Monday, March 8, 2010

Healthy Monday: Improving Your Posture (and how NOT to get your significant other to help you)

Photography by Simply Boom (found via Snippet and Ink)

(I've actually written about this before, but it was a fairly popular post so I thought I would expand upon it a little.)

I've been trying to improve my posture for a while, so I asked my husband to say to me, "You look pretty" as a code phrase for when I need to stand up straighter. True story. I don't recommend this. Hubby says, "Jennifer, you look pretty." I look at my lovely husband with love and respond, "Oh, thank you so muuu..." and then I realize what he really means. I scowl and sulk for a few minutes, but I have no grounds to get mad because, afterall, I'm the one who asked him to do this.

Getting married (and the threat of hundreds of photos being taken of you) is generally a pretty good motivator for getting into shape. But practicing good posture is also an important part of good health. So let's work on it together! Although the pregnancy inhibits me from doing all the exercises listed below, I'm going to follow my own advice this time around and I'll report back on March 22nd with the progress. I hope you'll do the same! Oh, and if you have your own posture perfecting tips, feel free to share them in the comments! (P.S. Needless to say, we've eliminated the old "pretty" code phrase, but it's been changed to "Jennifer, you're lookin' so curvy!" Haha! We'll see how this goes.)

Take several short stretch breaks throughout the day to keep limbs and muscles flexible for good posture.

EmpowHER, "Sitting on a chair's edge, feet flat on floor, place a pillow or soccer-sized ball between your knees. Squeeze gently for a few seconds while lifting your head and pulling your shoulder blades back. Repeat 10 times."

Follow these four posture perfect exercise routines from
Women's Health Magazine.

Kathy Smith's article on
Ivillage recommends working your spinal erectors. "You can do this by lying face down on your bed and lifting one leg and the opposite arm, holding for a count of 10; then lift the other arm and leg. Repeat this process three times a day."

Another recommendation from Smith is to drive with your seat straight up. This might seem weird at first, but leaning forward too much leaves the lower back in limbo and the neck contorted.


Davanie said...

I happen to get compliments on my posture fairly often and, honestly, it's when I'm not conscious of it. I see a chiropractor regularly and after an amazing session I'm so comfortable in my body- I just feel at ease and good posture comes naturally. One of the ways I know I'm due to get checked by my chiropractor is when I have to try to sit/stand up straight. You gotta find a good one though.

I was thinking about posture today after several people posted pictures of Miley Cyrus in her Oscar dress last night and I'm surprised no one mentioned her posture - she looks uncomfortable- not exactly how I want to look/feel on my wedding day or ever actually.

bodyhacker said...

Thanks for post on posture.

My husband and I have been trying extremely hard to improve our posture too not only just to decrease Backaches, headaches but posture is so important in other aspects of your life. It can also impacts one's self confidence and so much more!

Just in case you are interested we recently posted some of our research on our site so we can help others too.

Here's the details on our 3 posts and we are going to continue to post more research as we continue to gather more details:
1. Couple of tests that a person can perform in order to test their posture.
2. A tool from Ergotron that allows you to find your optimal sitting and viewing positions.
3. Research from an Ohio State Study on how posture can boost your confidence.

If interested in viewing any of the info above please visit our site under 'Posture' category.

Hope this helps and thanks again for your information!

Jennifer said...

@Davanie - Maybe I should look into getting a chiropractor. I have a long torso, so it seems my neck and back are always carrying all my tension.
AND YES! I thought Miley looked a little weird in that dress and now I know why! She was doing some definite hunching.

@bodyhacker - thank you for sharing your input!

E.B. Finds said...

My sister and I were just talking about this the other day as we were noticing how our kids have such perfect posture, naturally. Gravity does such horribe things!

@ HER said...

Great goal! I definitely need to work on this myself. Improving your posture is tough but oh so good for the burn more calories!!

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