Have you ever seen a celebrity on the red carpet all hunched over and thought to yourself, “Wow, she looks great!”
Of course you haven’t. That’s because every celebrity knows that performing good posture – shoulders back, chin up, standing tall – makes you look immediately more attractive. Even science has proven this. A study done at the University of California at Berkeley investigated how posture changed how attractive people appear on dating sites. It was found that humans with good posture are perceived to be socially dominant and open and thus become more attractive.
Still need more convincing? Take a look at ballet dancers. Dancers look elegant, and there is reason to believe that this is because they often relevé (raise up onto the balls of the feet in half-pointe) with their heads held high, and dance while stretching out the full lengths of their bodies.
Photo: Salt Creek
Not only does good posture make you look better, it makes you feel better. Gravity is constantly pushing down on us. Standing and sitting with weight equally distributed allows stress on your joints to be reduced. Sitting properly means a lesser chance of developing shoulder, neck and back pains – common complaints from office workers who sit slumped in their chairs for hours at a time. Correct posture will help strengthen the structures of the back, and support the back during things we can’t avoid (our office chairs or comfy couches.) A lack of support will put a strain on the body, and possibly constrict nerves and other key functions that originate in the spine but radiate out to the body.
Looking poised, confident, and radiating elegance. This is what good posture will do for you. Not only will you look extra fantastic, good posture gives you good health and longevity.
With all that said, how do you develop good postural habits? Definitely not by balancing a book on your head, that really doesn’t do much. Here are some tips for you.
When standing straight
Stand tall and lift the shoulders up, as if you are rolling them back, as you retract the shoulder blades. Imagine a long string attaching your head to the ceiling as a way to keep your head up and elongate your neck. Keep the shoulders down.
When sitting at the desk
This one goes out to all the office people. (Are you slouching as you read this?) Follow these tips to stop slouching and have better posture at work: Remind yourself to sit up with your back, shoulders, and neck completely relaxed while you work. Make sure that your computer screen is at eye level, and that your arms and wrists are supported comfortably. Also, consider getting a lumbar pillow for extra lower back support.
Get out of your seat every half an hour to stretch and walk around the office. Do some simple stretching, such as lifting your arms straight over your head with your fingers laced together, bending slowly to the right, then to the left.
Learn some exercises
Good posture mostly comes from the core, which explains why most of the below exercises are ab work. While we are not looking to develop abs, that would be a nice side effect as we carry out these core-centric exercises to get long and straight.
Start on your hands and knees with your back straight. Extend both legs back so you’re resting on your toes like you’re going to do a pushup. Pull your abs in and make sure your spine is straight and that your back is not drooping to the floor. Hold for a minute. Rest 30 seconds and repeat 3 times.
When you get stronger – and you will! – add more time.”
Photo: Indian Express
Lie face down with your arms up straight in front of you, palms flat against the floor, toes pointed. You should be in a nice, long line. Now raise your arms, chest and legs off the floor all at the same time, like you’re flying. Hold for ten seconds, then relax back onto the floor. Do this 10 times.
3. Crunch with twist
Lie on your yoga mat facing up and place your hands behind your head. As you exhale, lift your right shoulder off the floor, rotating toward the left. Inhale and lower your shoulder back to the floor. Repeat on the other side to complete one rep.
Posture is far more than looking confident and poised. Its benefits extend into making sure our bodies function properly! It’s time you sit up and take notes.