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How to Improve Your Posture

This is not my typical article! However, how to improve your posture is an important topic and it affects anyone who wishes to age better and improve overall health. This article will address your dynamic posture as well as your static posture because whether you are moving or not, it can be challenging to fix those rounded shoulders.

How to Improve Your Posture and Fix Rounded Shoulders

Improving your posture is mostly a mind game. Consequently, I am going to start by giving you some tips to improve your posture without exercise and some posture checkpoints you should go through as frequently as possible each day.

How to Improve Your Posture Without Exercise

Generally speaking, there are a few things you can do to improve your posture without exercise:

  • Be mindful of your posture: This is probably the most important tip to remember and also one of the most difficult ones to apply. It’s so easy to revert back to your bad habits! Work on remembering to go through your posture check points (more on those later).
  • Stay active: I am not talking about exercise or going to the gym. If you work at a desk, make sure you get up regulary and walk around. Take the stairs, park further, make a conscious effort to be active.
  • Maintain a healthy weight: Carrying extra weight will make it more difficult to improve your posture.
  • Wear confortable clothing and shoes: Good quality shoes and comfortable clothing will improve your freedom of movementannd faciliate a better psoture.

These general tips are simple yet essential when it comes to improving your posture without exercise.

Posture Checkpoints

As you go through your day, go through the following posture checkpoints as frequently as possible:

  1. Bring your neck back.
  2. Lift your chin up.
  3. Bring yoour shoulders back.
  4. Tighten your core.
  5. Lift up your heart.

The more you get used to paying attention to these posture checkpoints, the easier it will get!

How Long Does It Take to Fix Rounded Shoulders

How long will it take to correct your posture? Well, it took years to develop your bad posture, so you can’t expect it to change overnight. However, depending on how good you are at going through your posture checkpoints daily, you could fix your rounded shoulders and your forward neck in a matter of weeks. It is really going to be a mind game. If you struggle to remember to check on your posture at first, it will take longer.

It can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days for a person to form a new habit and an average of 66 days for a new behavior to become automatic.

Healthline

Do Posture Correctors Work?

The advantage of posture correctors is that they take the burden of remembering to be mindful of your posture, but do they work? Well, the answer is debatable. Most posture correctors are like wearable straps. The issue with those is that you may learn to rely on them and you don’t develop good posture habits and increased muscle strength. Moreover, a 2019 Scandinavian research review found that there was no credible evidence that posture correctors work.

Posture Correction Exercises

Apart from being mindful of your posture throughout the day, you will find that the following posture correction exercises will help improve your posture without your having to pay attention constantly throughout the day.

Spine and Back Body Stretches

I found that doing yoga exercises greatly helps improve posture in general. Particularly spine and back body stretches (as to learn to do the wheel pose).

Wheel Pose

5 Back Stretches for a Better Posture

Check out the video below for a visual of the following back stretches:

  1. Upward Dog: Lift up from the prone position with your hands near under your armpits. Inhale and push up. Lift the crown of your had back, engage your shoulder blades, lower your shoulders, lift your heart to the sky.
  2. Camel: Start in the kneeling position (youir toes tucked in or your feet flat). Reach back for your heels, lifting up your heart and bring the crown of your head towards the ground.
  3. Bow: Lie in the prone postion and fold your knees to bring your feet towards your buttock as you lift up your upper body to grab the outer edge of your ankles. Lift your rib cage as you inhale. As you exhale, lenghten your tailbone and kick your feet back into your hands.
  4. Bridge: Lie supine on the floor with your knees bended and your feet near your butt. As you exhale, press up through your heels, clasp your hands as you press your arms firmly in the ground and squeeze your glutes to lift up. Bring your shoulder blades down and lift up your heart towards the sky.
  5. Child’s Pose: Kneel on the floor, exhale and bring your torso towards the floor with your arms stretched out in front of you. Lenghten your tailbone. Press your chess down as you stretch your arms up and through your fingertips.

Hold each pose for 1 or 2 minutes.

Back Stretches Video

Other Exercices to Improve Your Posture

Aside from back stretches and exercise, work on improving your core strength. Planks and side planks are your friends!

Check out my core workouts:

How to Improve Your Posture While Standing

How to improve your posture while standing (on top of your posture checkpoints):

  • Stand straight and tall.
  • Let your arms hang down naturally.
  • Kep you feet shoulder width apart.

Practice and practice some more!

How to Improve Your Posture While Sitting

Do you spend a lot of time sitting at a desk? Try these ideas:

  • Get up and walk around frequently.
  • Stretch ocassionally.
  • Avoid crossing your legs as much as possible.
  • Make sure your lower back is supported properly (look for lumbar support).
  • Support your tighs and hips with a well padded chair.

As you consider how to improve your posture while sitting, keep going through your posture checkpoints too.

How to Improve Your Posture While Sleeping

Most of us sleep at least 8 hours a night, so making sure you sleep in a way that promotes a good posture is important. To improve your posture while sleeping:

  • Pick the right pillow: Make sure you head stays a straight line with the rest of your body.
  • Choose the right mattress: Your mattress should be firm enough to accomodate your curves, but not so soft that your body sinks into it.
  • Avoid sleeping on your belly. Sleeping on your stomach put stress on your spine and back.
Photo Credit: DEAN Chiropractic

How to Improve Your Posture Video

In Summary

I have never been really good at making sure my posture is good. However, in my forties, a good posture became more important to me. I found it frustrating to try to remember the posture checkpoints. I am still working on it and learning! However, working on the wheel pose has been huge for me! I recommend you consider trying out some of the yoga poses outlined in this post. It helps making those habits more natural.