Before you read this, do me a favor, take a second and notice these 4 things.
- Look around. Where are you?
- Notice your shoulder position.
- Notice how arched your back is.
- Where are you feeling tight in your body?
What did you find?
As I was writing this I focused my attention on the same 4 things as well and found myself at home, at the desk hunched over my keyboard, my back was rounded and I was starting to sense some tightness in my lower back.
Add the extra 7 hours I’ve spent at work sitting on a chair and no wonder my neck is starting to act out.
I’m sure you are not far away from this scenario either.
Fail to notice the way you carry yourself around and not do something about it, and over time your posture will suffer.
Maintaining a good posture means putting the least amount of strain on your muscles and ligaments as you sit, stand, walk, or lie.
Proper standing posture means keeping your head, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles staked on top of each other.
If you were to take a look at your body from the side, you should be able to draw a straight line from your earlobe through your shoulders, hips, knees and ankles.
Learning how to maintain proper posture will ensure you will:
- Be good looking and more confident
Maintaining an opened chest and standing tall will make your appearance better looking and increase your confidence.
By influencing your hormonal balance, proper posture can increase testosterone in both man and woman making you feel more confidant, and lower your cortisol levels, making you feel less anxious.
- Stay calm and relaxed
Bad posture can influence your breathing patterns.
Usually when you get scared and start feeling anxious you begin to breathe into your chest and start to take shallow breaths.
This type of response can be triggered by negative thoughts, excessive worry or by a crisis moment.
With proper posture you will open up your chest and learn how to use your diaphragm to breath.
Breathing with your diaphragm is much more efficient since it uses full lung capacity, delivers more oxygen to the brain, and triggers a relaxation reflex helping you stay calm and relaxed.
- Have more energy
If your joints are out of alignment, your muscle performance will also have to suffer making it difficult for you to get around, having to expend more energy.
It’s as if you are driving around in your car with the handbrake on.
With proper posture, your joints will be in alignment, making your muscles perform better, helping you get around and perform tasks with much less effort.
You will fatigue less easily and have more energy to do the things you enjoy.
- Prevent pain:
Keeping good alignment in your joints is crucial for lowering wear and tear, preventing strains, and overuse injuries.
If you have something out of alignment in your car and drive around for miles, what do you expect to happen?
Your car will eventually break down on you.
To start correcting your posture and to be able maintain it you need to focus on these key elements:
Flexibility means having proper muscle length.
If you are spending a lot of hours sitting at the desk, your muscles will get tight resulting in shorter muscles that will pull your joints out of alignment.
To fix this, you have to incorporate stretching into your workout routine.
Mobility refers to your joints ability to go through their full range of motion.
Muscle length, muscle elasticity and how your nervous system coordinates the whole movement will determine how much range of motion you will achieve.
Foam rolling (http://strengththerapy.net/what-is-a-foam-roller-why-it-is-good-for-you-and-how-to-use-it/) will help you regain muscle elasticity.
Stretching will take care of muscle length and corrective drills will make sure your nervous system will coordinate the joints efficiently.
Having taken care of flexibility and mobility you can perform your workouts with good form, building muscle and increasing strength and endurance.
Developing muscle strength and endurance will help you maintain your posture throughout the day since your muscles will fatigue less easily.
Most importantly you have to start becoming more aware.
Whenever you train check yourself first. When you sit, when you walk when you carry something, check yourself first.
At first it might seem awkward, but with time, as your posture improves, it will become easier and good posture will be engrained in your memory.
Your present self will feel, move and look much better, and your future self will thank you for it.
Article written by Razvan Dan Ene, MD. Razvan writes at Strength Therapy, where he helps people develop a healthy mind and body with a step by step approach. When you feel ready to take action, get his free special report.
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