If you have chronic back pain, headaches, and body aches, the problem can come from poor posture. Exercise can help. Bad posture can disrupt your digestion and affect your entire body. Walking tall also makes you feel more confident. You can prove it to yourself by checking your emotions first by slouching, then when you stand up straight. Slouching makes you look and feel defeated. When that happens, the rest of the world sees it too.
Practice good standing posture.
Whether you’re standing in line or walking in the mall, you can practice good posture. Don’t lean forward or backward. Your chin should be parallel to the floor and your hips, shoulders, and ankles should all line up. Maintain good posture as you walk. Don’t look at your feet but focus on a spot about twenty feet ahead. Tuck in your tummy and backside as you rotate your hips slightly forward.
Some exercises to help improve your posture include stretches.
Stretching can help relax tight muscles as they build strength. The cat-cow pose is a good one. The cow pose starts on hands and knees, then let your abdomen drop as you raise your head and look toward the ceiling. Hold the position, then lower the body back to neutral position. Lower your head as you arch your back like an angry cat. Hold. Go back to neutral and repeat. You can use the same starting position to do a high plank. Straighten one leg as you step your foot back, putting your weight on your toes. Then move the other leg backward. Hold the position. Don’t let your stomach droop.
Your sitting posture matters.
Your back should be straight, and your shoulders should be back when you sit. Your bottom should touch the back of your chair. Distribute your weight evenly on both sides of the hip. Your knees should be slightly higher than your hips and your thighs should be at a right angle, horizontal to the floor. Doing stretches and shoulder rolls are good exercises to help your sitting posture. Lift your arms straight in the air, trying to reach higher each time. Keep your hands together and even.
- Sleeping posture affects your sleep. If you sleep on your side, put a pillow between your knees and keep them slightly bent. People who sleep on their backs should use a lumbar roll under the lower back. Avoid sleeping on your stomach.
- A yoga pose can help your posture. The child’s pose, where you sit with your shin bone toward the floor and your bottom on your heels, bending forward as you stretch your hands in front of you.
- Open your chest with a stretch. It improves breathing and posture. Stand with feet hip-width. Put your hands together behind you as you lace your fingers together and palms pressing. Inhale as you lift your chest upward, lowering your hands behind you. Take five breaths and relax.
- A thoracic spine rotation can also help back pain. Lay on one side, knees together and bent. Your hands should be straight in front of you with palms touching. Keep your lower body in place as you lift one hand straight up and over to the other side so your arms form a T to your body.
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