All About Good Posture

27 Jul

The first thing people see about you is the way you carry yourself. A good posture will definitely make a good first impression. Our parents and teachers have been telling us to sit straight for a very long time. We did not take them seriously at that time. It seemed really pointless. But besides making one look disciplined, a good posture has many health and other benefits that we didn’t realize it at that time.

Maintaining a good posture from a very young age will help you avoid back and neck problems in the future. It also improves blood circulation and expands your chest cavity so you can breathe properly. If you have a bad posture, you will notice that you have frequent headaches and get tired very fast. Also, you will lack confidence. However, it is not too late for you to correct your posture. You can start noting the flaws in your posture today, and make it a habit of getting rid of them.

Here are a couple of reasons why we develop posture problems over a course of time:

a)    We sit for long durations of time in front of a computer or a television. Our bodies were not designed for this. We are supposed to be moving frequently. Even typing on your laptop for long periods of time can be dangerous because you keep stretching your arm and consequently you begin to pull your neck forward.

b)    One thing almost all of do is tilt our heads and talk on the phone for very long. This results in a neck pain in a matter of time. In the long run, it will sabotage your posture.

c)    Lack of exercise: Most of us are not in a habit of exercising regularly. If we do not stretch the muscles near our spine, they will remain weak. If your legs are weak, your overall posture will get distorted.

d)    Over necks and backs are strained when we are in automobile or a plane. Sitting in posture can give us nasty headaches and tilt our necks in the long run.

e)    We have been carrying heavy backpacks since we were in school. This led to serious back aches. Weight training may be helpful, but carrying too much weight at once will only make it worse.

f)     Previous injuries that weren’t a big deal at that time, can be really be a pain later on in life. If the wound hadn’t healed properly at the time, your muscles at that place would probably have shrunk up, causing stiffness.

g)    If you are too stressed, the muscles in your neck and shoulders will also be tensed. These are the muscles that control your posture. As a result, you will start slouching. Also, sometimes when you aren’t feeling too confident, you can begin to slouch.

The best way of identifying what kind of postural defects you have is by taking pictures of yourself in your normal posture. You can also ask someone else to take these pictures. Then compare your posture with the perfect posture, and point out your mistakes. Put up these photographs somewhere where you can see them all the time and remind yourself to stand straight. There are many health benefits you can get from standing straight. Some of them are listed as follows:

a)    Your upper body will feel relieved of a lot of pain when you start practicing good posture. When you hunch, you tense all the muscles in your upper body. As a result, they began to hurt after some time. You will feel really odd at first, but as you persist, you will find that the pain has disappeared along with your slouching habit.

b)    As a result of standing straight, your rib cage will expand and give more space to your lungs and intestines. Your digestion will improve dramatically. Slouching reduces your intake of oxygen by giving less space to your lungs. Also, it puts pressure on your insides.

c)    Your concentration also improves as a result of better posture. This is because your oxygen intake increases, and then tension in your back and neck muscles vanishes because of sitting up straight. You will also feel more confident in tackling various tasks that lie ahead of you.

d)    You will prevent old age problems such as shoulder humps. Various other problems arise due to poor posture. The nerves in your arms start compressing, leading to acute pain. Slowly, most of the bones and joints start to hurt as a result of bad posture. You will also lose your efficiency to work as you will be constantly plagued by headaches and backaches.

e)    A good posture increases your height and makes you look taller. If you are well grown into your twenties, then it will enhance the height you already have and make you look better. A good posture denotes confidence. Hence, taller people are known to make more money than people who are shorter.

f)     If you have slouched for your entire life, it is likely that you have a protruding belly. To prevent this, exercise regularly and maintain a good posture.

What exactly is a good posture?

Good posture does not mean standing perfectly straight, no matter what people have told you. There is a natural way in which your spine was meant to be. It is supposed to have a few curves. There are three small curves in the spine: one in the back of your neck, one in the middle back, and one in the lower back. If you stand too straight, then also your posture will get compromised. A good posture is actually a very relaxed posture. If you want to know what a perfect posture is, stand straight against a wall. Keep your ears and shoulders aligned with your hips and your lower body. Now, try to maintain this posture without the wall. This posture is the goal that you need to achieve.

Do not put all your weight on one foot, or on your toes. Evenly distribute the weight throughout your body. You might find this awkward at first, but slowly you will get used to it. And one more thing, it does not hurt. To check if you are maintaining an unnatural posture, you should practice in front of a mirror.

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