When you look at your phone or computer, what is your posture now? When I was a child, I often heard adults remind us to “sit straight in a proper position, and stand straight in a proper standing position”, asking us to maintain a correct posture to avoid scoliosis, which will lead to more crooked posture in the future. Indeed, many people ignore the importance of maintaining a good posture. Over time, when various body pains start to come to their door, or often strain to the waist, suffering from low back pain and back pain, they realize it is too late. How exactly does posture affect health and life? Here is an introduction to the importance of maintaining good posture and exercises to improve it.
We all need to maintain good posture
Developing the habit of good posture is important to the body. Nina Strang, a physical therapist at the University of Michigan in the US, says good posture represents a “neutral spine,” meaning that when we maintain good posture, there is less tension around the spine. Your muscles will be balanced and support your body with even strength. If we develop the habit of standing upright, the spine will not only be under excessive pressure or bending, but also the weight of the body can be evenly distributed to the two feet. It also helps you with different sports, such as running, dancing or skiing etc.
Even people who don’t usually do sports need to maintain a good posture, because many situations in life will use the muscles around the spine of the body, such as walking on sloped streets, going up and down stairs, carrying things, or even someone calling you at the back and you turn your head. If the posture is not correct for a long time, it is likely that when doing these movements, you may accidentally strain to the waist, which is the onset of acute low back pain. When the posture is poor for a long time and the muscle strength is insufficient, it is easy to suddenly sprain the back at the moment of performing a certain movement, causing low back pain (LBP for short). To maintain a good posture, train more body muscles, and do some stretching exercises to increase flexibility, you will reduce the chance of physical injury.
Body balance comes from correct posture
The causes of poor posture generally fall into two categories:
- Muscle stiffness and tightness
Muscle stiffness reduces the body’s range of motion, that is, the joints cannot easily move in various directions or bend freely. For example, when the hip muscles are too tight, it will pull the upper body forward and make the posture bad; or when the chest muscles are too tight, it will also pull the shoulder muscles forward, causing a hunchback
- Insufficient muscle strength and imbalance
Muscles affect the balance of the body in several ways. For example, the core muscles on the back, side, pelvis, and buttocks of the human body are the center that connects and strengthens the upper and lower body. When the core muscles are not strong enough, the body will lean forward, thus losing balance. Conversely, strong muscles can help maintain balance. For example, if the calf muscles are strong enough, they can help you stand more stable and upright.
Three Tips and Benefits for Improving Posture
If you have poor posture and want to correct it, there are some daily exercises that can improve it and relieve body pain. Here’s how to improve your posture
- Strengthens the lower back and relieves low back pain
When we stand or sit, if we are always crooked, it will put a lot of pressure on the lower back, including the intervertebral disc, facet points, ligaments and muscles. Therefore, it is recommended to get up and move every 20-30 minutes. Nina, a physical therapist at the University of Michigan, said that because no one can maintain an ideal posture for a long time, when we feel tired and our muscles are a little sore, we should get up. walk around.
In addition, you can usually practice the bridge action to strengthen the muscles of the lower back, strengthen the gluteal muscles and abdominal muscles, and reduce the burden on the body using lumbar strength. First, lie flat on a sponge mat or yoga mat, keep your upper body still, and place your hands naturally on the floor close to your sides. Then bend your knees and arch them so that the soles of your feet are flat on the floor. Then, the hip muscles work hard to lift the buttocks and the torso of the body off the ground. Then slowly put the buttocks back to the ground, and repeat several times to feel the strength of the buttocks muscles shrinking.
- Relaxes Neck Muscles Reduces Headaches
Many people in modern times are used to swipe their mobile phones with their heads down for a long time, or stare at the computer screen without rest, and use it for several hours continuously. Therapist Nina said that poor posture can lead to tight muscles in the neck and back, which can cause tension headaches , but if you correct your posture, you can reduce muscle tension and improve headaches.
Therefore, I suggest that everyone, in addition to reminding yourself to maintain a correct posture, reduce the time to lower your head and slide your phone, or avoid maintaining the same posture for too long, you can also do exercises to stretch your neck muscles, because neck muscles are usually less stretched. First, lie flat on the mat, bend your knees, put your feet flat on the ground, and place your hands on your sides naturally. Then, like squeezing a double chin, move your chin toward your chest, but keep your shoulders on the ground On the ground, only the muscles of the neck are moved, and the action is maintained for 10-15 seconds, then relaxed, and repeated ten times.
- Training side abdominal muscles to increase physical strength
Kara Griffith, an exercise physiologist at Colorado Canyons Hospital in the United States, said that if our bones and joints are aligned, we can achieve target movements without much effort. It can also reduce fatigue and retain more energy.
In addition, if you want to save more energy, you can also train the obliques by twisting the torso, helping us maintain more stability and strength when standing or sitting. First, sit on a sponge mat or yoga mat, slightly bend your knees and lift them together, keeping your feet about 15 cm off the ground, and tighten your abs. The hands can be crossed or clasped together, and the upper body can be rotated to one side. After turning to the maximum, turn to the other side and feel the contraction of the external oblique muscles. During the process, please keep your body stable and try to keep your spine straight.
Griffith says these exercises won’t give you overnight pain relief, let alone improved posture right away, but with regular practice and self-maintaining good posture, you’ll usually feel better within a week, but if you want to develop It may take more than a month to get into the habit of good posture, so that the posture can be more correct naturally.
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