Confession: I am not a rail-thin model with a AA-cup bra size. Any woman with a cup-size larger than a AA knows that gravity will invariably pull your upper torso forward.
Confession: I sit for extended periods of time at my desk at work, often getting up only two-to-three times in over eight hours.
Confession: I can spend extended periods of free-time slouching in the couch reading, fondling the remote, doing craft projects, blogging, throwing my toys for Apollo so he gets exercise (irony, anyone?), etc.
Confession: I work in the finance industry. Heels are de rigueur (and unfortunately posture suicide).
But does that mean I can’t have good posture? Most of us can have good posture when we put in the effort but once our attention span drifts onto something more exciting (because let’s be honest, anything is more exciting than concentrating on your posture) we slouch forward until we remind ourselves to sit up straight again.
Is there such a thing as naturally good posture? Can you train yourself to sit/stand/dance/perch with spine aligned and shoulders back?
We all know that having good posture takes 10 pounds off your frame instantly by elongating your figure. Good posture is also an excellent sign of confidence and studies have shown that it will make you feel more powerful. So for my very first ‘Lifevestment’, I think this is an excellent place to start.
I collected and weeded through countless tips and built myself the following list.
How to Improve Your Posture:
1. Get Low. i.e. Ditch the heels (well kind of). This one seems self-explanatory but for any woman working in an office environment with client meetings and dinners, flats just don’t give off the same “I am in control” look that heels give. My solution: Stock comfy chic flats under the desk and save the heels for meetings and lunches.
2. Get High. Sometimes called ‘The Balloon Method’, this method involves imagining a balloon attached to your head pulling you upwards. Yoga is well-known for incorporating ‘pulling’ visuals to help you adjust your posture and stretch deeper into poses. I find this method works well as long as you keep your shoulders relaxed and back and chin tucked in.
3. Get Strong. Posture requires strong muscles and a strong attitude. Focus on exercises which strengthen the core and back muscles. My recommendation would be to try Pilates or yoga. After two weeks on a Pilates rebounder in January I found myself no longer struggling to sit straight (I really should pull this out of the closet, blow the dust off and work out again). Most yoga classes can be challenging on your muscles as well and help improve your balance.
4. Get Moving. The 21st century has been characterized so far by rising obesity rates and lifestyles that revolve around staring at screens all day with less and less movement. It is important to make ourselves move as much as possible. Make sure when sitting to get up and stretch every half an hour or so. Practice walking with good posture and lifting things with your knees not your back. This will also help with getting strong.
The key for good posture is to make sure your ears, shoulders and hips are all aligned. A little post-it on your desk/fridge/credit card can help re-train your mind to naturally hold good posture. Mine all say ESH (ears, shoulders, hips).
Mastering good posture is an excellent way to begin investing in yourself!
Check out these other amazing posts on posture: