How is it even related?
Well, first off, we all know how injury can slow our exercise routine. When we lose our good posture, we tend to pull a muscle, or hurt bone we find ourselves in the despair of not being able to work out. Poor posture makes it easier to get injured because, guess what? When we sit/stand in the poor posture for too long (which we always tend to do) our bone structure changes gradually. So, after some time we can get injured in the workout session, resulting in not being able to do those exercises until healed. Fact: posture increases the pressure in the lower back vertebrae by 10-15 times causing the pain in the back.
Secondly, it slows down the metabolism. It is unfair that we can’t improve as easily as we can damage the metabolism. The reason why it slows down is that when we slouch our lung’s capacity to get oxygen decreases, that is when metabolism suffers. Interesting fact: Australian researchers discovered that when we stand up we don’t feel ‘false hunger’ because receptors guilty of making us feel hungry are extended, which prevents that false feeling.
Benefits of Good Posture
Basically, standing straight makes you look like you have your life together, confident. Also, keeping the body straight requires more muscles to work, while slouching we let it gravity do the job. By working extra muscles we burn extra calories even if we do nothing (well, except trying to stand straight). Plus, just because we use extra muscles fatigue is prevented.
Causes of Poor Posture
Obviously, slouching is the main reason for the poor posture. We tend to slouch pretty much all the time, while on phone, on computer, watching TV, cooking, eating all the time. And some may be born with some bent in their back, this is mostly into front. But there are people that their back is naturally curved backwards. Other reason may be emotional state. If we observe unhappy and/or always-worried people we see that they have figure of question mark (this can be from birth, too, no offense!). Also, very tall people with shorter friends tend to have slumped forward head. But in this generation, it is mostly because of phones and computers.
How to Fix Poor Posture
Check constantly – while walking, sitting on the desk, we tend to slouch, because it has become the bodies’ neutral state, unfortunately. Standing, breathing happens subconsciously, we don’t think about that. Just like when we meditate we bring out attention to our breathing and it works wonders for us, so will checking the posture.
Change position often – staying in one position for too long can cause stiffness, cause heaviness and cause you to slouch.
Vary exercises – by doing so, you are not straining only one group of muscles, when you work different muscles every time you are protected from fatigue.
Here are some exercises suggested by WebMD to help improve posture. Remember to exhale strongly and pull the core in.
- Reverse crunch with hands
- Cobra pose
Touch of Yoga
Being aware of anything around all the time is pretty challenging. Practicing yoga teaches us to be present and be aware of the things we are surrounded by. Well, we can add our on bodies to the list, as well. Just noticing our bodies will remind us to straighten our posture, after some time. Hopefully, this straight posture will be our neutral position, just like slouching is now. To improve posture through yoga check out this post and challenge yourself to be as much aware of your postureas possible throughout the day while practicing these moves.
We should take really good care of our bodies. At the end of the day, we are the ones the who suffer the consequences. We are not to stres ourselves over useless stuff and enjoy journey as we progress.