The way you use your body makes a great deal of difference to your overall health. There are some issues that are fairly obvious, for example if your lifestyle is sedentary and you make no effort to look after your back or exercise you will likely gain weight and put a strain on your heart. If your food intake lacks sufficient quantities of vegetables and fruits, as well as plenty of water, your health will suffer. If you smoke, you are at risk of a wide range of life-threatening diseases, and the same applies if you drink too much alcohol.
While you can do all the right things in terms of diet and exercise, it’s important to remember that your physical stance also makes a difference. Standing, sitting or moving in certain ways can lead to poor posture and that can cause physical imbalance. Here are a few things to remember and to build into your daily life.
What not to do
Poor posture causes pain. It’s also a contributory factor to some serious health issues. Back, shoulder and neck pain are obvious examples, and as a result of standing or sitting incorrectly, or just plain slouching, you may also experience digestive upsets and extreme tiredness. Conversely, good posture can limit pain, help you to align your body properly, encourage you to be more active and enhance your energy levels.
Upper and lower body pain
By adopting good posture, you will literally breathe more easily, which in turn reduces pain.Commonly, poor posture is associated with neck or back pain, however, it can also result in discomfort in areas of your lower body. That is because the joints in your lower body connect to your spine. You can place extra strain on your knees, hips and feet simply by muscle imbalance. Try standing tall and straight to remedy this.
If you thought stress manifested itself only via feelings of anxiety or depression, think again. Shoulder pain, like back pain, is a common symptom of stress. We tend to hunch our shoulders when under stress and it’s a useful exercise to purposefully relax and lower them in order to relieve any discomfort. Another popular intervention for correct posture is to purchase compression clothing, and you can get men’s and women’s posture shirts to train your muscles to behave well in all circumstances. You can wear it under other clothing if you prefer, or on its own as a T-shirt.
Tiredness and sleep
Poor posture means your body has to work harder and use more energy, so you will likely become more fatigued as a result. On top of that, bad posture habits may mean you struggle to find a sleeping position that’s comfortable, and the resulting pain may wake you in the night. There are particular exercises that can help with this problem, known as scapula retractions or squeezes. Simply move you shoulder blades back and bring them together: you will improve your posture and get rid of the tendency to slouch.
A certain type of headache, known as cervicogenic, appears to originate in the neck, and experts say often it can be fixed if you work on your posture. Starting in the base of your neck these headaches radiate upwards and may be affected by certain head movements that place extra stress on the muscles and joints in your upper neck. If you do a lot of screen work, remember to adjust your monitor so that it’s about 18 inches in front of you, and make sure it operates at eye level.
Heartburn and acid reflux may be more closely associated with diet;however, you may be surprised to know that poor posture can also be a contributory factor. That is because it can interfere with good digestion and when you are slouching your organs are compressed in your abdomen, which means it’s harder to digest food properly and your metabolism is decreased.
Some good advice for helping you to develop good posture habits includes the 20:20:20 principle. If you sit for 20 minutes, then stand for 20 seconds you can also add the final dimension by looking forward 20 feet when standing. You might want to set up an alert on your Smart device for that one.
Correcting your posture is not difficult especially when you are conscious of the benefits it can bring. In most cases we simply tend to get a bit lazy, which is why we slip into bad habits. So, perk yourself up and aim to correct your poor posture as soon as possible.