Standing and sitting up straight not only helps you feel better physically, but it can have a psychological impact on the way you feel (and others feel about you). On top of that, just look at yourself in the mirror. When you’re rocking perfect posture opposed to standing with hunched over shoulders, you look even better – and slimmer!
That said, most of us are guilty of not-so-perfect posture, and what better time than now to begin to remedy this. Here are a few tips that work for me:
1. Become cognizant of your posture and ask those around you to be on the look out as well. In a similar way to a food diary, the minute you begin aware of a bad habit, it becomes easier to change.
2. Strengthening key muscles like those in your “core” and abdominals, shoulders and back muscles (have an experienced trainer or coach show you how to do it right) will help you improve your posture and feel stronger while doing so.
3. Check yourself before you wreck yourself – watch how you hold your cell phones, heavy handbags, or briefcases. Repeatedly holding awkward positions while doing these things can make you feel awful physically and will also impact your posture negatively.
4. Make stretching part of your day, every day. In fact, I dare you as you’re reading this now to stand up and slowly bend over to do a stretch, hands to your toes. Tweet at me if you do (@AskDrV) for a virtual high five. Find pockets of time during your day to do this, whether at your desk or even while brushing your teeth!
5. Speaking of being at your desk, here’s a fact: our bodies aren’t made to sit still and in one place at our desks all day. Make a concerted effort to move around every hour, whether that’s a walk around the block or just around your cubicles at work. Stand up and stretch, and get out of your chair every hour. Your body will thank you!
Dr. Yael “Dr. V” Varnado is a Cornell-educated physician and a medical and health expert, known for her ability to deliver straight, relatable and relevant information on timely topics that matter most.
She is passionate about women’s health issues and teaching all those she reaches about preventative care, helping to stop heath problems before they start. Dr. V is the creator of the Live Right at Night Campaign focusing on women’s sexual and physical health and safety between the hours of 5 pm and 9 am.
She is also the founder of the Get Checked for Life non-profit that assists members of underserved communities, improving their quality of life by educating and giving them access to the necessary tools and medical resources. You can find Dr. V on Facebook and Twitter via @AskDrV and online at www.AskDoctorV.com