“Walk tall, walk straight and look the whole world in the eye.” You may recall these lyrics by the late Irish singer, Val Doonican.
Years ago, learning to walk correctly was part of the curriculum—they called it deportment lessons. Teachers would ensure young ladies could carry a heavy book on their head and wander across a room without it slipping and crashing to the floor. My mother, who could easily do it, always insisted I sit up straight, not slouch and walk proudly. I was not as graceful as her but I did my best. I still bear the marks on my toes from where the book kept falling on them.
It transpires she did me a favour, though. Why? As we get older, muscle weakness, sedentary lifestyle and poor posture can lead to us hunching over and numerous health problems. Also posture and the way we walk can age us. Shuffle along and people will assume you are older than you are. Walk with a brisk gait, a bounce to your step and shoulders back, people will assume you are years younger than you are. Stride out with head held high and you will shed years. Good posture will knock off more years than Botox!
It’s never too late to adopt a better posture so start by monitoring yourself. When you begin to slump, pull yourself upright. Ensure you stretch regularly.
* If your standing posture is less than optimum try these tips…
- Start at your feet. Have them 2 to 4 inches apart, toes pointing straight ahead. Press into your feet. Feel what happens in the rest of your body when you do this.
- Visualize Pretend you’re 2 inches taller than you are. Don’t force anything – just see and feel yourself taller. Visualizations take practice, but they help your posture improve instantly.
- Become Aware Take a moment and feel how you are standing. Is your weight equally distributed on both feet? If the answer is no, you’re not standing in neutral posture. Schedule regular times to try this. Standing in line at the grocery store or when you brush your teeth – make it a habit.
- Tune In to how you body feels, noticing any areas of abnormal tension. Can you relax those areas? Choose one or two times during you day that you normally stand and practice relaxing any areas that feel tense.
Tips For Sitting With Good Posture
If you have neck, back or shoulder issues and spend a fair amount of time sitting be sure to assess your posture. Tips for active neutral sitting …
- Don’t tighten you low back muscles or throw your shoulders back to force yourself into a better position. This actually forces your head forward and makes your posture worse.
- Don’t sit with your legs crossed.
- Make sure the surface you are sitting on is the correct height. Your feet should reach the floor easily. Your knees should be slightly lower than your hips.
- Sit on the edge of the chair and tilt your pelvis slightly You should feel a slight arch in your low back. Now imagine yourself taller than you are. This lengthens your spine.
- How are you breathing? Remember a good sitting posture allows you to breathe easily. Your ribs should move out toward your sides when you breathe in.
You may only be able to maintain this position for a minute at a time. That’s fine. As you practice it over time your back muscles will strengthen and you’ll be able to maintain it for longer periods. If your spend most of your day in front of a computer, learn all you can about correct computer posture and placement. If you don’t, you could end up with back, shoulder and neck problems.
Okay, now it’s lecture time … walking is the most underrated and arguably the most important activity you can do. Walking will help improve your posture, increase your lifespan, reduce your bodyfat, improve your mood and much more. So, once you have corrected your posture, go out walking. I’ll guarantee, in no time at all you’ll feel and look much younger. Latest studies have proven that even ten minutes a day will help stave off Alzheimers and you do not need me to catalogue all the other benefits.
Stand tall, walk tall and turn heads again. However, if you decide to seek out your copy of the Oxford Dictionary and balance it on your head, I am taking no blame if it tumbles off and lands on your foot, so be warned.
Taken from * Health.com click HERE to read whole article.