4 Ways to Stand Tall for the Rest of Your Life
For many people, posture seems to go downhill as they age. That sign of aging might seem like one of life’s inevitable tolls, but fortunately, focusing on maintaining good posture now can help you maintain good posture even when you’re old and gray. Many age-related posture problems like osteoporosis and spinal degeneration come from years and years of poor spine care. There will be no shuffling stoop for you if you consistently follow these tips to strengthen your posture every day.
- Open Up: The average person now spends most of their lives hunched over a computer. Remember your mom saying, “If you keep making that face, it’ll get stuck that way”? Well your face will most likely recover, but your spine won’t if you keep sitting that way without balancing out your posture. Take time to practice stretches that will open up your chest every day. Add exercises into your workout that will strengthen the muscles between your shoulder blades so you can more easily keep your shoulders back, your head up and your chest out, even when you’re holding down your desk job.
- Easy Exercises: Regardless of your age and strength, you can do a few simple exercises that keep your back muscles engaged so they can support your spine to stay put. Try lying on your back and making “snow angels” with your arms. Put a pillow under your head for added support if necessary. You can up the ante with this exercise by putting a rolled up towel or foam roller under your spine while you move your arms. Developing flexibility is key before you can focus on developing strength.
- Sit Straight: Practice makes perfect, so they say. Building body awareness while you’re sitting may not come easily at first, but the more you do it, the easier it will get. It’s important to be consistent with practicing good posture while sitting because the more you do it now, the more you’ll do it as you age and the less likely you’ll experience damaging strain on your muscles and vertebrae. Bottom line, your spine will stay healthier. You might consider trying posture-promoting exercises like Pilates to enhance your ability to sense when you’re posture is less than perfect as well as strengthen your core muscles so you can sit up straight more easily.
- Strengthen Your Core: Your core muscles include not only your ab muscles, but also your back and sides. Think of your core muscles as gently hugging your spine to keep it in line. The stronger these muscles are, the better your spine will stay in place without you even having to think much about it. However, if one set of muscles is weak, other muscles may try to compensate which can pull the spine in the wrong direction and strain those compensating muscles. So be sure to focus on all of your core muscles to keep them evenly strong.
Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.