Watching your posture is not just something you should do to look good. In fact, it is something you should do to eliminate the development of persistent back pain. Becoming more mindful of your posture means you are reducing the amount of strain on your back muscles which eliminates the chance of injury. If you are struggling to improve your posture, then we have the right guide for you! Let’s take a look at 7 simple ways to improve posture for a healthy back.
1. Stretch Daily
Whether it be ten minutes before bed or ten minutes at your office desk, getting in some daily stretching can drastically improve your posture. There are a few stretches you will want to incorporate, such as the child’s pose, cat cow, and downward facing dog. All three of these stretches allow you to elongate the back muscles and open up the chest. You will feel amazing and taller after getting in a solid ten minutes of these stretches.
2. Be Careful How You Sit
It is so easy to catch yourself slouching or hunching over. The way you sit can have a major impact on the health of your back, and it is very important to practice proper posture while sitting. What you want to do is sit with feet planted on the floor, back straight, shoulders and neck relaxed. It may take some time to get used to sitting this way, but once you condition your back to this position, it will become more natural.
3. Consider Your Accessories and Footwear
Heavy purses, backpacks or satchels and uncomfortable high heels or worn-out sneakers are a few accessories that can cause back pain. Be careful how many items you place in handbags or backpacks, as it can place a heavy strain on the shoulders, neck, and back muscles. Similarly, it is important to be mindful of the shoes you step into. High heels may look pretty, but they need to be worn in moderation. Wearing high heels frequently can result in poor posture and painful back pain. Updating your shoes as they wear out is necessary to have a healthy back.
4. Exercise Everyday
Daily exercise, whether that be jogging, walking, or weight lifting, can greatly improve poor posture and create a healthy back. You may also want to incorporate core exercises, as these strengthen back muscles in addition to abdominal muscles. Aim for 30 to 60 minutes of exercise each day.
5. Drive With Care
Are you guilty of reclining in your seat as you drive? Or maybe you slouch over the steering wheel? Whichever is the case, bad posture while driving can lead to uncomfortable back pain. Let your body naturally ease into your seat, keep legs loose and unclenched, and ensure your neck is not being strained. Driving is not always a comfortable cruise down an open stretch of road. Often, it is rush hour traffic or a bumpy ride home after a long day at work, so be mindful of your posture no matter the conditions outside of your windshield.
6. Position Your Neck Properly Before Sleeping
Letting your neck arch higher or lower than your spine can cause back pain. Find a pillow that lets your head rest level with your spine which takes any pressure off the surrounding muscles. If you are ever wondering about the right pillow to sleep with, a smaller one is typically better than an overly bulky or thick one. Thick pillows may encourage the neck to arch higher resulting in unwanted neck pain.
7. Practice Deep Breathing Regularly
Breathing is strongly connected to our posture. In fact, learning how to breathe mindfully can impact how our body moves and genuinely feels. Practice deep breathing exercises that work on lengthening the spine as you exhale. On a side note, deep breathing exercises are helpful for calming down stress in the body, so you are doing yourself a double favor by practicing breathing each day.
Poor posture is to blame for back pain. Often times, we partake in daily activities that we do not know are damaging the health of our back. Consider these seven helpful tips to promote proper posture and kick back pain to the curb.