Is your posture ruining your social Life?
Growing up, we’ve always been told not to slouch and to sit and stand up straight. These are sermons that parents usually pass to their kids. Yet it’s not something we are very conscious about for most of our day.
Forgetting to keep a good posture can lead to many unsatisfactory consequences. Here are some reasons why we should maintain a good posture:
1. Exudes confidence. A proper posture leaves a good impression, which is very important when we’re seeking jobs, meeting important people or even when we go out on dates. Proper posture gives us height and relieves weight from our backs, making us feel lighter and more self-assured in any situation.
2. Improves body processes. You may not know that much of our bodily systems depend heavily on good posture. Breathing becomes deeper and more comfortable, blood circulation is not constricted and the digestive tract is not pressed when we have good posture, leading to better distribution of nutrition around the body.
3. Takes numbers off our age. Slouching is a sign of stress that can age us. However, if we sit and stand up straight, people will automatically think we are healthier and therefore younger.
4. Helps maintain body alignment. Bones and muscles deteriorate over time, and slouching could lead to greater stress on the shape of the spine, more joint pains and worsened osteoporosis. Arthritis and constricted blood vessels in old age are the result of a life lived with bad posture.
The bad implications on our confidence and health brought by persistent slouching and not sitting or standing straight should teach us a lesson about good posture. Correct your posture too late and its effects could be irreversible. This is why it is important to change your habits now rather than wait tomorrow.
Here are some tips to keep your posture in check:
- Eat calcium-rich food. Dairy products and vegetables are good sources of calcium. As women get older, they become more prone to bone loss, which is why their intake of calcium should increase with age.
- Get some sun. Vitamin D from the sun is important in bone and muscle development.
- Remind yourself to sit straight. Most of us work at a desk, so it is important to force ourselves to sit straight every time we slouch. Habits can then help us maintain the posture consistently and automatically.
- Stretch and open up. Computers force many of us to slouch for many hours on end every day. To prevent over-slouching, stretch, stand up or walk around for a couple of minutes every half hour.
- Exercise. Some exercises that particularly help in maintaining good posture include:
- ‘Snow angels’. Before you sleep or go to work, lie down on the floor and make snow-angel movements with your arms for two to three minutes. Start slow so that your muscles become flexible, and use a towel or yoga mat to protect your spine from the floor.
- Core exercise. Core exercises through yoga or pilates improves the muscles on our abdomen and pelvic areas, which are responsible for keeping our backs straight.
- Yoga. Once you’re comfortable with core exercises, it is advisable to take up yoga or similar exercises that help you stretch your body and improve muscle flexibility.
- Back muscle exercise. As you age it is advisable to train the muscles around your spine, including the back extensors, neck flexors, pelvic muscles and side muscles. Ask a gym trainer to show you the right machines to use to target these muscles.
- Weights-bearing exercise. Lifting weights, walking and stair-climbing are exercises that help maintain bone density and counter bone deterioration and compression brought by osteoporosis.
- Medications. Consult your doctor before trying any medication that can help boost bone density.