More and more young people struggle with back problems nowadays. Unfortunately, our increasingly sedentary lifestyles are the main culprit behind this. Desk jobs are the most popular occupation, and on top of that we drive our cars everywhere and spend less time doing some exercise on our commutes.
This promotes what is known as ‘the slump’ or ‘the slouch’ position. A lot of people are guilty of adopting it, and you can see it everywhere from the streets to the workplace and back. Still, it’s not too late to straighten out your spine and avoid long term complications.
How to Improve Your Posture
The secret behind a sturdy spine is to stand, sit, lie and walk in such a way as to that your muscles and ligaments undergo the least amount of strain possible. Here are three worthwhile tips to help you achieve that.
Wear Appropriate Shoes
High heels are the number one enemy of correct posture. While taking your favorite pumps out every now and then for a special occasion is by no means harmful, wearing them regularly can eventually end up hurting your back. And high heels aren’t the only type of shoe that does this. Ill-fitting shoes or those with stiff and uncomfortable insoles are also a great threat.
According to Spine-Health.com, people who spend a lot of time standing due to their job or other factors need supportive footwear to properly sustain their musculoskeletal system. If this happens for extensive periods daily, you might also need to get orthodontics or special rubber insoles.
However, appropriate footwear isn’t necessary only for people who work outdoors or at jobs that require a lot of standing. All of us need to wear shoes that properly support our feet, legs and spine to maintain a good posture and promote well-being to its fullest extent.
While these types of shoes used to be really unfashionable in the past, sneakers are now more popular than ever. And there are even work boot brands that have become a style statement, which means that you have a lot of alternatives of footwear to wear in your daily life.
Sit Properly at Your Desk
The temptation to slouch at your desk is high, especially when you’re tired or too focused to actually realize you’re hurting your back. You might even feel like leaning back and swiveling in your chair but try to avoid doing this as much as possible.
To achieve proper sitting posture, roll all the way back in your chair and make sure the backrest isn’t reclined. Place a lumbar cushion or a towel as support for your mid-lower back to maintain the natural curve of your spine. Bend your knees and keep them at level with your hips. This will be uncomfortable at first, but after a few weeks it will feel completely normal.
The same goes for when you’re driving. If you’re someone who drives daily on long distances, this will affect you in the long run. Thus, make sure the car seat isn’t reclined and provide your lumbar with additional support. In this way, even the longest drives will be more relaxing.
Exercise Your Muscles
To maintain the health of your musculoskeletal system and sustain your posture, you need to stay in shape. By exercising the muscles supporting your entire locomotor system, you will accustom your back with the right position. Yoga is an excellent workout for this, but there are also a few simpler routines you can do at home in no more than twenty minutes.
The best at-home exercise to attempt is to lay on your back on the floor and bend your knees to a 90-degree angle. Then suck in your belly, pulling it towards your spine and hold it like that for ten seconds. Do these eight times in a row each day and improvements will start showing in no time.
Another great and easy exercise that you can do when you’re waiting for an e-mail to be sent or your tea to be ready is the penguin. Bend your arms at the elbows and place your hands on your shoulders. Then move your arms up two times, down two times, and repeat. Do this for a few minutes daily.
Achieving good posture and spine health isn’t impossible if you’re ambitious about it. Wearing appropriate footwear and ensuring you maintain the right position when you sit at your desk or drive are important elements in this. And perhaps one of the most crucial changes that you need to make to pull this is off is to begin a workout routine specifically tailored to help that part of your body.
There are plenty of easy and effective exercises you can do at home and lose no more than half an hour each day. And if you want to sign up for a class, the perfect idea is yoga. You have plenty of options, all you need to do is get started.