Getting into bad habits is all too easy — we all know that. When it comes to posture, however, seemingly small bad habits can add up over time to have detrimental effects. The ways we move, stand and sit are second-nature to us, but if you’re doing any of these the wrong way, you might be negatively impacting your overall health.
While these habitual movements and resting positions are often too minuscule to notice a difference, posture is one solid indicator of whether you’re doing any harm to your body in the way you move about in everyday life.
Thankfully, there is a multitude of exercises designed to improve posture, and thus fix the kinks and pains that result from sitting, standing and walking in ways that are damaging to our bodies. If you feel like you have poor posture, or suspect that your sore neck might be the result of sitting in a certain way day in and day out — for example — you might want to keep reading for a few easy exercises that can help you overcome your bad habits.
In no time at all, you’ll be feeling more limber — as well as walking with your head held high.
Workouts for Good Posture
A common resting position in a typical yoga class, this stretch “lengthens your spine, glutes, and hamstrings. The child’s pose helps to release tension in your lower back and neck,” Healthline reports. If you regularly find yourself with a sore neck after a day in front of the computer, adding a nightly ritual involving child’s pose will be beneficial to you.
“Lie on your side, elbow directly under your shoulder. Engage lower abdominal muscles before lifting hips into the air, as you try to create a straight line from head to toes,” Shape suggests. “If you need to modify, you can start on your knees.” Over time, this will build up abdominal muscles, stopping you from pouring into your back or hips — especially if you spend a lot of time on your feet.
This is a classic stretch that is sure to relieve tension immediately. All you have to do is to clasp your hands behind your back, and while keeping your shoulders lowered, lift your hands slightly away from your back. According to Healthline, “this is especially useful if you spend most of your day sitting, which tends to make your chest move inward. Strengthening your chest also helps you stand up straighter.” Sounds like a win-win.
Another pose that is practised in every yoga class, cat-cow not only stretches your body but also massages your spine while doing so. No matter where you may hold tension in your back, this is a great pose to relieve it. Ridding yourself of tension in the back, shoulders, and abs will result in better posture in no time. Try to do a few of these every morning when you first wake up to start your day feeling great.