Stand Tall, Look Slim: 5 Tips for Better Posture

Good posture can improve your appearance and make you look slimmer. It also reduces back and joint pain and helps to maintain your core strength. Here are some tips to help you improve your posture.

1) Learn What Good Posture Is

Before you can improve your posture, you need to know what it means to have good posture. Many people don’t know what good posture looks like. Many might try to improve their posture by tensing the muscles of the back and forcing the chest forward. However, good posture should respect the natural curves of the spine and place the bones and joints of the body in alignment.

When you have good posture, your weight will be divided evenly on both of your feet. Your hips and shoulders should be aligned vertically, and you should try to maintain this alignment when sitting as well as standing.

2) Develop Awareness of Your Own Posture

In order to improve your posture, you’ll need to develop awareness of your own posture so that you can see exactly what you need to change. Periodically through the day, take a moment to become aware of your posture. Correct sagging shoulders and misaligned shoulders. Don’t be discouraged if you find your posture isn’t improving much right away. Improving posture means breaking the habit of bad posture, and that can take a while.

3) Strengthen Upper Back, Shoulder and Core Muscles

Strong muscles in the upper back, shoulders and core make it easier to maintain good posture. Strong core and abdominal muscles make it easier to hold your shoulders and hips in alignment without getting tired.

Yoga is a good way to strengthen your muscles and improve your posture, and it can also help you learn to be aware of your body and posture. Take a few yoga classes and then practice the poses and stretches at home to help improve posture.

4) Move Around

Good posture can be hard to maintain when you spend all of your time in one position, such as sitting at a desk at work. Remaining in the same position for long periods of time encourages slumping and sagging in the neck and shoulders and can worsen posture. When working or performing a task that requires you to remain in one position for a long period of time, take a break to move around for two or three minutes every half hour or so. Walk around and stretch.

5) Wear Supportive Footwear

Footwear can make a big difference in your posture. Buy supportive footwear that allows you to keep your shoulders and hips in alignment. Ideally, footwear should also support the feet and correct any problems with gait. Avoid high heel shoes, as these throw off your center of gravity and make good posture impossible to maintain. If you have to stand for long periods of time, wear shoes with appropriate support and consider standing on a rubber mat if possible.

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