|Imagine if she was hunched over. |
Sexy? I think not.
So you can see how, for the rest of us (that care) the last thing we should be doing slouching and hunching. Without genetics on our side causing us to be tall and lean naturally (or so most models claim), we need to make a conscious effort to help ourselves out. And I promise, this little tweak will have people asking if you lost weight (which would be so fun to hear around the holidays :) )
A great majority of us spend most of our days hunched behind desks and computers, which is so bad for us. That position for 8 hours a day is basically shaping you to slump and hunch. So you have to make a conscious effort. I put a post-it on my computer screen that says "UP STRAIGHT!" to remind me not to slouch. Then of course there is the time behind the wheel commuting, which does nothing for our midsections. Again, post-it note on the dash to "SUCK IT IN!", meaning to pull my abs in and hold while driving. Having a strong core is the key to keeping you from slouching without thinking about it.
At first, if you are a sloucher, you will have to think about not slouching. You will have to consciously pull your shoulders back and down and hold them their when doing your daily tasks. (You may feel like you're noticeably sticking your chest out, but that's ok, it doesn't look like it.) You will have to consciously pull your abs in and hold them in when in you are relaxed. But the more you consciously do this, the less you will have to, as your muscles will start to retain that position.
Here's a posture checklist:
- Stand with your feet under your sits bones (yep those bones that you sit on that are the base of you pelvis). Your feet will only be about one or your own foot widths apart — not very wide. The weight on your feet should be balanced equally between the balls of your feet and your heels, as well as the inside and outside of your feet.
- Align your pelvis over your feet. Your pelvis should be level. Think of the pelvis like a wide soup bowl and you don't want the soup to spill over the front or the back of the bowl.
- Keep your ribcage directly over your pelvis. It is a common posture for the ribs to hang back behind the pelvis.
- Next place your shoulders right over your ribs.
- The skull should be right over your feet. Your earlobes should be in line with your shoulders — don't thrust your head forward.
Additional benefits to good posture: it's important for the health of your bones and joints. Proper alignment decreases undue wear and tear on the soft tissues, ligaments and cartilage that surround and protect your joints, especially your spine. Plus, if you are slouching you are squishing up (yes, that is the technical term :) ) all your internal organs. It's bad for digestion; your stomach and intestines need plenty of space. Some cellulite is less noticable. You appear more confident and approachable. So what are you waiting for?