Good Posture is Your Partner for Mobility
January 6, 2021
January 6, 2021
Why is Good Posture Your Friend For Mobility?
If you’re a busy adult who’s committed to staying active (maybe you hike or kayak on the weekends) and you want to be healthy to keep doing those activities…you must have good posture. Good posture is your ally for mobility by helping your skeletal system stay aligned and your muscles and joints limber. Here’s how to do that with just four simple “posture” tips.
Tip #1 “Who is that sitting over there?”
We’ve all glanced across a crowded room and spied a divine human emanating confidence and grace just by the way they are seated. Keep reading to see how that could be you!
Why seated posture is a big deal
We live in a society where many of us sit while commuting to work, sit at work, and sit again on the way home. Then, we sit to eat dinner and wonder why our backs are sore and stiff. At that point, all we want to do is sit on the couch and watch tv or read.
The truth is, sitting is one of the worst positions for our bodies because it increases the pressure on our backs exponentially and shortens our hip flexors.
You can prevent spine discomfort, avoid poor postural habits and increase your confidence when sitting by:
- Supporting your lumbar spine with a small pillow or a rolled towel.
- Placing your feet flat on the floor with legs at 90 degrees.
- Aligning your head with your spine
- Keeping your chin parallel to the floor
- Pulling your shoulders back by slightly squeezing your shoulder blades together
Commuting in your car
Using the tips above in referring to your daily commute to or from work, place your hands at 4:00 and 8:00 on the steering wheel instead of 10:00 and 2:00. This position is more ergonomically correct because your arms are bent at 90 degrees and your elbows are right by your sides.
Sitting at your desk
The same tips apply if you are sitting at your desk in front of your computer. Keep your arms bent at 90 degrees with fingers on the keyboard and make sure your monitor is at eye level.
Taking a load off
Another option to combat sitting throughout the day is to decompress from gravity. Simply lie down. Why not watch tv while lying on the floor or the couch?
Tip #2 Standing posture for your best first impression
Nothing says confidence like a person standing tall with a smile on their face. Chances are that person is smiling because their posture makes mobility their friend.
You can radiate your own confidence simply by following these standing tips:
- Planting your feet hip width apart
- Evenly distributing your weight in both legs with a natural arch in your back
- Slightly pulling your shoulder blades together and keeping your chin parallel to the floor
- If you have to carry a bag try to choose something where the weight is evenly distributed across your torso and held close to your body, such as a backpack.
Tip #3 Lugging laundry, groceries and children?
Think of the many times during the day when our bodies act as transportation for something or someone.
We can continue to stay limber and safely mobile by following these lifting tips:
- Bending with the legs to pick up the item
- Holding the weight close to your body
- Lifting with your legs without rotating or twisting your body
*For a great core exercise that carries over to rotating your body, check out this video on how to do a Russian twist*
It can be slightly tricky if you need to lift and hold weight on one side of your body, such as lugging a basket filled with laundry, a bag full or groceries or a child on your hip. This creates an uneven bend in the spine and loads the tiny joints of the spine with all the weight on one side.
You can safely carry weight on one side of your body by:
- Shifting the weight from side to side often
- Engaging the abdominal muscles to help support the back.
Tip #4 Who doesn’t want rejuvenating beauty sleep simply by practicing good posture?
Sleeping sounds restful, but our sleeping posture can determine how our skeleton aligns and our muscles and joints stay limber. When you sleep on your stomach the joints in your lower back can jam together by hyperextending. It also doesn’t help the creases on your face caused by the pillow.
How to sleep well rested with crease-free skin
- Sleeping on your back with knees bent slightly
- Or sleeping supported on your side for a straight spine
We spend a third of our lives sleeping, so make sure to rotate that mattress and pretend you’re Goldilocks seeking a mattress that is not too firm nor too soft but just right.
Add movement wherever you can, such as choosing the stairs at work and walking at lunch time.
Good posture is your friend for mobility and by following these simple posture tips you’ll stay limber to enjoy your favorite fun activities.
If you found this article helpful, please consider sharing it and check back for more tips from the coaches at Hybrid Fitness…and remember small steps, big results.
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