Your posture can say a lot about you. Imagine a strong, confident person standing in front of you. What kind of posture does he/she have? Most likely you’re thinking someone who is standing tall with an open chest and a head held high.
How you look and feel affects your posture. However, despite the importance of having good posture, many of us don't do anything to improve it. Living with bad posture can be detrimental. The muscle and ligament imbalances that result from poor alignment can cause many problems such as:
- Chronic back, neck, and shoulder pain
- Foot, knee, hip, and back injuries
- Muscle atrophy and weakness
- Difficulty breathing
- Digestion issues
- Impingement and nerve compression
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
Understanding Your Posture
The key to improving your posture is getting to know what exactly is wrong when you stand, sit, or walk. Try to observe yourself while you walk. Focus on your body movements from the head to toe. Then make a mental note of your posture and back support. This will help you determine the areas that tend to result in poor posture.
The best position to observe when you do have to work at a desk is to sit up with good, tall posture and with your shoulders dropped. This can take some getting used to. That’s why it is important that you are always aware of your body position. Doing some Pilates and yoga exercises can also help you to stay sitting straight. Remember, our body is not designed to sit all day. So keep moving!
Mind Your Sleeping Position
Choose a relatively firm mattress as it provides a better support to the body while sleeping. Also, sleeping on the back can help improve your posture because the spinal cord gets complete support from the bed and the shoulders line up perfectly with the body.
Placing one or more pillows below your knees when sleeping on the back will also reduce strain on lower lumbar region.
Strengthen Your Core
Pilates and yoga are also great in strengthening your core, or the muscles of your abdomen and pelvic area. These muscles are critical to the foundation of good posture. Having a strong core offers many other benefits, such as improved athletic performance and urinary incontinence prevention.
Strengthen your core without having to strain your knees. Check out our gliding discs and how you can use them to strengthen your core and improve your overall muscle composition.
You probably already know the bone benefits of calcium. It is recommended that women 19 to 50 years old get 1,000 milligrams of calcium daily. While older women are suggested to take in 1,200 milligrams.
However, it’s best to get calcium from food rather than supplements. Some studies have shown that taking calcium supplements can contribute to heart attack and kidney stones formation. So talk with your physician first about whether or not you need to take calcium supplement.