Three Steps to Improved Posture

In my last post I discussed the Top 3 Myths About Posture. If you looked in the mirror and thought, "Oh dear! I need to do something about my posture," here are three simple things to address.

1. AWARENESS

Stand in front of the mirror. Take a look at yourself. Are you balanced? Notice your shoulders. Are they level, or is one higher than the other? Look at the center of the body. Do you tilt to one side or the other? Are your arms of equal length?

Stand in profile. Take a look: where's your neck and head? Is it thrust slightly forward? What about your lower back? Is it overly arched? Are your knees locked back? Are your shoulders rounded forward - or maybe "pinned back" military style? If you don't know what you're doing habitually, it's difficult to change things.

2. PROPER SITTING

Most of us sit for a prolonged period of time every day - at computers, in cars, and watching TV. Long ago our days were filled with physical labor and activity and periods of sitting were the exception. Because we sit so much it's important to be aware of how your sitting affects your overall posture. Do you slouch? Do you sit up overly "straight", arching your lower back and pulling your shoulders back? Do you crane your neck forward in order to read the computer screen? Do you sit with more weight in one hip than the other? Read the full article on my website here: Effortless Sitting. See what you discover about yourself.

3. PROPER SHOES (or better yet, go barefoot)

Proper shoes are critical, especially for you women out there! The higher the heel, the more likely you are to over-contract your back muscles. It will also result in chronically tight calves, hips and thigh muscles. Walking with too much weight into the ball of your foot is simply not normal, and it completely changes your posture.

The muscles in your foot will compensate to accommodate tight shoes. Thick soled shoes do not allow your foot to feel the ground properly and will affect your proprioception. Soft-soled shoes allow your feet to sense the ground more effectively, putting less strain on your lower leg muscles and improving your awareness.

Walking barefoot is a terrific way to improve your posture. Feel the difference in how you walk when you're barefoot.

Now get out there and experiment!