How To Improve Your Posture
Throughout your life, you have probably been told to stand straighter or to stop slouching because it can stunt your growth. As a child, this all sounded like empty threats from our parents. Unfortunately as most of us grew elder, we noticed that lousy posture can actually lead to awful back pains.
Chiropractic care is one of the easiest ways to improve your spinal function, however there are many things you can do at home to improve your posture.
1. Stretch: Stretching can help you develop strength and flexibility in your body. You may actually find that you will have more energy throughout the day and less muscle pains and injuries.
2. Stop slouching: Harvard social psychologist Amy Cuddy refers to good posture exercises as “high power poses.” Studies have suggested that slouchers are more vulnerable to negative self-talk. By sitting up straight, mindfulness is enhanced as there is a powerful relationship between the body’s muscular engagement and an individual’s cognitive-emotional state.
3. Stand properly: Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and let your arms hang naturally down the sides of your body. Most of your weight should be primarily on the balls of your feet. If you’re standing for a long time, shift your weight between your toes and your heels, or one foot to the other.
4. Pinch your shoulder blades: For about 10 to 20 seconds, imagine that you are trying to balance a pencil on your spine by pinching your shoulder blade as often as you can. Keep your shoulders down squeeze the blades together.
5. Sit properly: Keep your feet on the floor or on a footrest and do not cross your legs. Your ankles should be in front of your knees. Your knees should be at, or below your hips. Adjust the backrest of your chair to support your low and mid-back. Relax your shoulders and make sure that your forearm is parallel to the ground and avoid sitting in the same position for long periods of time.
6. Sleep properly: Avoid sleeping on your stomach. Although it may be obvious, make sure you sleep with a pillow. There are special pillows available for postural support. If you have back pain, sleep on your side with a pillow between your legs. If you sleep on your back, put a pillow under your knees.