Do you remember your teachers or parents telling you to sit upright? Well, those were not empty rules; they were shaping you for better health as you age. Your posture should change based on your position. When you sit, your knees and your hips should be at the same level, and your legs should never cross. Your back should be straight and your eyes facing forward.
If you are standing, you need to keep your weight distributed on both feet and do not slouch. Keep your shoulders back and your chest a little out.
Why is Good Posture Important As You Age?
Maintaining a positive body language keeps you looking young and healthy with age. There are some health issues that you can correct with good posture:
- Increase Your Range of Motion – If you always sit in a slumped position, your ligaments and muscles might tighten or stretch. This will make your muscles and ligaments not function properly.
- Increase Lung Capacity – If you sit right, sufficient air flows through your lungs and this enhances your physiological processes. Otherwise, your lung capacity decreases as you age.
- Reduce low back pain – Poor posture makes your back ache. It can further lead to discomfort, headaches and other pains in your shoulders, hands, and arms.
- Reduce Jaw Pain – If your head is pushed forward, you might suffer conditions such as temporomandibular joint disease, which was once considered a dental problem.
- Reduce Spine Misalignment issues – If your spine is not well aligned, you will have issues with your nerve function. Issues such as osteoporosis can destroy or compress your vertebrae.
4 Ways to Maintain a Healthy Posture
1. Stay Flexible
If you sit most of the time during the day, you need to maintain a good range of motion to maintain a healthy posture. You can stand up a few minutes after every hour and stretch your arms with the fingers interlocked. You can also walk a little to keep your body in motion.
You can take up yoga to enhance your body’s flexibility. Do a few yoga moves every morning or every evening to keep your muscles and your ligaments flexible. If you feel any form of discomfort, stop the stretches.
2. Sit Upright and Adjust Your Desk and Computer
Today, most people spend most of the days sitting. It is, therefore, important to cultivate a good sitting posture habit. Sitting upright requires that you have strong core muscles, and that is why you need to take on core training exercises such as yoga. With a strong core, you will also correct other issues such as urinal incontinence and sex issues.
Your desk and position of the computer should allow for a good posture. Ensure the computer screen is at the same level with your eyes and your arms and hands rest parallel to the floor.
3. Strengthen Your Spine
A strong spine is healthy, especially for women, as it weakens after menopause. The trunk muscles and the spine support your weight when you need to stand for a long time. You can strengthen the spine through weight exercise. Start with exercises that strengthen the pelvic muscles, side muscles, neck flexors, and back extensors.
4. Watch Your Calcium and Vitamin D Intake
These two nutrients are important in building strong bones. As you age, your bones become weak. Anyone older than 50 should take at least 1,200 mg of calcium every day. They also need to get out in the sun for at least 30 minutes every day to get enough Vitamin D for the bones. Strong bones enhance your posture.
Do you monitor your posture? If you don’t, you should start today. Wear comfortable clothing and take photos from different angles. After you take on your exercise regimen, take more photos after a few weeks and compare.