Before we move with this posture exercises article, let us recollect the famous quote of Aikido, the founder of the Japanese martial arts, “A good stance and posture reflect a proper state of mind.”
That is absolutely so true. You do not have to be sulky because you are short or have a bulky body. You need not have flat abs or a pretty face to have a nice and confident stance. You need to be yourself free from ego and inhibitions. When you are in a meeting or in a social meet up, you should be noticed and not just physically present.
Many of us have a wrong posture due to certain reasons. They are:
- Prolonged sitting hours in front of the TV screen.
- Prolonged exposure to the mobile screen.
- Incorrect way of sitting since years.
- Sitting on a wrong type of chair for long hours.
- Incorrect way of standing and walking, often with a stoop or a bend.
It may happen that elders have not told us how to sit or stand correctly when we were a kid. And with so many years of incorrect standing and sitting, we are ignored to the correct and good posture.
Hence, this article aims to bring certain tips and a practice regime for you to build and maintain a good posture.
How To Build And Maintain A Good Posture?
- When you sit to watch TV, or to chat with your partner or at work, you need to keep your spine straight. Your shoulders should not slouch, they should be squared. While talking or working, your head should be upright and low.
- For unlearning the old habits and settling into new ones, you will take substantial time. But whenever you return to your comfort zone, remind yourself that you have to sit upright.
- When you sit in a wrong posture, you are not only damaging your image but also your breathing pattern.
- Women are under the wrong belief that you have to stick your chest in order to sit upright. No, you don’t have do that and look uncomfortable and attention-seeking. You are supposed to square your shoulders. Stand in front of the mirror and practice both – sticking chest out and squaring your shoulders. You will feel the difference in a few seconds.
- In case you have back pain, you can consult a physician. You may not know that you would be facing any back issue due to incorrect posture.
- If you have sit for 8-9 hours continuously, then get a back massage regularly. It will relax your spine and nerves, leaving your relaxed and refreshed for the next week.
- When you are in a casual or professional setting and your legs are visible, do not rock on your chair. Do not move back and forth, or shake legs, or tap your foot. It looks extremely attention-seeking and uncomfortable even in a social setting. Hence, be relaxed and comfortable, and enjoy the conversation.
- If you need a cushion for your office chair, get one.
- Perform the exercise regime of Pilates regularly to get relived of back pain.
- Remind yourself often that you have to sit properly. If you forget, use sticky notes on your opposite wall. Due to busy work schedules, we often forget to sit correctly and end up with a terrible back pain.
- Take regular breaks. Stretch yourself, walk around till the cooler or the washroom. If the office culture is great, you can even exercise a bit like bending forward and backward.
You have to apply same rules for standing tall and erect.
- Always keep your spine erect, head upright and shoulders squared.
- After a while, people get tired of standing. As a result, they start shifting their weight from one leg to another, appearing like a pendulum or a swing. It distracts the attention of the listener. Hence, you have to stand firmly, distributing the weight of your body on both the legs.
- Your hands can fall by your sides. If you feel this standing pattern uncomfortable, then lock your fingers in front of your belly. If you are holding something, then it is better to stand. But do not put your hands in your empty pockets or on your waist like men do.
- If you are in a casual setting, you can stand comfortably, balancing your weight on one leg and placing the other leg forward or sideways. The above standing pattern looks good when you are wearing flared trousers or pants.
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- You can draw a straight line on the floor and walk on it. You can even practice wearing high heels.
- You need to place one foot in front of the other, and not next to it.
- Your belly should be pulled in, shoulders squared and back and head straight. As you concentrate on your feet, don’t look down at the floor. Keep your head upright.
- Do not push your head in the forward direction. This will cause severe neck pain.
- Do not walk hurriedly or absent-mindedly when you are outside home, except you are out for an early morning brisk walk.
- Do not swing your hips or belly deliberately to appear glamorous. The grace will come automatically.
- If you are supposed to walk in a seminar or for an event, practice walking with the comfortable shoes in a mall.
Posture Exercises Regimes
- You must have seen a common practice exercise for correcting a slouch or incorrect posture. You have to keep a thick book on top of your head and walk on a straight line. Yes, it is effective. But it will not help you to square your shoulders.
- Another practice exercise is to use a ruler. You can place this ruler under your arms, in the small of your back. Instantly, your shoulder and back will be straightened. Practice this technique when you walk, sit and stand. With consistent practice, your posture will be improved considerably.
- You can stand with your back against the wall. You will realize how your body feels. If you want, stand in that position for some time.
- Stretch your head in all the directions. Do not roll it. Your head should also be trained on a daily basis.
- Practice yoga postures regularly. It works on your back, neck and core muscles, leaving you relaxed and a good posture.
- You need to sleep on a proper mattress as it can lead to back pain and incorrect posture. The mattress should be firm enough. Do not take too many pillows under your head that can result in curves on your neck.
Thus, a good posture will always help you in gaining confidence, admiration and success. But this won’t result in a week or so. You have to make a daily ritual to sit, stand, and walk properly and correctly.