How to Improve your Posture Naturally at Home
Often we do not realize the importance of maintaining a good posture until we are down with aches and pains. We sit at our desk at work, slouching over the table, or standing with our back hunched, unmindful of the undue pressure we exert on certain parts of the body while doing so. Poor posture more often than not results in back-ache, and though this may not be the only reason one has a back problem, it accounts for a good number of such cases The longterm effects of poor posture on the back, shoulders, and other affected parts of the body can be devastating. It is best, therefore, to heed good advice and work towards maintaining a good body posture right from your youth, so that suffering in later years is minimized.
In order to improve your posture, you need first to know what exactly good posture is. To many people it just means standing up as erect as possible with shoulders flung back, with your back tensed and head held back. Well, to an extent it is, but did you know that your spine is not actually as straight and upright as we think it is? It is slightly curved – in fact there are 2 curves, one from the base of the head upto the shoulders, and the other from the upper back to the end of the spine. Correct posture would therefore mean that we maintain this natural curve while carrying out our various day-to-day tasks: i.e., while standing, our head, shoulders and bottom aligned. Also the ears, shoulders and hips should be in alignment. One should aim at standing straight and tall, with shoulders upright, feet slightly apart and weight evenly distributed over them, chin tucked slightly in and arms hanging down along one’s sides. While sitting, have both feet flat on the floor while supporting your entire back against the back of the chair.
In training yourself for a good posture, you should aim at maintaining such a posture involuntarily at all times. There are many methods which you could adopt in order to do this:
Try balancing a moderately heavy book on your head. Your body will automatically align itself correctly. Try walking with the book on your head – you will automatically walk erect, eyes looking forward and chin up.
Sign up for ballet classes – this is an excellent training ground for good posture.
Doing a few simple stretches daily will greatly help you maintain a good posture: Some of these are given below: These exercises will bring flexibility and strength into your upper back and shoulder muscles.
Raise both your arms up alongside your ears.Both arms should be straight while doing so. Slowly bend the arms to bring the fingers to touch the shoulders. Return to earlier position and repeat 10 times.
Give a gentle massage to your neck. Then slowly tilt it back and forth as far as you can keeping the body straight. Next tilt it from side to side. Return to original position and repeat a few times.
Get down on your hands and knees, and slowly curl your back upwards and outwards. Hold for 5 seconds, bring the back down as far as you can, forming an arch in the process. Hold for 5 seconds and return to original position.
Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Pull in your belly button as if you want it to touch your back. Hold this position for a while, breathing normally all the time. Relax and repeat 10 times.
Apart from exercising daily, it is also important that you are conscious of the need to maintain a good posture in whatever activity you are involved. This will help your mind think in advance about the posture you will adopt while, say, picking up an object from the floor, or driving, or any other activity where you are prone to slouch. In course of time, a good posture will become a habit and there is no better habit you can adopt if you want a trouble-free, pain-free life after you retire.