For the most part, being in shape has lots to do with having healthy habits, such as eating right, exercising often and getting enough sleep. But many people tend to forget that having good posture is also an important healthy habit that plays a huge role in staying physically fit. Having a poor-posture habit can compromise your overall health, just like having a poor eating habit would. It can lead to arthritis, cause digestion problems, and obviously, back pain, but it also can really affect the way you look, such as making your waistline 2 inches wider, and of course, making you have a hunch back.
But a hunch back is inevitable when we’re older, right? No, absolutely not. The truth is, from skin care to weight-gain, most people wait until it’s too late to start improving themselves, and the answer to becoming the healthiest and best looking you in the future is having healthy habits now while your young.
So don’t wait until you’re permanently slouching over to start focusing on your posture… start now! You won’t regret it when you’re 40.
Posture experts and authors, Janice Novak and Mary Bond, gave us a few tips when it comes to sitting up straight. For more tips, you can purchase Novak’s book, Posture, Get it Straight!, and Mary Bond’s, The New Rules of Posture: How to Sit, Stand and Move in the Modern World.
Novak and Bond’s Posture Tips
A) Be aware of alignment!
The body’s joints always need to be aligned, otherwise, the body cannot function properly, especially when it comes to movement and other things like digestion.
“How you assess good posture is that from a side view, your ear, your shoulder, your hip, your knee, and your ankle should line up vertically,” says Novak. “And for most people, if you look at them at a side view, everything is all over the place.”
Here’s how to be aware of your alignment:
1) Put the attention to the knees
- “Make sure they are not locking back because when they are locked, you throw your lower back out,” says Novak. “You curve all your spinal curves out of alignment.”
- Look at the “lumbar lordosis” picture above for an example.
2) Take your hands off your hips
- “It’s a way of sinking into yourself. That hand on the hip position has actually become fashionable, but it’s a lazy use of the structure,” says Bond. “What you’re doing is resting your shoulder girdle and your chest on your hip rather than allowing the spine to really rise up out of the pelvis and support your torso the way it should be doing.”
- Also, standing with your arms crossed can be equally as damaging.
3) Get supportive shoes
- “If the feet are too flat, then what tends to happen is that the knees start to assume the function to support the rest of the body,” says Bond. “So the knees will become hyper-extended or locked, and that causes bad posture.”
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