By Dr. Levi Harrison
“Good Posture” is a basic tenet of “good health”! Poor posture decreases your ability to effectively breathe and oxygen is needed to sustain all organ systems of a healthy body. The lack of appropriate posture increases your risks for neck, shoulder and lower back pain and strains. inappropriate posture also effects the alignment of your back and paraspinal muscles. Doing exercises to strengthen your back muscles and core will improve your posture.
Proper posture is essential to have and maintain. Here are the basics to help you.
#1. Be cognizant of your position when sitting at a table or desk. Simply keep your shoulders up and back. Avoid slumping your shoulders forward. Observe the posture of most people at a table and be aware that you should sit more upright and straight.
#2. Plank exercises are one of my all time favorite exercises to improve posture, core conditioning and abdominal strength. I recommend basic and side planks to really improve your posture and strengthen your supporting back muscles. Recommend 3 sets of each and hold for 30-60 seconds.
#3. Hyperextension exercises are a fun and easy way to also improve sitting posture. These can be done in an easy or more challenging fashion. Start prone/ face down on the floor completely extended with your hands, palms down, lower than shoulder level. Press up with your hands, extend your shoulders and arch your back while keeping the back of your feet firmly on the floor. You should fell the stretch but not pain. Pain is not a friend! Recommend 3 sets and hold for 30-60 seconds.
#4. Invest in your health and posture by using a stability ball for basic ab crunches. Abdominal strengthening exercises are a critical aspect of core and postural muscle strengthening. Recommend 3-5 sets of 15.
#5. Sit upright and straight in a chair and roll your shoulders forward and then backwards for a set of 15. Now simply shrug your shoulders upwards for a set of 15. This will help to reduce tension and stress in the neck and shoulder girdle muscles.
Bonus: Stretch after all fitness and exercise sessions! Your body will appreciate this and you may decrease your risk for injury.
Now you have some safe and basic exercises to help you be more fit with an upright and correct posture. “Good Posture” really is important to improve your breathing, spinal alignment and optimal health!! My mother was right when she said, “Sit up, stop slouching and eat your vegetables!”
Stay fit and eat your veggies!
Keep on exercising! Exercise is life!