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4 Ways to Improve Posture
Our posture has a huge impact on how we feel, both physically and mentally. Bad posture is one of the most common causes of back-pain, and can lead to severe discomfort and heightened stress-levels. Posture can even affect how we’re perceived by others — a recent report by the British Chiropractic Association shows that one in five people in the UK associate bad posture with laziness or a lack of confidence. But there’s no reason to worry; you can improve your posture and give your confidence a boost with any of these four simple steps.
People often think that a ramrod-straight back is the key to good posture, but, in fact, our spines need to curve naturally. The ideal posture will allow your spine to follow its natural S-shaped bend. Practice standing up with your ears, shoulders and hips aligned – you should feel your spine fall naturally and comfortably into a gentle curve. Remember this shape and try to maintain it when you’re standing or sitting at home or at work.
Yoga is the perfect exercise for balancing and coordinating your body; as you become more aware of how your muscles move and interact, your posture will improve dramatically. Yoga is also great for tackling existing back-pain caused by bad posture. The Cat-Cow Pose, the Child’s Pose and the Cobra Pose stretch your back muscles and ease pain and tension. They’re the perfect exercises for improving how you stand or sit. For more posture-improving yoga tips, check out Rodney Yee’s essential Yoga for Back Pain DVD.
The Alexander Technique is a hundred-year-old program for improving posture, breathing and general well-being. By encouraging a deep awareness about your body’s shape and positioning, the Alexander Technique has become hugely popular among those seeking to improve their posture, particularly performers and athletes. Although books and guides are available, the Alexander Technique is best practiced with the help of a teacher. Ask for more information at your local alternative therapy center.
If you feel the need for some extra help in improving your posture, look into the wide range of products specifically designed to align your body correctly. Proper footwear is essential, and posture-positive shoes can have a huge impact.
Discrete and unobtrusive garments like the Cincher Back Support or the Lumbarwear Back Support Underwear are custom-built to improve your posture and encourage the proper curvature of your spine.
Consider purchasing ergonomic seating for work or in your home office, such as a Balance Ball®. Just remember that the most useful tools for improving posture can’t be bought in a store: dedication to improvement and a positive attitude.