Put your back into it! If you’ve ever been told to sit up straight or don’t slouch, it wasn’t just something to say. When it comes to your fitness, your back can be viewed as the anchor — the part of the body that requires care, attention, and strength, in order for you to go about your day-to-day activities feeling strong and empowered. Keeping your back in good health is the key to safe training, which can keep you from any interruptions in your fitness goals or routine, due to injury or poor form.
What exactly is good posture? According to Harvard Medical School, good posture means:
chin parallel to the floor
shoulders even (roll your shoulders up, back, and down to help achieve this)
neutral spine (no flexing or arching to overemphasize the curve in your lower back)
arms at your sides with elbows straight and even
abdominal muscles braced
knees even and pointing straight ahead
body weight distributed evenly on both feet
when sitting down, keep your chin parallel to the floor; your shoulders, hips, and knees at even heights; and your knees and feet pointing straight ahead
We’re exploring how posture plays an important role in your fitness regimen, which, in turn, protects you from back pain and injury, and keeps you feeling and looking good.
BETTER BREATHING | When you stand or sit upright and straight, you open up your chest and lungs, allowing for easier respiration. When you are slouching or hunched over, you are restricting the full capacity of oxygen from entering your lungs.
BETTER BODY ALIGNMENT | Not only do you open your body up for better breathing and oxygen intake with good posture, you end up keeping your body in alignment, ensuring that the weight of your body is evenly distributed. This is important when working out, especially since this puts less stress and potential subsequent pain and strain in your joints and muscles.
MORE ENERGY | When your body is in alignment, everything is in its place. Your muscles aren’t cramped or twisted, so the use of your muscles and range of motion remains smooth.
CONFIDENCE | When you’re working (out) with a healthy spine, you walk taller and gain confidence — confidence to keep moving forward with your fitness goals, confidence to stay disciplined, and confidence to perform your exercises with the proper form in mind. With confidence, you’ll feel great about your workouts and benefit from the results!
IMPROVED APPEARANCE | When your confidence is up, your body is in alignment, you have more energy, and are feeling confident, you become more radiant! You feel great and that leads to looking great!
The next time you catch yourself slouching, practicing poor form in your fitness routine, or feeling like you are not getting your body’s full lung capacity when it comes to your breathing, think about the tips we have outlined above. Practicing good posture may take some discipline and getting used to, but in time, like with a number of habits, you will thank yourself — and so will your back!
Need a little extra help to immediately improve your posture during or between workouts? The posture brace in this month's 5-item Ellie box is the perfect tool. What we love most about the brace is how easy it is to improve your posture! Loop your arms through like a backpack, adjust the straps, and stand tall!