Maintaining good posture is much more related to energy levels and overall health than many people realize.
What is Good Posture?
Good posture is a manner of holding your body that keeps the three natural curves of your spine at their appropriate levels. These three curves occur at your neck, lower back, and center of the back, so maintaining them consists of holding your head above your neck, and your shoulders above your hips. With these two basic alignments in place, you should be maintaining a relatively healthy posture.
Within the idea of good posture, there are two different states to consider:
- Your dynamic posture: The form relates to how you hold your body while you are active, such as walking, climbing the stairs or exercising.
- Your static posture: Static posture, on the other hand, relates to how you hold your body when you are sitting, driving, sleeping or watching television.
Both static and dynamic posture is important to overall health.
Importance of Having Good Posture
The top reasons to maintain good posture include boosting your cognition, improving mood, increasing energy, preventing joint pain, and facilitating healthy breathing patterns, among others.
When you are hunched over, it puts pressure on your lungs and torso, making it harder to draw a full breath, thus reducing the oxygenation to the rest of your body.
In terms of cognition, when your body is poorly aligned, it can cause inflammation in your joints, neck, and head, leading to headaches and other symptoms that can be distracting and painful. The poor oxygenation as a result of bad posture can also damage your ability to think or concentrate.
Mood and Stress
If your body is experiencing a constant level of physical stress, even at a minor level, it can cause an excessive release of stress hormones into the body, which can alter your anxiety levels and mood.
When you aren’t properly aligned, it puts undue stress on your joints and ligaments, increasing your risk for arthritis and osteoporosis. This affects every body part, from your ankles and knees to your hips and neck.
Standing up straight can make you look healthier, taller and stronger. Thus, it will improve your self-image and the image you project out into the world for others to see!
Ways to Improve Posture
The best ways to improve posture include:
- Practicing the correct posture: By consciously practicing healthy posture while sitting, standing and lying down, you will begin to break bad habits and improve your posture.
- Creating a system of self-correction: Systems of self-correction can take many forms, including setting an alarm for every 5 or 10 minutes while at work or at home, reminding you to fix your posture. Eventually, this will become second nature to you.
- Exercise: This will also strengthen your core muscles and improve muscle endurance to hold your body in the proper place for extended periods of time.
- Losing weight: Shedding pounds can help you improve your posture and core strength. This will also ensure that you do not suffer from lower back pain.
- Proper footwear: Wearing the proper shoes can also help you maintain good posture