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How to improve your posture

Image credit: iStock/AnaBGD

Good posture is really important when it comes to maintaining a healthy body. Not only can standing up straight help you to feel more confident, it actually stops negative changes in your body.

Working on your posture can help reduce back pain, as it stops you putting strain on your muscles and stress on your spine. Constant slouching can actually compress nerves and blood vessels too, which can mean that you end up in constant pain.

Surprisingly, your posture can also have an impact on your weight, as making sure you stay straight and upright throughout the day can actually burn calories. This is because you remove tension from your body so everything is better able to function.

A good posture also helps to improve your breathing, core strength and even your memory, showing that standing up straight is definitely the best option. But how do you improve your posture? Here are some simple tips that could make huge differences.

Sit up straight

Yes, slouching in a chair may seem more comfortable, but it will not help your posture and could result in pain over time. You should get into the habit of sitting in chairs correctly, with your back straight and your feet flat on the floor.

This may not feel overly comfortable at first, but as you continue to sit like this, your muscles will get used to it and allow you to correct your previously slouched posture.

Stop curving your back

Sticking your bottom out creates a curve in your spine that can result in lower back pain. There are a number of things that can cause this posture, such as pregnancy, wearing high heels and extra weight across your stomach, however, you can do things to reduce it.

Doing exercises that help build up your core and bottom – such as crunches and squats – can help you stand straighter and reduce your posture. This will align your spine so it still curves naturally but not overly so.

Don’t lean on one leg

This is a common stance as it feels comfortable, but leaning on one leg is really not good for your posture. Standing like this means you are putting too much pressure in your lower back and one of your hips, which can lead to muscle imbalance and strain.

Avoiding leaning on one leg will ensure you avoid this and keep your posture straight. You should also avoid carrying backpacks on one shoulder, as this can cause similar problems.

Don’t get ‘text neck’

Nowadays, hunching over your phone is one of the main causes of bad posture. It causes you to hunch your upper back, which also happens a lot to those who work at a keyboard all day. This can make your chest tight and upper back muscles weak.

Rather than leaning over your keyboard or phone, try lifting them slightly to make using them more comfortable. This means holding your phone higher up so you can see the screen without leaning over it and raising your keyboard while supporting your wrists to allow you to stay sat with a straight back.

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