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.
Belly In 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 your stomach!
Loosen Up 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.
Stand More 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.
Exercise Regularly. 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.