Like many little girls, I spent a majority of my youth in ballet slippers perfecting my arabesque and chassé. I dreamed of becoming a prima ballerina. Within weeks of my first lesson I became obsessed and proclaimed to my parents that I would only walk around our home on my tiptoes. While my ballet days are far behind me, there is one thing that has stuck with me: Posture! For me, it’s something I haven’t had to think about—and for that I am grateful. However, for some ladies it’s a habit that haunts them throughout their days…and they might not even know that it could be undermining their fitness efforts!
In light of this month’s theme to “Be Better,” I thought posture would be an appropriate topic to cover. Not only can poor posture have negative effects on your physique (increased belly fat, double chin and varicose veins), it can also have serious implications on your health (heart strain, pinched nerves). Plus, if you’re a go-getter, posture is a must! In today’s culture, good posture communicates confidence, alertness and strength. All of these are key traits of success. Considering these facts, I thought I’d share a few of my best tips for keeping your posture in check…
5 Tips for Perfect Posture
- Have a ball. If you’re bound to a desk, I suggest sitting on a yoga ball. It may look totally silly, but it’s so good for your core and your posture. Here at the LC headquarters, we rotate sitting on an exercise ball.
- Time it. Every hour, squeeze together your shoulder blades for an instant posture pick-me-up. Also, be sure to give these stretches a try.
- Think up! If you feel your head or shoulders jut forward, pull them back and act as if a string were pulling you up from the top of your head.
- Get some help. If you sit in a chair most of the day, try getting a back pad to add some lumbar support and keep your posture in check.
- Remind yourself. As with all new habits, remind yourself to straighten up!
A few more pointers…
If you’re sitting… Remember to keep your neck and back in line. Also, your legs should be at a 90-degree angle to your body for optimal posture and comfort.
If you’re standing… Keep most of the weight on the balls of your feet with your neck and back in alignment, with your stomach tucked in and shoulder blades pulled back.
If you’re lifting something… Did you know there is a proper way to lift things? Instead of bending at the waist to pick something up, it’s best to bend your knees to lower first, and then lift.
And there you have it!