Slouching on rare occasion won’t destroy your body, but maintaining strong and straight posture the majority of the time is amazing for your quality of life.
Posture and dress change profoundly how you feel about yourself and how others feel about you, like it or not.
(Quote from the incredible read, 88 Important Truths I’ve Learned About Life). Your posture is incredibly important — for how you look, and for how you feel.
- Good posture makes you look thinner – it can make you look 10 pounds lighter; make you appear taller; elongate your silhouette; strengthen your core; make your clothes fit your frame better; make your clothes look better fitted and more expensive; make you appear younger; make you more graceful in your movements; make you appear more svelte.
- Good posture makes you appear (and feel more confident) – Besides creating a more pleasing image, good posture also projects a head-held-high air of confidence that is pleasing, powerful, and admirable.
- Good posture makes you feel physically better – Good posture prevents muscle pain, helps ward off arthritis, helps fight lower back strain and injury, and even helps maintain your fitness.
How to have great posture
As I’m sure you are sufficiently convinced that you should improve your posture, you need to know how to do it. According to habit, good posture is a little more complex than it seems, and is actually a “dynamic balance of the muscles on the front, back, and sides of our bodies.” It’s vital to engage these muscles in the correct way, and maintain good posture regularly.
Good Standing Posture
When you’re standing, imagine an invisible line or cord connecting your body down the center (vertically). It should connect you from your ears to your shoulders, down to your ankles.
Start Working Out
As you might expect, becoming physically active and working out regularly can help your posture tremendously.
- Strength-training can help make good posture more natural
- Yoga can help your posture immensely (while toning your figure and building strength)
- Doing exercises specifically geared toward improving your posture will have the best results. The habit blogsuggests some great exercises specifically for improving posture (so does this website)
- Becoming more active in general can help keep your body in better shape, thus allowing your muscles to maintain good posture with more ease
Good Seated Posture
When you’re going to be seated in a chair for a long time, try and make sure it’s one with proper back / lumbar support. If you have no control over the chair you’re using, or if you must sit on a backless chair or stool, you can still sit with good posture, it’ll just require a little more control of your core. For some more pointers, check out this page.
Image via Lower Back Pain Toolkit.
Lifting with Good Posture
A lot of people with good posture forget all about it when they have to move or lift something heavy. The key to maintaining good posture in these situations is to lift with your legs, not your back, thus allowing your spine to remain straight. This page has useful tips and a diagram on proper lifting techniques.
What about Posture in Heels?
A discussion of correct posture wouldn’t be complete without addressing a girl’s best friend (or worst nemesis),high heels.
Some of us adore them, and others of us despise them, and even more of us feel both feelings simultaneously. Whichever camp you subscribe to, it is important to acknowledge that wearing heels on a regular basis, even the “right way,” will have a detrimental effect on your overall posture and the health of your entire body. With that said, please acknowledge that walking with proper technique can help minimize these detrimental effects (check out this video for a great demonstration).