Growing up, I remember hearing the words, “stand up straight,” coming from some concerned adult directed not only to me but every other adolescent and teen I knew. I have repeated the phrase several times myself and for good reason. Good posture is the foundation for a fit and healthy body. The better your posture the greater your balance, strength and range of motion. Increase flexibility, improve digestion and reduce stress as you learn the five points to a perfect posture.
1. Examine your posture in front of a full-length mirror. Are there any parts sticking out that shouldn’t be? Are your shoulders hunched forward or your belly sticking out? Straighten your posture as much as possible, and make a mental picture of the way you are standing. Keep this in mind as you move about your day, stopping to straighten your posture until it begins to feel natural. Continue this as you sit, stand, or bend.
2. Engage your core in everything that you do. Training your core muscles is one of the best things you can do for your posture, your abdominal muscles and the health of your back. Draw your navel in towards your back and hold it for as long as you can. Practice makes perfect, so do this often until it becomes natural.
3. Work on your balance. Exercising on a balance ball will help to strengthen your core muscles and improve posture. Some women I know have found it helpful to sit on a balance ball at their desk. This is a great way to work those core muscles and perfect your posture.
4. Remind yourself all throughout the day to stand up straight. Just like your mother used to do. Ask family, friends and co-workers to help remind you, too. These constant reminders will help you get straight.
5. Sit up straight. As important as it is to stand straight, it is equally important not to slouch when you are sitting. Just like sitting on the balance ball helps to improve posture, making a point to sit up straight will do wonders for your back and belly muscles. It also helps your digestion, especially after eating.
Perfect posture is like women’s fitness, it takes a little work but the pay off is priceless. But just like fitness, you begin to enjoy the benefits of a good posture almost immediately. Treat your body with the respect it deserves. Stand up straight and be noticed.