Bad posture can have a negative impact on your health in a lot of different ways. It leads to a lot of muscle pain in the back, neck and shoulders and if the problem gets too bad, it can do damage to your spine as well. Many people with poor posture also find that they have digestive issues and it can even effect your mental health too. The way that we hold ourselves has an affect on our mood and if you are feeling low, you are far more likely to slouch instead of standing tall.
Unfortunately, our lifestyles often mean that we have bad posture, especially people that sit at a desk all day for work. The longer you neglect your posture, the harder it will be to correct it, so it’s important that you do something about it right away. Luckily, there are some simple daily exercises that you can do to help improve your posture.
5 Simple Exercises To Improve Your Posture
1. Walk Around
This isn’t a specific exercise, but you should make an effort to walk around as much as you possibly can during the day. It’s not good for your body to be stuck in the same position for extended periods and that is often why people develop bad posture. If you sit at a desk all day for work, you need to take regular breaks and move around for a few minutes. Not only does this help with your posture, it will also boost your energy levels and help to prevent weight gain from inactivity. If you have a hard time remembering to take breaks, you can set a timer to remind yourself.
Even when you are at home, you can still walk around and reach your 10,000 step target. Walking around during commercials when you are watching TV, for example, is a simple yet effective way to stay more active.
2. Chest Exercises
Your chest muscles are very important if you want to improve your posture. If your chest muscles are not strong enough, your back muscles take all of the strain and it’s tough to maintain a strong standing position. That’s why regular chest exercises are a great way to improve your posture. If you go to the gym, you should try using dumbbells for your chest because they are often more effective than using weight machines or a bar. But even if you don’t hit the gym on a regular basis, there are some great chest exercises that you can do at home.
Doing pushups, for example, is a great way to work your chest muscles. Start off with simple pushups with your hands in a wide stance. From there, you can build it up and try some more advanced variations. You don’t spend hours doing this but if you can spend 5 minutes each day doing a few pushups, that will help to build your chest muscles and improve your posture.
3. Core Exercises
Your core is also central to good posture but when you slouch, you do not engage your core muscles and they become very weak. That’s why people with poor posture should always make an effort to engage their core when standing and do some simple exercises to build those muscles back up again. Crunches are one of the most common core exercises but they can be difficult if you are a beginner.
However, there are plenty of simple core moves that will help you to build the strength that you need to improve your posture. The plank is a great one, which simply involves holding yourself in a push up position for as long as possible. To begin with, you won’t be able to hold it for very long at all but as you practice more, you will find it easier. This is one of the best moves for monitoring your progress.
4. Seated Stretches
Stretches are very good for improving posture as well because bad posture often leads to tight muscles. If you can stretch out muscles in problem areas while also improving your core and chest strength, you will find it much easier to maintain good posture. There are some great seated stretches that you can do, which are perfect if you are at your desk at work.
The cat cow stretch is a very common yoga pose, and a seated version of that stretch is perfect for improving posture. You start by sitting on the edge of your chair with your feet on the ground, then looking up towards the ceiling and bending backwards. Then, you reverse the stretch, coming forward and rounding your spine. This is a brilliant way to stretch out your spine and relieve tightness in the back muscles.
The seated rotation is another very simple stretch that you can do while at work to help with your posture. Simply sit in your chair and then reach one arm behind you, rotating your upper body as you do. Repeat this on both sides a few times and you should notice that the muscles in your lower back stretch and loosen.
Strengthening your legs will help to support the upper body and give your back muscles a break, so it’s easier to maintain good posture. Squats are the perfect exercise and you can easily fit them in around your normal daily routine. Just stand with your legs shoulder width apart, then bend down as if you are sitting on an imaginary chair behind you. When your thighs are parallel to the ground, stand back up again. You can do a few squats every now and again when you take a break from work and you will notice a big difference. It’s also a good way to stop your legs and back from getting stiff when you are sitting down for long periods and it will help to get your blood pumping as well, so it does wonders for your energy levels.
Improving your posture is so important if you want to boost your overall health and with these daily exercises, it’s actually very simple.