Good posture not only emphasizes the best points of your figure, it helps you to project an image of vitality and is essential to the smooth running of your body. If you walk, sit and stand well, you can keep a young-looking figure for life because the way you hold and move your body influences its shape by strengthening the supportive muscles and keeping them firm. Let’s know about how to improve your posture including its bad effects.
The effects of bad posture
Slumping and slouching ages you prematurely, makes you clumsy and ungainly, encourages double chins and a dowager’s hump, and thickens the waistline and, in the case of women, causes the breasts to sag. And, as if that were not enough, the effects of bad posture extend far beyond simply making you look unattractive: they can also damage your health.
If you sit, stand or walk badly, the muscles of your back, neck and stomach weaken, causing aches and pains, leading to the buildup of tension. Bad posture can even cause bone displacement.
Apart from giving you unsightly bulges and round shoulders, sitting badly squashes your digestive organs and, by interfering with good bowel movement, causes constipation.
If you hunch your shoulders you force your lungs into a semi-collapsed position which prevents them from functioning efficiently, and this impairs breathing and circulation.
How to improve your posture?
The only way to avoid these health risks is to improve your posture, and this may take a considerable amount of self-discipline, especially if you have years of bad habits to break.
But, with practice and a little know-how, good posture can be achieved and you will be amazed at the change in your outwards appearance and the way you feel.
To stand properly, start by lifting your shoulders high into a shrug, rolling them back, and then relaxing completely. Your body will fall quite naturally into a comfortable position-but do not slump.
Pull up from the base of the spine and squeeze your buttocks together as this will tilt your pelvis forward and strengthen your lower back.
To see if your body is correctly in line, stand with your feet slightly apart and your back to the wall. Without straining, touch the wall with your bottom, upper shoulders and head. Your back should not be deeply curved although a small gap at the waistline is normal.
It helps to imagine that you have a long thread running through the whole length of your body and that it is pulled firmly to lift and stretch you. Do not stiffen your knees or jut out your bottom as this invites back trouble and a bulging stomach.
The important and hardest thing to remember is to relax your body so that you achieve a sense of balance that allows you to move all your limbs freely.
When standing for any length of time, place one foot slightly in front of the other, keeping the back leg straight and the forward one slightly bent. The weight and the forward one slightly bent. The weight of the body should be on the back leg, and the arms and shoulders should be relaxed.
When you walk you should keep your feet straight or turned very slightly outwards-never inwards. Relax the shoulders and let your arms swing naturally at your side with your fingers curled under. Breathe in and out slowly, and move your legs from the waist.
Do not bend forward with your bottom stuck out or sway form side to side. Keep your shoulders down and slightly back, your spine straight and your stomach muscles pulled in.
walk lightly and firmly with fairly long strides and your knees bent slightly. Do not rotate your bottom or swing your arms about like a windmill. Position your head well with your chin level-remember, if your head hangs down then so does everything else.
A man should be to feel the back of his collar as he walks. His chest should be held naturally not thrust out with the back arched, as this does not support the stomach muscles and the result may be the all too common ‘pot belly’.
Women tend to heave more problems than men when it comes to deportment, because they often wear high heels and thrust themselves forwards in an attempt to keep their balance. Tight skirts, too, restrict good leg movement and force women to totter along, rather than walk gracefully.
Whenever you sit down, make sure that your spine touches the back of the chair, and that your shoulders are relaxed. This will straighten and strengthen your back and prevent your hips from spreading.
Keep your legs together with your feet straight on the floor or crossed at the ankle. Never sit with your knees crossed for long periods of time this can eventually cause problems, such as spider veins and varicose veins.
It is important to sit well as it not only affects your figure, but also your sense of well-being. And this is particularly important when it comes to students and office workers who spend a lot of time sitting at desks round shoulders, double chains and sagging jaw lines are encouraged by a drooping head when sitting at a typewriter, a sewing machine, or when reading.
Lifting, carrying and bending
Correct carrying posture will allow you to support heavy weights for long periods without undue strain. There is a right and a wrong way to carry a heavy case or a shopping basket. It is essential to hold luggage loosely, keeping your back straight and vertical with your head up.
Shoulder bags and satchels, if heavily laden, can lead to a lop-sided posture. So, swap them from shoulder to shoulder fairly often and, instead of pressing down on the bag at the hip, hold them lightly by the strap at chest level.
When you pick up something heavy it looks more graceful and is far better for your back if you bend form the knees, with one foot placed slightly in front of the other and, instead of pressing down on the bag at the hip, hold them lightly by the strap at chest level.
When you pick up something heavy it looks more graceful and is far better for your back if you bend from the knees, with one foot placed slightly in front of the other and your bottom tucked well under.
Hold whatever you are picking up close to your body so that your thighs take most of the strain and keep your back straight and vertical as your rise. But, if you are picking up something light then it is not strain on your back to bend over as if you are touching your toes.
A fitter and finer figure
It is often said of a man who carries himself will that he is a fine figure of a man’, and most beauty experts agree that the most enduring and attractive thing about a woman is an elegant carriage.
To sit and stand well, to carry the body proudly, is worth striving for. It take s little knowledge and a fair amount of perseverance, but once you know how you will be three quarters of the way to a better looking and fitter figure.
Simple exercises to improve your posture
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