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Perfect posture, better health

Mar 11, 2015 02:00PM ● Published by Cate Reynolds

Turns out your father was right. “Stand up straight,” he would command. “Shoulders back!”

He may have wanted his kids to have good posture to look more confident or to increase their overall well-being, but he didn't really tell us how to accomplish it.

But, never fear, after a little research, we've got some tips that will help anyone look and feel better—and stand up straighter!

  • Stretch more often. Many people spend their days in front of a computer or hunched over a steering wheel. Try stretching for a few minutes every hour to stay limber.
  • Strengthen core muscles. Strong core muscles are the foundation of good posture. An hour of yoga or Pilates a day will power up that core.
  • Walk more. People who walk more tend to have more bone density, resulting in better posture. And have fun with one of those pricey little wrist devices that both keep track of the steps taken and show off how fit-minded you are.
  • Lift weights with good form. Solidify good posture by building some muscle.
  • Look at phones, TVs, and computers at eye level. Neck and back muscles become strained when looking up and down at these devices.
  • Eat healthy. Calcium is essential to bone health to support good posture. Make sure you get the right amount daily with foods like milk, yogurt, cheese, dark leafy greens, legumes, almonds, and sardines.
  • Keep feet shoulder length apart. Avoid pigeon toe and duck feet by walking with feet parallel and shoulder-width apart.
  • Kneel on a pad. Kneeling for various activities can cause knee and lower back pain. Kneel on a cushioned surface to avoid pain which can lead to pain which can result in damage to posture.
  • Go swimming. It's the best remedy doctors prescribe when recovering from back injury. Since water acts as memory foam for the whole body, swimming can strengthen the back and core muscles to ad in painless recovery.

Thanks to Bing Howenstein, CEO and co-founder of Backjoy for his better posture tips.

--Sarah Hagerty
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