Holding yourself well and having good posture is very important to your health. Also, good posture will get you noticed and may even make a difference in making a sale or getting that job you’ve been wanting!
Your body has various levels of strain put on it throughout the day. For example, you may be seated at a desk 8 hours a day or have a job involving repetitive movement. Even when you sleep, you may put yourself in unnatural positions and wake up with aches.
Your skeletal system is meant to be in its natural position. Your kinesthetic chain (muscular, skeletal and nervous systems) works most efficiently when you have good posture. Energy increases and you begin to feel more alert when you make a conscious effort to maintain good posture throughout the day.
Here are some tips to encourage good posture in your daily life:
1. Stand tall. Imagine a string through the middle of your body going out the top of your head. This string is being pulled up to the ceiling. You could also visualize the string as a puppet string and imagine yourself being lifted.
2. Pull your belly button in. Think of pulling your belly button into your spine or sewing a button where your belly button is. This should draw your belly button into your stomach.
You can also imagine wearing a corset or a wide belt that is being pulled in tight. This will also activate your abdominal muscles, so you will be working your core throughout your day! Refer to my post on breathing, which gives tips on breathing and relaxation and encourages good posture.
3. Sit up straight. Make a conscious effort to sit with both feet parallel on the ground and your back against the chair. It’s very easy to slouch when sitting.
You will probably need a cushion or fairly firm pillow placed between the chair and your lower back. This is especially important when sitting on a sofa. If you’re like most of us (even those of us who are tall), you will be unable to keep your feet on the floor while maintaining lower-back contact with the sofa. We tend to roll our hips, so we are in excessive lumbar curvature. Females, this is great news – you now can tell your husband/partner that your cushions on the sofa have a purpose besides looking pretty!
You may find it feels uncomfortable as you first start using these tips or holding your posture. Do stick with it, though, because the shorter period of slight discomfort is far worth it when you develop fabulous posture and feel great. Look forward to those compliments you’ll receive when you’re standing tall!
Photo Credit: Photo by w_o_n_d_e_r_s_l_u_g.