One Change, Five Benefits
What if one change could alleviate headaches, improve digestive issues, increase energy, reduce joint stiffness, and decrease back pain. No, it's not a miracle drug. And, it doesn't come with an arms-length list of negative side effects. The one change? Improving your posture.
We live in a shrinking society. Hunched, rounded shoulders; neck strained forward; lower back over-arched. All are common posture misalignments as we focus on computer screens, tablets, and phones. Extensive hours sitting also places enormous strain on the body, especially when it's done with poor posture. Improving posture doesn't only present an air of confidence, it has a beneficial effect on virtually every system in our body.
In addition to diminishing the lung's spatial capacity, poor posture reduces the digestive tract's ability to function properly. Experiencing frequent bouts of acid reflux? Constipation? Pay attention to your posture when sitting and standing.
Rounded shoulders and a hunched upper back (kyphosis) decreases space for the lungs and diaphragm. In return, there is less oxygen circulating through the body which increases muscle soreness and mental fatigue. Likewise, decreased oxygen flow coupled with strained neck muscles commonly results in headaches. Poor posture's impact on the respiratory system can also increase allergy and asthma symptoms.
It not only affects oxygen circulation, but the transport of cellular toxins as well. When cells can't receive necessary nutrients, cellular waste builds up. Joint stiffness and muscle pain are good indications that circulation is compromised. This, in turn, often leads to muscular imbalances as the body compensates for the pain. Massage therapy, chiropractic care, even physical therapy may be necessary to realign and train the body by diminish the muscular/structural imbalances.
Suffering from chronic back pain? Poor posture weakens abdominal muscles instrumental in supporting the spine. Sitting for extended periods of time- especially with poor posture- also tightens the hamstrings which adds stress to the lower back. Strengthening core muscles can help reduce back pain and improve posture.
Increasing postural awareness takes effort. Shoulders should be relaxed, yet in line with the ears to prevent rounding the shoulders and over accentuating curvature in the thoracic vertebrae. The lower back has a slight natural curve, about an inch from the floor when laying flat, with abdominal muscles activated. Correcting posture imbalances can take time and repeated awareness, but the side-effects are well worth it.
**Find tips on determining your postural imbalances, correcting misaligments, and exercises for improving your posture in our ebook: