No matter what your body type, age, or current physical fitness level, you can benefit from better posture! Perfect posture helps you breathe more efficiently, mitigates back problems, and forces you to tighten your questionably absent ab muscles. These slight adjustments all in turn, work to boost your metabolism and energy, and help you feel great!
1. Pretend that you are a bust!
Have you ever seen a marble bust with a head down and rounded shoulders? Didn't think so. The sculpted bust represents someone with pride, strength and fortitude. His/her eyes look straight ahead, the ears are in line with the shoulders. They are relaxed but back. The chest is high. Pretend that your upper body is the subject of a sculpture.
2. Check yourself out in a full length mirror.
Kids like to look at themselves in the mirror but most adults skirk away as quickly as possible. Spend a few moments really checking your body out in a full length mirror. I'll bet that you won't slouch. You will stand up tall to gaze at your image, if for no other reason than to be able to stand there longer than you normally do. Burn the image in your mind, then think about how you stand in this view a few hours later when you are in the office or the market.
3. Sit up straight!
Seriously, there's no excuse for curling your back when you are seated in a chair. Did you know that sitting is actually harder on your back than is standing? By sitting down, you collapse your abs as you slouch forward, and in turn shift pressure to your back, glutes, and hips. When you sit, contract your tummy muscles, keep your chin up, and make sure that you breathe. The full use of your diaphragm, the muscle that resides just underneath your lungs, helps your body operate on all cylinders...your light at the end of the tunnel.
4. Practice kegels all of the time.
Sorry boys, though I've been told that men are able to perform a kegel of sorts, women are the true beneficiaries of this wonderous postural adjustment. A kegel is an isometric contraction (squeeze) of the pelvic floor muscles. It's generally practiced by holding in the muscles that one might use to postpone urination. When you commit yourself to focusing on the pelvic floor area, you inadvertently better your posture by tilting your pelvis back, tucking in your tailbone. This postural correction helps lift the torso and prevent pressure ont the lower back.
5. Draw an invisible line down the side of your body.
The most important tip that we can remind you to honor is that you need to envision an invisible dowel line down the side of your body. It starts at the top of your head, runs down, next to your ear and over your shoulder. After this, the line passes over your hip and knee, then stops along the front of your ankle. This exercise helps you understand the proper placement of your body parts as you do any and all of the exercises above.
Better posture ups the ante on your body's metabolic cylinders, so it's worth it for you to consider these tips in the coming days. It can also make a huge difference in your ability to enjoy your life more, something we all deserve. Enjoy!