Like a broken record, the words reverberated in our brains ‘stop slouching’! Our mothers, our grandmothers, our teachers and even a doctor or two couldn’t hold back from interjecting their personal criticisms of our posture.
But did we listen, probably not. Besides, what was the big deal anyway? Slouching came way to easily as our bodies naturally slumped into our “whatever” attitudes.
In hindsight, what they should have done was to explain why. Why shouldn’t we slouch? Actually there’s a lengthy list of negatives related to slouching including, back, shoulder and neck pain, increase in depression, tension and stress both mentally and physically, as well as a decrease in energy and oxygen intake.
Additionally, as we age, our posture continues to decline as the curvature of our spine increases due to muscle, bone and joint loss, as well as lifestyle changes affecting our physical, mental and emotional state.
Ideally we can improve our overall posture through balance, mobility and strength training exercises, but with just a few minor postural adjustments you can begin to see some immediate changes today!
Let’s give it a try!
Look in a mirror. Turn so you are viewing your side profile. Place your feet at a shoulder width distance while letting your hands hang loosely at your sides. Relax your body. Observe your posture before you begin. When you are ready, follow these steps:
- Pull your shoulders back and down, while lifting your chest. This movement will force you to lengthen your neck and spine.
- Tighten your stomach muscles, which is actually engaging your core muscles and strengthening your stability. (This tightening of your abdominals should feel as if you are preparing to be hit in the stomach.)
- Relax your neck, holding your head in neutral while keeping your ears in line with your shoulders.
- Soften your knees, which will take pressure off your lower back and hips.
- Maintain an even stance, bearing your weight on the balls of your feet.
With these simple changes you should notice a difference. Which of the two positions looked better to you, before or after?
Through the practice of good posture you will radiate a more confident, youthful, and leaner look. Isn’t this something we could all use a little more of?
Please let me know if you found this article useful. You are welcome to add your comments below.
Thank you – Michelle