It is safe to say that good posture can keep you looking youthful as the years go by, but the benefits of maintaining your bone health are much more than skin deep.
As we’ve discussed in the past, proper posture can do wonderful things for your body. When you maintain correct posture, your bones, joints, and muscles are at their most efficient. It can boost your confidence, mood and appearance, all of which are closely linked with good mental and physical health.
Although hunching over may seem to go hand in hand with old age, you can help prevent the characteristic rounding of the spine by working to correct your posture early. Though many of these problems are caused by osteoporosis and the destruction of the vertebrae in the upper and middle spine, you can use these tips to improve your posture and help yourself stand tall at any age.
Support Posture At Work
If you are someone who spends most of your time hunched over a computer or a cell phone, it’s important to stretch throughout the day to improve your range of motion. You can take this to the next level by incorporating upper body stretches into your daily routine. Harvard Health has great exercises to improve your posture and prevent back pain.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
For health-focused individuals, maintaining a nutritious diet is just a part of life. But even if you think you’re eating well, you could be lacking some essential nutrients for bone health. In fact, researchers estimate that around 75% of people in the U.S. are vitamin D deficient.
Vitamin D is absolutely essential for bone health, and may help maintain muscles too. It’s possible to get sufficient amounts of vitamin D from sunlight in some parts of the world, but sadly, Pittsburgh is not one of them. However, you can turn to food to meet your vitamin D needs. Read our post on the importance of vitamin D to learn about great natural sources of this essential nutrient.
Strengthen Your Core
According to WebMD, one of the best ways to improve your posture is to focus on exercises that strengthen the abdominal and lower back muscles that connect to your spine and pelvis. They also offer a great workout plan with posture-boosting exercises.
Ab workouts are wonderful, but if you are searching for a more exciting way to work your core, pilates and yoga can also help you build strength in the muscles of your abdomen and pelvic area.
The stereotypical “dowager’s hump” in the upper back is a hallmark of old age. This is due to the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis. The disease leads to vertebral compression fractures that result in reduced height. You can help prevent these changes with normal activities like walking and stair climbing, as well as with weight-bearing exercises like strength training.
The Center for Disease Control recommends strength training to those with arthritis, heart disease, and many types of back pain. If you’re trying to break into a “lifting” routine, check out our blog post on strength training tips for beginners.
Try Postural Training Apparel
For many, maintaining proper posture throughout the day can be a struggle. If you are searching for a more constant reminder, try ActivAided. ActivAided is a posture training device created to be a comfortable way to maintain correct posture. It is a light tank top that uses tactile feedback to subtly cue your body to make the adjustments necessary to achieve correct spinal alignment.
Are you ready to improve your posture? Give our tips a try and let us know how it goes!