Improving your posture is not only for looks. Posture has been absolutely linked to physical health such as better breathing, cognitive (memory) improvements, preventing falls through improving balance and even decreasing headaches and neck pain. I am currently completing my certification and awaiting my final examination on being a Certified Ergonomist. This is a specialist in designing proper workspaces to decrease injury. Along with this training, there was so much education on proper posture. To begin with, let’s work on the CHIN TUCK. I fondly refer to this as the REVERSE CHICKEN because when chickens eat, they push their beaks forward. Unfortunately, many of us live with our “beaks” or noses jutting forward. This puts too much pressure and compression on the base of your skull and the top of your spine. To do this exercise, literally tuck your chin slightly downward and pull back towards your spine. If done properly, you will get a double chin during the exercise. You will feel a slight stretch in the back of your head. Hold this position for 5 counts and repeat up to 20 times. Do this sequence as many times per day as you can…the more the better. If done often and long enough, this postural correction will become second nature. Try to give yourself reminds throughout the day to keep yourself in this neutral posture. Practice during work hours on the computer and while driving. I have found that we will catch ourselves in the chicken position with our “beaks” forward often and this is a great reminder to correct our head posture.
Another posture corrector is to PULL OUR SHOULDER BLADES BACK AND DOWNWARD. So many of us were taught to pull our shoulders back but this is only half true. Pulling our shoulders back and down is really important. The downward pull works the latissimus dorsi muscle which is a very important postural muscle. Pull the area between your shoulder blades towards the spine or bra hook area and then pull both shoulder blades towards your waist or belt line. Hold this position for 5 counts and repeat up to 20 times.