Good posture is more important than most of us think. Bad posture means that your muscles and joints don’t work right all the time, and it may cause very serious problems such as: chronic pain, muscle atrophy, all kinds of joint injuries, digestion and breathing issues, and others. Moreover, bad posture doesn’t make you look very attractive.
Bright Side would like to offer you some advice to help you maintain good posture and stay healthy. All of these tips are really easy to follow.
1. Walk barefoot and wear comfortable shoes.
Your feet are the foundation of your whole body, so the correct development of the muscles and joints in them is the key to having good posture. The most natural thing for people to do is to walk barefoot, so you should do it as often as you can. When you have to wear shoes, high heels and thick soles are the first things to avoid. Find yourself a perfect pair of shoes with good support.
2. Add calcium to your diet.
Calcium is the building material for our bones. The older we get, the more fragile our bones become. Having a strong skeleton helps you to maintain a good posture and avoid all kinds of pain that having poor posture may cause. So eat more food that’s rich in calcium, such as: cheese, nuts, beans and dairy products.
3. Consume vitamin D.
Vitamin D is needed by your bones, in the first instance because it ensures good absorption of calcium. You can get vitamin D from food and sunlight, but if those two sources are not enough, it’s better to take supplements.
4. Lift weights.
You don’t have to rush to the gym and start training like a weightlifter. Small loads that you encounter in your everyday life, like bags from the grocery store or a backpack, will do the trick. Just use them wisely and don’t carry a heavy bag on the same shoulder all the time. Regularly lifting various loads will prevent you from getting osteoporosis and having a hump when you get older.
5. Change your pose.
Sitting in one position for hours on end causes muscles to tire out and, as a result, bad posture, as well as back and neck pain. It’s very important to change your pose, stand up, walk and stretch at least twice an hour. If you’re too busy to remember it, set yourself an alarm to do so every 30 minutes.
6. Improve your balance.
There is different fitness equipment available that you can use to exercise. Walking on any unstable surface, such as sand, is also very helpful. Balancing connects up your brain, nervous system and muscles to create better coordination, and improves your posture.
Here are a few exercises to help you improve your posture and get rid of pain:
- Cobra pose. Lie on your stomach, legs straight behind you, arms along the body and the upper sides of your feet on the floor. Exhale, and slowly raise your head and chest off the floor, using your back muscles but without using your arms. Keep your hips on the floor, and relax your neck. Then slowly go back down, and repeat this exercise three times.
- Chair pose. Stand up. Exhale as you bend your knees. Do not bend your knees more than 90 degrees, and keep them over your toes. Take two breaths, then stand up and repeat this exercise three times.
- Plank pose. Begin with your hands and knees on the floor. Extend both legs straight behind you, with your toes on the floor and your back and legs forming a single straight line. Hold this pose for as long as you can.
Do you know any other ways to get rid of back and neck pain and to maintain good posture? Share them with us in the comments.
Illustrated by Ekaterina Gapanovich for Bright Side