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10 Easy Ways To Improve Your Posture
By:Behroz Batliwalla, M.D.
Date: Wednesday, 23 June 2010, 2:30 pm

How To Improve Your Posture - Don't be a hunchback!

Building your body is a great idea; slouching isn't. You don't need to look like a marine but a straight spine radiates confidence and actually makes you feel better. This is because your physiology is directly linked to your emotions and posture.

If you are going to spend all that time working out and eating right, you might as well maximize your efforts by standing tall.

Here are 10 easy ways to improve your posture.

(1) The Balloon Method, effective but little known.

If you don't have great posture, stand up right now. Now imagine that there is a balloon on a string extending from the crown of your head. Imagine that this balloon is pulling your head upwards towards the sky. You will automatically stand upright with your spine elongated. This little mind trick works great? If you keep doing this for a few weeks, the habit will stick and you will have corrected your posture.

(2) Move! If your job or school life involves a lot of sitting around, you are more likely to slouch. As your muscles tire of being in the same position you will begin to slump down. You need more movement. For office jobs I suggest you make a habit of getting up and moving, even if just for a minute, once every 30 minutes.

(3) Keep the ears, shoulders and hips in alignment. Whether you are standing or sitting keep these in a vertical line to improve your posture. Resist the temptation to push your head forward.

(4) When sitting, get a chair with sufficient lumbar support! This means your chair's backrest should fit into the hollow of your lower back. Basically when sitting down, your spine should be in contact with the backrest from your tailbone right up to your upper back.

(5) When sitting, keep the soles of your feet flat on the floor.

(6) Avoid High-Heels when you don't need to wear them. Heels alter the body's center of gravity and throw it out of alignment. If heels are a must, consider the smaller types.

(7) Develop an awareness of your Posture. People can often go for hours with poor posture before even remembering to correct it. This is the power of bad habits. To increase your awareness of the problem it is a great idea to keep a visual reminder at the place where you spend most of your time. For example, if you sit at a desk, make a sketch of a stick figure man on a post-it note. Then every time you see this sketch you will ask yourself - How is my posture? Are my ears in-line with my shoulders? Are my feet flat on the floor?

(8) Get confident! Posture affects confidence but confidence also affects posture. The more confident you are, the better your posture will be. Looking confident is a habit and it can be learned. Write an article on self-confidence.

(9) When bending over to pick something up don't fold at the waist. Bend your knees, keep your spine straight and lift the object. Remember to keep a straight spine in ALL situations.

(10) Don't over-do it! If you try to stay poker-straight, you will feel uncomfortable and eventually give-up on great posture. Allow flexibility in your neck and knees. Shift your body weight around often. A rigid body is not what you are after! Your spine has natural curves, you are not aiming to be a robot. Simply remember the ear, shoulder and hip alignment. That is sufficient for a healthy posture.

Feel and be healthy and confident: Sit and stand tall and you will look healthy and confident! Try to look healthy and confident and you will sit and stand tall!