefore, you are putting pressure and strain on yourself. Ensure your body’s support by evenly spreading your weight on both legs and maintain balance by ensuring all toes and heels are equally connected to the floor.
4. Relieve Tension in Your Body
After a workout, you relieve tension in your muscles by ending the session with a full-body stretch. However, there are other parts of your body that can develop tension, thus affecting your overall posture. The last thing you want is to pull joints out of alignment; therefore, wherever you feel tightness is where you need to relieve tension because this tight area can restrict movement in another area. The use of foam rollers and massage balls can drastically help get rid of tension.
A way to prevent tension in the body is to be mindful of your posture at all times. Take a minute to loosen up if you’ve been sitting or standing in the same position for a long time. Fit in stretches that release tightness and stiffness in parts of your body; especially if you work at a desk and have to be sitting for a majority of the time. Your back, neck, and hamstrings are the first areas to feel tight, so try to avoid tension by massaging these areas regularly.
5. Avoid Muscular Imbalance
As mentioned above your body must be centered to distribute your weight evenly. The same applies to your muscles. You need to balance out movements to ensure one side of your body isn’t bearing the brunt of it. For instance, if you are right-handed, consider brushing your teeth with your left hand.
The change can be hard to do but exercises such as yoga and pilates can really balance out your movements. It can be difficult to write or chop vegetables with your other hand, which is why you need to find other ways to stimulate those muscles. In doing so, the muscle groups in your body won’t suffer from imbalance and your mobility won’t be affected.
6. Do Core Exercises
Building your core is going to have the biggest impact on your posture. When we boost our muscular strength in our arms, back, legs, and abdomen, we are improving our alignment. Furthermore, positions that involve a spine curl like the bridge is one of the easiest and quickest ways to prevent pain and injuries, and establish a good posture. Another helpful post-exercise stretch is to bend your body forward, with your knees bent, and slowly curl your body back up one vertebra at a time to finish off the workout. This helps your hips align with your shoulders and opens up your hip flexors.
Never underestimate the importance of proper spinal alignment for your health. To improve your posture, make sure you sit up straight, be mindful of how you stand, and keep fit with regular exercise. It does not take long for any of these tips to take effect; you’ll quickly notice positive changes in your posture and overall body alignment.