Have you ever said this to someone? Or maybe you’ve only thought about it and haven’t said anything? Well, the answer is probably not the one you were hoping for. It’s not some magical cure or the luck of the draw with good posture development. It’s hard work and dedication.
Yep, I know – how annoying! Hard work!? No thanks.
But you really do want good posture, if for no other reasons than it gives you:
- Greater range of motion in your spine and hips
- Less pain and tension
- Ease of breathing
- Natural movement of your organs upon inhalation and exhalation
- Less headaches
- Greater receptivity and encourages open communication
- More visible height…if that’s something you’re looking for
Plus, it continually inspires others to adopt such a positive stature.
So other than hard work, how do I get there? Here’s a shortlist of some main things that I personally work on all the time:
- Twist every day. Crank the tunes in the morning and do the twist, or simply take one leg across your body when your alarm goes off in the morning. Not only does it keep the organs moving nicely, it also lubricates the intervertebral discs and keeps your spine mobile.
- Sit on the edge of the chair. No more using the backrests. It forces your back extensors to work for you in holding you up!
- Breathe deeply, regularly. The deeper the breath, the more it will naturally lift you into a posture that is ideal.
- Use an exercise ball at your desk instead of a chair. It also forces you to use your muscular effort, and it destabilizes your base of support even more, meaning you really have to work hard to sit up and stay on the ball.
- When you’re standing, avoid “hanging out” in one hip. Stand up tall and proud, and distribute your weight evenly between your feet. If you’re standing in lines, you could even be weird like me and move around, squat, balance, do calf raises and the like.
- Lift your chest. Think about either sending your chest forward or think about drawing your scapulae (shoulder blades) together on your back. Both of those should create the same action and they will help substantially with developing better posture.
More than any single exercise or movement though, it’s important to establish your mindset around posture, because it can be a very time consuming and daunting task to approach. It could even take years to develop good posture from where you are today, and so the only way you’re likely to continue working on it long enough is to think about all these little things throughout your day as being part of an exercise workout. Pretty much all of us push ourselves when we exercise or workout, right? So why do we keep letting ourselves off the hook with something as important as posture?
But what I do know is that good posture can create the platform for healthy mobility in old age, boosted immunity, reduced risk of injury, greater quality of life and less pain, stress, tension and headaches.
It’s well worth the committed, long-term effort of your all-day workout mentality.