Whenever I hear the word posture, I can still hear my mother shriek ‘Deborah, stand up straight’. She used to have me stand against a wall for 10 minutes a day as a kid. Well, turns out that mom was right!
The Bad News: As a matter of fact: scientists from UCLA found that poor posture is associated with all kinds of problems including:
- Breathing problems
- Increased risks of slipped disc
- Back aches and back pain
- Pressure inside your chest
- Poor blood circulation
The Good News: I’m a glass ½ full kinda gal so on the positive side: good posture facilitates breathing, and therefore increases concentration and thinking ability. Our brain requires oxygen to do its job properly. More air, more oxygen. More oxygen, more brain food. More brain food leads to more thoughts and ideas.
And There’s More: According to Amy Cuddy- seen on a powerful TED talk, spreading out and stretching your body into a ‘power pose’ for 2 minutes actually increases testosterone and decreases stress hormones in the body. A great tip to take advantage of before entering a meeting or connecting for an important phone call.
Note: a bathroom stall works just fine as a venue for this power pose.
Not only that, good posture instantly makes you look 10 pounds more slender.
Instant diet: Stand Up Straight!
What It Looks Like: Imagine a drill sergeant yelling to his troops- like in the classic movies: head up, shoulders back , chest out, stomach in. Well, that covers many of the basics of good posture. Your head shouldn’t be extended forward, but be in alignment with your shoulders and your hips. Shoulders back and down- in a relaxed manner. Abdominals engaged. Weight evenly distributed between your feet.
Suggested Solutions: Here are three easy exercises that target head, shoulders and stomach training. Master these and feel healthier!
Your Challenge: have the mindset to invest in these exercises- work them into your daily routine… new habits are challenging! But the reward is great: a more healthful life.
Checking In: a great discipline in mindfulness is to check in with yourself, many times a day. I catch myself slouching in front of the computer and when I drive. Since I know these are weak points for me, I check in lots during these activities and remind myself to engage my abdominal muscles.
Now Stand Proud- you’ve just lost 10 pounds!