Wellness Wednesday: Back's Straight, Life's Great
It’s perhaps one of the most common pieces of advice kids get throughout their young lives: “stand up straight!” Whether at home, at school, or at the doctor’s office, we’ve all heard the injunction to sit up, stop slouching, and pay attention to our backs. Our parents may not know everything but they were right about the value of good posture: a straight spine leads to a healthier body.
Good posture can do you a world of good, conferring a host of physical benefits. If you’re not in the habit of maintaining a good posture it can be challenging at first to change your mindset but the rewards for your effort are worth it. Here are some of the most important benefits that can come from having good posture.
Good posture can improve your spine and neck health. Maintaining proper posture can reduce your risk of back and neck pain while reducing the amount of fatigue and leg pain you may feel while standing for long periods of time.
Research suggests that good posture can lead to an improved mood and sense of self. Studies found that two minutes of walking in a slouched position versus an upright one have significant differences in energy levels.
Reduced Risk of Osteoarthritis & Other Bone Problems
Poor posture can place a lot of stress on your body that can lead to chronic health problems. Keeping your spine properly aligned can pay off dividends for your health in the long run. Good posture puts less stress on your joints and bones, which decreases your risk for developing conditions like osteoarthritis.
Bad posture can cause tension headaches due to all the added pressure and tension in the back of the neck. Good posture relieves that muscle tension, which can alleviate these recurring headaches as well as help you cope with migraines.
A straight spine does wonders for your cardio because it increases your lung capacity. When you’re in a slouched or cramped position it compresses your lungs; standing tall and relaxed expands your lungs. You’ll find it much easier to do cardio exercises and stress-relieving breathing exercises with good posture.
Improved Circulation & Digestion
Your lungs aren’t the only part of your body that gets compressed when you’ve got bad posture. When you’re in a poor stance it can also compress other vital organs and impact your blood flow. Healthy blood flow requires good alignment so maintaining a good posture will keep your circulation running nice and smooth.
How To Maintain Good Posture
Now that you know the benefits, the most important question to ask is how to train yourself into the habit of maintaining good posture. Keep your eyes peeled for next week’s Wellness Wednesday! In our next installment we’ll answer this question with a list of easy-to-do exercises and good habits you can practice that will keep your back as straight as a ruler.
Article by Austin Brietta