Without any doubt, we can say that a good posture is very important as it helps the body to function at its high and top level. Good posture promotes efficient movement and it also contributes to overall wellbeing.
What is a good posture?
A good posture is considered to be a position in which an individual is able to hold the body upright while standing, sitting, or lying down. A good posture requires your back, muscles, and joints to be in proper shape.
Back – A back has three curves, namely, cervical curve (a slight forward curve in the neck), thoracic curve (a slight backward curve in the upper back), and lumbar curve (a slight forward curve in the lower back). A posture requires a balanced alignment of all the three curves.
Muscles – A good posture requires your muscles to be strong and flexible enough to function effectively.
Joints – The joints of the ankle, hip, and knee allow to keep a balance between the curves when one moves.
Why is good posture important?
There are many benefits of having a good posture as it is important to prevent many problems related to health. A good posture helps in:
- Keeping bones and joints in correct alignment such that muscles can function properly.
Preventing the development of arthritis by decreasing the abnormal wearing of joint surfaces.
Preventing backache and other muscle related disorders.
Allowing muscles to function more efficiently.
Exercises to get and maintain a good posture
There are many exercises are can help you get a good posture and here is the list of some of the exercises you must practice regularly. The best part about these exercises is that it does not require you to go to any gym, but it can be practiced at home without using any tool.
1. Downward-facing dog
The downward facing dog is an effective pose that has an impact on the entire body. This pose provides a good and deep stretch to the back and many other parts of the body, which build strength to the upper body. Apart from good posture, this yoga pose is also beneficial in improving memory and concentration by stimulating the brain and the nervous system.
Steps to practice downward facing dog are as follows:
- Begin by coming onto the floor on your knees and hands in such a way that your knees are below the hips and your hands are slightly forward to the shoulder.
- Now, slowly lift your knees away from the floor, push your thighs back, and stretch your heels down to the floor.
- Keep your knees straight and your upper thighs slightly inward.
- Keep your shoulders firm and widen them.
- Also, your head should be between your upper arms.
- Stay in that pose for 30 to 60 seconds.
2. Child’s pose
Child’s pose is an excellent yoga posture all on its own. It is an amazing exercise to attain a good posture. This pose relaxes the muscles and helps in stretching the ankle, thighs, and hips. It is also an effective pose to relieve back and neck pain. Some other health benefits of doing child’s pose include its work great in improving digestion, strengthening muscle, elongating the lower back, and adding peace and calmness in mind.
Steps to practice child’s pose are as follows:
- Begin by being on your knees, with knees wide apart and buttocks touching heels.
- Sit in a straight position, and slowly move forward in such a way that your heart and chest rest on the thighs and your forehead on the floor.
- Keep your arms back alongside the thighs, keeping the palms facing upward.
- Let your back be in a relaxing mode.
- Keep your gaze inward and breathe softly.
- Hold that position for at least a minute and later, gently release the pose.
3. Cow Pose
Cow pose is one of the poses that is known to improve posture and balance in an individual. It massages and stimulates various organs in the body and stretches the hips, abdomen, and back. Cow pose is a gentle posture that warms the body and brings flexibility to the spine. Some other benefits of cow pose include increased coordination, improved emotional balance, and add calmness to the mind.
Steps to do cow pose are as follows:
- Start by being on your hands and knees in a way that your hips are directly over your knees and your hands in a line perpendicular to the floor.
- Keep your gaze at the floor and stabilize your shoulder.
- Keep your shins and knees width apart and your head in the neutral position.
- Now, take a deep breath and drop your belly towards the floor and lift your chin, chest, and gaze upward.
- Next, exhale and draw your belly toward the spine.
- Repeat the procedure of dropping a belly and drawing a belly for 15 to 20 times.
4. Forward Folds
Forward folds allow a lengthening stretch to the spine, shoulder, pelvis, and back. The forward fold is considered to be perfect to strengthen the muscles. It is great for stretching and lengthening for hamstring, calves, and hips. Some other health benefits of practicing forward bend regularly includes the decrease in stress and anxiety, strengthens thighs and knees, improve digestion, lowers high blood pressure, and is also known to treat problems like osteoporosis.
Steps to practice forward folds are as follows:
- Begin by standing straight with your hands on the hips.
- Now, breathe normally and bend forward from your hip joint. Lengthen your torso and draw your belly slightly inward.
- Ensures that your knees are straight and keep your palms on the back of your ankle.
- Allow your head to hang and let all your tension be released.
- Stay in that position for around 30 to 60 seconds. Later slowly return to your initial position.
Plank is a popular exercise that boosts the overall fitness level in an individual and works extremely well in building muscles and attaining good posture. Plank does not have any single benefit, it provides multiple health benefits to the human body. It improves the posture and balance in the body and it is also effective in treating problems associated with posture.
Steps to do plank are as follows:
- Begin by being in a push-up position, that is on all your four arms.
- Bend your arm at your elbows such that all pressure lies on your elbows.
- Form a straight line from ankle to shoulders and don’t let your hips, ankle, and shoulder drop.
- Hold the position for around 30 seconds and relax.
- Repeat the steps for 3 to 5 times.
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