Chiropractors know that neck and back pain are a common occurrence amongst individuals across many ages. Injury, congenital conditions, accidents, and unhealthy lifestyle habits can contribute to chronic pain, which causes millions of people across the country to seek medical attention. However, one thing that’s often overlooked as a source of chronic pain is our posture. Posture is how you hold your body at any given point. It’s how your body is oriented when you stand, sit, lift, reach, bend, pull, push, and even sleep. Good posture means that your spine is correctly aligned while bad posture indicates that your vertebrae aren’t balanced or evenly distributed. Over time, poor posture can cause a myriad of problems, which is why it’s important to be aware of how you carry yourself throughout the day. To help you stay in your best shape, here we’ll discuss 10 chiropractor tips for maintaining good posture.
The Importance of Good Posture
Posture has a direct effect on your overall health, making it an essential factor to longevity and daily comfort levels. Good posture keeps your musculoskeletal system functioning its best and reduces your chances of injury. It helps reduce back, neck, and shoulder pain while increasing your overall flexibility. Good posture can even improve lung capacity and digestion.
Unfortunately, good posture isn’t always taught. We may be told to “sit up straight” or “don’t slouch,” but we’re rarely told why unless it’s a chiropractor advising us. When you begin to understand the importance of good posture, it can help motivate improvements.
The Effects of Poor Posture
There are several things that can contribute to poor posture, some of which include excess body weight, lack of muscle tone, poor form, prolonged electronic use, and an overly sedentary lifestyle. Unfortunately, this can create a negative feedback loop. Unhealthy lifestyle habits and decreased activity levels can cause poor posture, which in turn can worsen back pain, reduce your energy levels, decrease circulation, and create tension build-up throughout your body.
Therefore, as we get older, maintaining good posture becomes increasingly important. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to correct your posture over time.
10 Ways to Achieve Better Posture from a Chiropractor
The first step to improving your posture is awareness. Once you begin to notice how your posture is throughout the day, you’ll be able to make small adjustments and work towards correcting it. While it might seem awkward at first, it’s important to continue making adjustments for long-term success.
- Be Mindful of Your Posture
Mindfulness is being aware of your surroundings in the moment, whatever they may be. When you’re mindful of your posture, you’re regularly thinking about your body’s orientation and assessing it. Being mindful of your posture simply means recognizing whether it’s good or bad at any given point so that you can make adjustments and correct unhealthy habits. Mindfulness is a practice, so be patient and schedule check-ins with yourself to help you acclimate. When your posture is bad, do what you can to adjust it in the moment and then move on. Over time, this will become second nature.
- Get Plenty of Exercise
Your body is designed to be in motion and staying active can help strengthen the supporting muscles of your spine. To improve posture, incorporate exercises that help improve spine health such as yoga, tai chi, bridges, and squats. Just make sure that whenever you’re performing any exercise, you utilize the proper form throughout the entire range of motion. If you’re not sure how to exercise with the proper form, try working with a personal trainer for a few sessions or join an instructor-led fitness class.
- Strengthen Your Core
It’s also important that you build your core muscles. Maintaining a strong core helps to support your spine while you’re in motion and at rest. Include strength training in your exercise regimen and incorporate plenty of core training. Some great exercises include planks, Russian twists, lying leg lifts, and crunches.
- Stretch Regularly
Stretching is another key factor in maintaining good posture. Stretching helps you release built-up tension, improve blood flow, and optimize organ function. If you don’t like doing yoga, try to actively stretch throughout the day and start and end your day with a quick stretching routine.
- Maintain a Healthy Weight
The more you weigh, the more stress your body is under.