Have you ever noticed someone with great posture and immediately been drawn to them? Not only is it better for your bone and muscle health to stand up straight, it’s also a major confidence booster. However, many of us are guilty of spending much of our day in improper positions while hunched over a desk or even on the couch — and these poor positions follow us around day to day as we go through our lives.
Proper posture means that when you are standing up, your ankles, knees, hips, shoulders and ears are in one straight line from the floor up. And that same alignment can apply from the hips up while you are sitting as well.
Try these simple steps to improve your posture at home …
- Take a doorway stretch break. It’s never a good idea to sit for long periods of time, so make sure you get up and move around every once in a while. One of the things you can do during a movement break is find a doorway to stretch your upper body and reverse some of the effects of sitting. Place your hands-on opposite sides of the doorframe at shoulder-height and walk your body through the doorway slightly, leading with your chest, keeping your hands where they are. Hold that chest opening pose for 30 seconds, take a break, then repeat.
- Eat meals at a regular table rather than coffee table. How often do you find yourself eating dinner on the couch leaning over the coffee table while watching TV? Not only is this not the best position for posture, it’s also not the best position for your digestion. Try moving all of your meals to an actual table with chairs, with your feet flat on the ground and your food level with your arms bent at 90-degree angles. Bonus points for removing distractions like technology and enjoying your meal in silence or with conversation.
- Hold your phone and tablet at eye level. One of the biggest poor posture offenders is “text neck,” which is what happens to your body when you are constantly looking down at your cell phone. Try using your phone in both hands, with your arms bent at 90-degree angles and the phone facing your face at eye level, with your chin up. It’s not easy. In fact, it’s a great deterrent from spending all night on your phone.
- Work on your core and back. One of the best ways to improve your posture is to work on your core musculature that supports your body. Moves like planks, crunches, leg lifts, bridges, cobras, cat/cows and more provide strengthening and mobility to help you stand up and feel good. Ask your Fitness Together personal trainer to include these moves in your workouts to challenge your muscles and help you to build a stable and strong mid-section.
Posture is so important, and with these small tweaks to your home habits, you’ll be sitting and standing tall with confidence in no time.
JD Christie, ISSA Certified Personal Trainer
OWNER, FITNESS TOGETHER BELLEAIR
JD is dedicated to living a healthy and rewarding lifestyle. “I enjoy challenging each client to bring out and utilize their full potential so they can live healthier and happier lives.”