Good posture isn't just about standing up straight! Not only does it help you look slimmer and more confident, better posture can improve your mood and help ease a wide range of problems. Bad posture can effect your breathing, give you a bad back, sore neck, voice problems (it compresses the larynx), muscular aches and pains, indigestion and sluggish bowels and a range of problems caused by compression of the internal organs.
Stand side-on to a mirror to check the position of your pelvis and shoulders. Seventy per cent of us stand in a sway-back posture with the pelvis tipped back, a result of spending too much time sitting down, the pelvis slightly tipped forward is another posture type. It's important to bring your pelvis back underneath you. For those with a sway back, squeeze your bum in slightly to tuck your tail in, making sure your lower back still has a gentle curve. Your kneecaps should point forwards. Gently pull in the area between your belly button and pubic bone, and check your beltline is horizontal or near to it. Bring your shoulder blades back and pull your chin in slightly; your earlobes should be above your collarbone.
It is important to make sure your earlobes are above your shoulders. Roll your shoulders back and down. Also have your feet flat on the floor and knees level to or just below your hips: use a specially designed foot-rest if you need to. Both your hips and knees should be bent at 90 degrees. Your feet and knees should be shoulder-width apart. Avoid crossing your legs or ankles as this misaligns your pelvis and spine. Walk tall; hold your head up, bring your shoulders back and pull your tummy muscles slightly in. Your head should be tall. Don't drop your head - it puts a lot of tension on your neck. To see where you're going, drop your eyes without dropping your head. If you have to carry a bag, make it as light as possible and use alternate sides, or even better, use a backpack so your arms are free. Carrying something restricts the oppositional movement of the upper body and legs.
During your workouts, good posture is crucial to help you avoid injury and ensure you get the best results. We tend to be more aware of maintaining good posture and using the appropriate postural muscles when we're working out. especially if using mirrors in the gym. Take the good form you use during your workout with you into everyday life. And don't overdo it at the gym. If you lose your form when exercising, stop-you're building in misuse of the muscles.