You hear it from nagging grandmas, school teachers and 100-year-old
etiquette books, “Stand up straight!” We have to give this one to them: good posture
is a good thing. A lot of great things, actually!
Good posture helps project self-confidence and dignity. It
can also help prevent back and neck problems, improve breathing and aid in digestion.
Have a bit of belly? Standing straighter can make it appear as if you suddenly got
slimmer. So if your posture is in a slump, straighten things right now! Follow these
tips for standing tall and proud.
Practice Your Stance
Stand up straight before a full-length mirror with your feet
hip-width apart. Pull in your abdominal muscles like you were putting on a tight
pair of jeans. Un-round your shoulders and press your shoulders away from your ears.
Relax your arms with palms facing the sides of your thighs and thumbs pointing straight
ahead. Finally stretch the top of your head to the ceiling and breathe.
Keep it up
Imagine a headlight in your breastbone. Make sure it's shining
forward instead of down in your lap when you're sitting or toward the floor when
you're standing. This will help you stand up straight.
Practice tightening your abdominal muscles and flattening
your stomach. This is an almost invisible exercise you can do anywhere, anytime.
To find the muscles you're trying to strengthen, clasp your hands and press against
the abdomen as you slowly draw in the muscles, flattening them as much as possible.
Hold that position for a few seconds and then relax. Repeat three or four times
a day when you’re bored in class or watching TV. Soon you’ll feel new strength in
Remember, more than straightening up, you're trying to loosen
up. Posture and self-esteem are directly influenced by each other. So stand up straight
and you will reap the added bonus of feeling better about yourself.
Avoid sitting for too long. Neck and shoulder tension, worsened
by hours spent at the computer, often makes us slump. Take short breaks as often
as possible, or at least stand up straight and stretch.
Add flexibility exercises to your workout routine to strengthen the muscles that
are weak and stretch those that are tight.
Learning to stand up straight takes time and effort, but
you’ll be able to reap all the benefits in your future.
Read about getting out of a slump and learn with tips from BeingGirl.com.