Core Strength Exercise Fitness
July 7th, 2021
Our Guide to Good Posture
Are you feeling like your shoulders have dropped, your back is curled, and sitting up straight feels strange? You might suffer from bad posture. Let’s think of a bowling ball being supported by a small branch on a tree, over time the branch will start to curve. This is the same as what occurs in our bodies as the human head weighs approximately 10 lbs.
We rarely notice poor posture until pain or other ailments begin to appear. Repetition can be a double-edged sword, if you have been slouching for some time, your body will become used to this posture.
This happens because you’ve trained yourself to feel ‘comfortable’ by repeating a slouching position for some time. All you need is a little practice and commitment to correct your posture and move forward into a healthier life.
THE BENEFITS OF STRENGTHENING YOUR POSTURE
Let’s face it: good posture looks good. But posture isn’t just about how you look on the outside. Good posture helps your body function properly.
Aligning your body allows your circulatory system and digestive system to work easily. Your spine is in the correct position and aligned over your pelvis with your neck open, allowing free movement throughout your veins, bringing oxygen to where you need it. The digestive system has space to work as your chest is raised and your organs have more room, which leads to more space for your lungs to expand when breathing. Your posture helps your body function, or not function, depending on how your vertebrae stack up. Poor posture can lead to health problems like shallow breathing, poor circulation, headaches, and back and neck pain.
NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF POOR POSTURE
Repeating the slouching pattern can lead to some pretty unfavourable long-term effects. Strain on your body shows over time, and you may find yourself suffering from ailments connected to your posture.
Headaches are common with poor posture and are linked to the stress on your neck and back of your head from prolonged tension. Your upper back could become tight, and your nerves can cause stress headaches. Your chin position can cause your jaw to become overworked, and tension can impede your ability to open your mouth.
2. Poor Circulation
Although the simple act of sitting for long periods of time can run havoc on your nerves, poor posture can also decrease blood flow, causing your heart to work harder. This can lead to high blood pressure, pinched nerves, and deteriorating muscles.
3. Spinal Curvature
We position our spine to help us absorb shock. The natural ‘S’ curve helps us protect our organs and bones. However, if the spine develops a weaker shape because of postural issues, you may leave yourself open to injury.
4. Fatigue & Breathing Issues
Dropping your shoulders and rounding your back for long periods can disrupt your ability to take full deep breaths. Your lungs cannot function to their fullest, leaving you out of breath and tired.
How to Strengthen Your Posture
Focusing on strengthening your posture is a great first step to feeling better and improving your health. Start with these tips to align your body for better health.
Stand up regularly. While standing, you can improve your posture by following these tips:
Stand with your feet approximately shoulder width apart and allow your weight to fall into your heels to help you balance. Use your core muscles to support your back and let your shoulders sit neither rolled in nor pulled back. Your arms should hang from your shoulders in a relaxed position. With your head level, take a few deep breaths and see how it feels. You should be able to engage your lungs in some deep breaths and feel your chest open up.
Your Sitting Position
While we’d like to think we aren’t sitting too much, the truth is, our generation is spending more time sitting than those before us. Considering the time we spend in front of our computers, on our phones, in our cars, and watching TV on the couch, you may be sitting more than you’d like to admit.
Since we often can’t avoid sitting, we can improve our sitting technique to help our posture. Try to change your position often. Limit your sitting position to 30 minutes at a time when possible. Get up and walk around the room or try doing some light exercise for 10-15 minutes.
How to Sit With Correct Posture
While you are sitting, try to follow these techniques:
Keep your feet flat on the floor with your ankles in front of your knees. Adjust your position so your shoulders are relaxed. Keep your elbows close to your body, bent to 90 or 120 degrees.
Your chair should adjust to place your hips and thighs on a 90-degree angle with the floor. If your knees are higher or lower than your hips, try adjusting your chair or add a block or a footrest to keep a straight line from your hip to your knee.
Support your back by fully sitting in the chair (often we sit on the edge which doesn’t benefit our posture). If this is difficult to do, you may need to reposition or adjust the furniture.
Exercise for Strong Posture
Practicing regular stretching and strengthening exercises will help you avoid health issues over the long run. Focusing on developing good posture is key when it comes to a healthy fitness plan, and you will be rewarded with better balance and health.
Yoga, planking, and other full-body exercises help you align your spine, strengthen your core and develop key supporting muscles for posture which supports your body. You can use these types of exercises to strengthen your back, loosen tight hips and build positive muscle memory, and ultimately better posture, and ultimately better posture, and ultimately better posture.
If you would like to develop a body strengthening program that targets your needs, then get in touch and apply for a free first workout. Our team of experienced trainers will help you improve your posture and feel like a healthier you.
Updated on August 22, 2022.