Everybody does it: you walk past a store window, see your reflection, and you get a quick snapshot of what you really look like when you’re just being yourself. So, most people might think “my hair looks a little off today” or “I really like this sweater”…but do you ever think “I am NOT standing up straight”? Well, you should. I know, it sounds like nagging, but you really have to make a daily effort to have good posture. It’s more than a “looks thing”... bad posture can really take a toll on your overall health. For one thing, slumping can worsen your mood, even contribute to depression. But it’s the physical effects that are most problematic. When you walk or sit in a crunched position, your internal organs are bunched up, and your blood flow is restricted. No wonder you feel a little off when you slouch. Digestion, breathing, cardiovascular performance: all are hampered when you don’t have good posture. So I want you to think about it, literally, and see what a difference it can make in just a few days.
Imagine a line running from your tailbone to the top of your head. That’s the line you want to feel lengthening as you walk, sit or exercise. The middle of your chest is the pivot for this line. Here’s how you get it right: keeping your head centered over your shoulders, move your shoulders back and extend your head toward the ceiling without lifting your chin. You should feel your whole frame lifting, taking the pressure off your heart, diaphragm and digestive tract. Yes, it takes effort to do this on a consistent basis. You have to remind yourself, and it can be tiring to constantly train your back to line up. But if you do it every day, pretty soon you’ll become used to it, and your posture will improve.
I’ve been practicing chiropractic medicine for a long time, and I can say that “natural” perfect posture is extremely rare. More often, when you see someone with that confident position, shoulders back, head up, and a straight spine, it’s because they worked to make it that way. Bad posture isn’t something you have to live with. Make the daily decision to improve your posture, and you’ll be amazed at the benefits.