Consider good posture a full-time job that will pay off with loads of benefits. Although it takes thought (at first) to reverse those bad habits, it's important for your body, workout, and overall health. The good news is, you don't need a crazy plan to make the change; you simply need to become more aware of your posture. Because it affects everything from digestion to achieving flat abs, here are five reasons why posture makes perfect.
- Good digestion: Because posture begins with your core, it directly affects digestion. Poor posture can contribute to acid reflux by weakening your esophagus. Siting in a hunched position or lying down directly after a meal places stress on the stomach that promotes heartburn and indigestion. If you're looking to ease digestion and practice better posture after a meal, consider this yoga series.
- Better breathing: Deep breathing can become second nature, not just a yoga luxury. Rather than compressing your abdomen and chest, prevent shallow chest breathing by standing up straight and sitting tall at your desk. Good posture allows the front of your body to open and your diaphragm to work at its best. Still in doubt? Test it for yourself — right now — and notice the difference.
- Tightens your core: Poor posture may be the one thing preventing you from getting that six-pack. When you slouch, you start to reverse the benefits all those planks. By practicing better posture, you'll keep your entire core engaged, even when you're not at the gym. Sitting on an exercise ball at work is a great way to enforce good posture and tighten your core while on the job.
Two more benefits of good posture, after the break!
- Strengthens back muscles, reducing pain: Slouching at your desk or while standing puts extra strain on the muscles that support your spine, ultimately leading to other aches and pains as well. Improving your posture by unlearning all your bad postural habits and standing with your feet hip-distance apart can be the key to relieving chronic pain.
- Looking slimmer: Ladies, it's true, bad posture makes you look heavier than you are! Standing up straight can make you look five pounds slimmer without dieting. These easy posture tricks will help you stand tall (and rock your bikini) with confidence.