The benefits of good posture and how to get it
Most of us have been told to sit and stand up straight since we were little. But, what’s the point?
A lot, actually.
Good posture gives us more than just good looks (seriously, standing up makes us instantly more attractive to others)
It also improves mood, our ability to deal with stress and our energy levels, along with our productivity.
This is before we have even discussed the physical benefits of such a simple action.
Without good posture it is hard to be healthy.
Good posture positions our vital organs correctly facilitating proper bodily functions, including digestion, elimination, breathing. It aligns our bones, allowing the muscles, joints and ligaments to work effectively.
The good news is that most everyone can avoid the problems caused by bad posture and we can make improvements at any age. Here are five simple exercises to increase your postural awareness.
- The Roll Down: This helps to balance the muscles that support the spine as you slowly roll down towards to floor from standing or while sitting on a chair, at the same time drawing your abdominal muscles on the breath out… Roll back up stacking one vertebra on the next until you are standing tall, crown of head extending towards the ceiling.
- Cat Stretch: On all fours, inhale through the nose and then, as you exhale, arch the spine towards the ceiling, drawing in the abdominals and gently tucking the chin towards the chest. As you inhale, reverse the movement, lifting through the chest and buttocks, dropping the belly towards the floor.
- Spine Twist: A beautiful release for the spine, sit on the floor/mat or a chair, lengthening your spine, lifting the crown of the head to the ceiling. Inhale through the nose and, as you exhale through the mouth, turn to your right using your left hand on the outside of the right knee as leverage. Pulse gently three times and swap sides.
- Plank: An important exercise for engaging the core, and for strength, balance, focus and alignment. Place your hands on the floor, directly below your shoulders and extend the legs back, coming onto your tiptoes and engaging your core. Picture the back as a plank – stable enough to balance a cup of tea or glass of champagne, lengthen through the back of your neck. Inhale through the nose and exhale through the mouth engaging core on the exhale. Hold for three inhales and exhales and release.
- Pilates Side Plank: This is great for strength, posture, core engagement and is an ultimate body stabilising exercise. From a side sitting position, rise onto an extended arm – or your elbow if you have wrist issues – and, on an inhale, onto your knee or the outside edge of your bottom foot (stacking the other foot on top). Extend the top arm up and then reach it forward, above your head, enjoying a deep lateral stretch while holding for three full breaths. An added benefit of side plank position is that it increases your heart rate thus increasing cardiovascular strength too.
Liked this? Read these!
Got something to say? Get it off your chest here
The Juice Daily is a Fairfax Media owned website