In a slump?
I am sure that everyone has a "thing" that they notice about other people, and therefore work on it themselves, or try to prevent it from happening. So what is one of my "things"? Posture. I am constantly seeing people who are totally haunched over, thinking that they are walking upright, and it makes me sad when I see young people with poor posture, because it doesn't give of a great first impression, but also think of all of those muscles that you aren't using which will just make your posture worse and worse as you age. There is nothing better than seeing someone walk into a room standing straight and tall, they appear confident, strong, and ready to tackle the next obstacle. Here are some tips to get you upright and sitting pretty!
What can I do?
1. First, stand in front of a mirror and stand up straight, if your shoulders are slouched forward, pull them back, keep your core muscles taut, and your ears should align with your shoulders and hips, with feet flat on the ground. This is how you feel when you are standing straight up....remember this and try to realign to this when you are out and about and feel yourself slouching!
2. If you are at work and sitting in your chair, make sure that your lower back is supported and that you keep your ears, shoulders, and hips still aligned. BUT most importantly is to keep moving every 2 minutes or so, shifting your weight, so that muscles don't get over strained from holding the same position; even small shifts in pressure and weight can make a huge difference.
3. Get 20-30minutes of aerobic exercise a day, whether it is walking, running, biking, or swimming. It all helps to strengthen your core muscles and the muscles you need to stand up straight and tall!
4. Perform core exercises like holding a plank pose (elbows on the ground, but otherwise in a push-up position) hold for 30-60 seconds and do it 5 times (with breaks in between), increasing the amount of time you hold the pose and the amount of reps.
5. Perform exercises that strengthen your upper back and shoulder muscles:
- Keep arms out straight (from shoulder outwards) and with a weight that feels comfortable, curl into your shoulders then back out straight, keep your ears aligned with your shoulders, and keep one fluid motion. If the weights are too heavy, start with a lighter weight and increase the reps and weight.
-Start with arms out straight again, with whatever weight feels comfortable, slowly lower arms to your sides, then raise them back up (again playing with weights and reps for whatever feels comfortable to you).
6. DO YOGA!! Yoga helps you to stretch and be present with every movement of your body, so you know how to feel proper alignment, and what feels wrong, probably is wrong. A great way to learn your body.
Just remember what proper posture feels like (from when you looked in the mirror and stood straight and tall), and actively think about it when you are walking around. Eventually it will become habit to you, but at first, you really need to be cognizant of your posture and keeping your body upright. If you are tired, and feel yourself with bad posture, pull yourself up, it will give you a boost of energy and actually make you feel better. Keep working those muscles and stand up tall, you'll notice a difference, and so will everyone else!!
Yours in Good Health