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The Ultimate Exercises to Improve Posture (Simple and Effective)

The Ultimate Exercises to Improve Posture (Simple and Effective)

Bad posture is a common problem for many people, as we live in a world full of activities leading to poor posture. Postural dysfunction (poor posture) is when our spine is situated in unnatural positions for extended periods of time, occuring as a result of one’s daily activities. [1]

Some causes of poor posture include: slouching in a chair, hunching your back, improper understanding of correct posture, leading a sedentary lifestyle, not having an exercise routine, poor core stability, and looking down at your computer and/or cell phone for extended periods of time. However, poor posture can easily be corrected.

Why you should fix your bad posture now

Bad posture doesn’t only make you look unhealthy and unattractive, it also causes several health problems. Take a look at this infographic to learn how bad posture makes you look and feel unhealthy and tired, and how good posture makes you look and feel healthy and confident:[2]

    Know if your posture is really bad

    Let’s examine some examples of poor posture versus good posture.[3]

    • Poor Posture: Rounded shoulders, slouching, head tilted forward, bent knees, pot belly
    • Good Posture: Straight line from your ear to your shoulder to your hip, balanced and upright posture

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      So, what can you do to correct poor posture?

      Simple exercises to improve your posture

      Poor posture can lead to serious neck pain and muscular imbalance. To correct this, we must activate our weak muscles while stretching our tight muscles.[4]

      The following video outlines several exercises you can do to improve your posture:

      Let’s examine these exercises you can do to improve your posture in greater detail:

      Exercise #1 – Reverse Plank Bridge

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        The Reverse Plank Bridge activates specific muscles while stretching key muscles like your pectoral muscles and the muscles in your neck. This exercise requires the following:

        1. Keep your arms straight and pull your shoulders back.
        2. Bring your shoulder blades together.
        3. Tuck your chin.
        4. Push your chest up and extend your spine.
        5. Your fingers can be pointed forward or backward.

        Exercise #2 – Arch Up

          The Arch Up exercise consists of three movements. All three movements require you to tuck your chin and do an external rotation of your arms (thumbs should go upward).

          1. Shoulder flexion. Push your arms and shoulder blades upwards and try to raise your arms as high as possible without bending them.
          2. Horizontal abduction. Lift your arms as high as possible to the side and try to bring your shoulder blades together.
          3. Shoulder extension. Push your arms upwards (thumbs up) and lift them as high as possible.

          Exercise #3 – Plank

            Planking

            is one of the simplest exercises that give you plenty of health benefits. Planking can improve your posture if done correctly. When doing the plank exercise, be sure to keep your legs straight, don’t allow your lower back to sink, and make sure you are looking down at the floor.[5]

            Exercise #4 – Posture Belt

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              Another way to fix your posture, especially your back posture, is to wear a posture belt. Wearing one during the first few hours of morning is good practice.The following steps were outlined by Pranayoga.

              1. Place the strap over your upper back and hold the ends in each hand.
              2. Drape each end of the strap over its respective shoulder.
              3. Cross the strap in the back holding one end in each hand.
              4. Pull the straps so that you feel it in your trapezius muscles and secure the ends at the front.

              Exercise #5 – Wall Angels

              This exercise is a simple way to test your posture. To do this exercise, simply lean back against the wall and lift your arms up and down (think of lying down in the snow and creating “snow angels”).[6]

              Make sure your rear is touching the wall and your back is flat against the wall. Watch the following video for a demonstration of this exercise:

              Exercise #6 – Up Against the Wall

              One of my favorite stretches is Up Against the Wall. Here you will put your hands behind your head, place your elbows to the wall and stretch. The following video provides a demonstration of this stretch:

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              Exercise #7 – Text Neck

              Lastly, this exercise will help you prevent bad posture, and it’s easy to do several times during the day. The exercise is simply to stop looking down at your phone. Obviously, we are not going to stop using our phones anytime soon, so a solution is this: bring your phone to you at eye level.

                Your posture is guaranteed to improve if you follow these 7 exercises; however, you must be disciplined and train your body to achieve good posture. Also, start today! It becomes much more difficult to improve bad posture the longer you put it off. Improving your posture will improve your life.

                Featured photo credit: Freepik via freepik.com

                Reference

                [1] ThePhysioCompany.com: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment of Bad Posture
                [2] Yalch Clinic: Bad Posture vs Good Posture
                [3] ThePhysioCompany.com: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment of Bad Posture
                [4] Calisthenicmovement: Improve Your Posture
                [5] NHS.UK: 10-minue abs workout
                [6] PhysicalTherapyVideo: Most Important Exercises to Help Pinched Nerve & Neck Pain

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                Dr. Jamie Schwandt

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                Last Updated on May 28, 2020

                How to Overcome Boredom

                How to Overcome Boredom

                Have you ever been bored? Restless? Fidgety? In need of some inspiration?

                I have a theory on boredom. I believe that the rate of boredom has increased alongside the pace of technology.

                If you think about it, technology has provided us with mobile phones, laptops, Ipads, device after device – all to ultimately fix one problem: boredom.

                What is Boredom?

                We have become a global nation that feeds on entertainment. We associate ‘living’ with ‘doing’. People now do not know how to sit still, and we feel guilty when we are not doing anything. Today, inactivity has become the ultimate sin.

                You might not realize it, but boredom stimulates a form of anxiety and stress. It evokes an emotional state that creates frustration and feeds procrastination.

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                It’s a desire to be ‘doing something’ or to be ‘entertained’ – it’s a desire for sensory stimulation. What it boils down to is a lack of focus.

                If you think about those times when you’re bored, it’s usually because you did not know what to do. So, indecision also plays a big part.

                When we are focused on what’s important to us and what we want to achieve, it’s pretty hard to be bored. So, one answer to boredom is to become focused on what you want.

                Sometimes It’s Good to Be Bored

                If boredom is a desire for sensory stimulation – then what’s the opposite of that? To be content with no stimulation – in other words – to enjoy stillness.

                Sometimes, it’s not boredom itself that causes the frustration but the resistance to doing nothing.

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                Think about it. What would happen if you were to ‘let go’ of the desire to be entertained? You wouldn’t be bored anymore, and you will feel more relaxed!

                In my experience, it’s often the most obvious, simplistic solutions that are the most powerful in life. So, when you’re bored, the easiest way to combat this is to enjoy it.

                It may sound weird but think of ‘boredom’ as a form of ‘relaxation’. It’s a break from the constant stimulation that 21st-century living provides – constant TVs, mobile phones, radios, internet, emails, phone calls, etc.

                Who knows, maybe ‘boredom’ is actually good for us?

                Next time you’re ‘feeling bored’ instead of feeding the frustration by frantically looking for something to do, maybe you can sit back, relax, and savor the feeling of having nothing to do.

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                In this article, I’ll share with you my 3-step strategy on how to overcome boredom.

                3-Step Strategy to Overcome Boredom

                1. Get Focused

                Instead of chasing sensory stimulation at random, focus on what’s really important to you. Focusing on something important helps prevent boredom because it forces you to utilize your time productively.

                You should ask yourself: what would make good use of your time? What could you be doing that would contribute to your major goals in life?

                Here are a few ideas:

                • Spend some time in quiet contemplation considering what’s important to you.
                • Start that creative project you’ve been talking about for the last few weeks.
                • Brainstorm: think of some ideas for new innovative products or businesses.

                2. Kill Procrastination

                Boredom is useful in some ways because it gives you the energy and time to do things. It is only a problem if you let it. But if you use it to motivate yourself to be productive, then you can more easily overcome boredom.

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                So, the next time you’re bored, why not put this good energy to use by ticking off those things that you have been meaning to get done but have been too busy to finish? This also presents a great time for you to clear your to-do list.

                Here are some ideas:

                • Do some exercise.
                • Read a book.
                • Learn something new.
                • Call a friend.
                • Get creative (draw, paint, sculpt, create music, write).
                • Do a spring cleaning.
                • Wash the car.
                • Renovate the house.
                • Re-arrange the furniture.
                • Write your shopping list.
                • Water the plants.
                • Walk the dog.
                • Sort out your mail & email.
                • De-clutter (clear out that wardrobe).

                3. Enjoy Boredom

                If none of the above solutions work, then you can try a different approach. Don’t give in to boredom and instead choose to enjoy it. This doesn’t mean allowing yourself to waste your time being bored. Instead, think of it as your time to relax and re-energize, which will help you be more productive the next time you work.

                Contrary to popular belief, we don’t need to be constantly doing things to be productive. In fact, research has shown that people are more productive when they take periods of rest to recharge.[1] Taking breaks once in a while helps boost your performance and can help make you feel more motivated.

                So, take some time to relax. You never know, you might even like it.

                Final Thoughts

                Learning how to overcome boredom may be difficult at the beginning, but it can be easier if you make use of some techniques. You can start with my 3-step strategy on how to overcome boredom and work your way from there. So, ready your mind and make use of these tips, and you will be overcoming boredom in no time.

                More Tips on Overcoming Boredom

                Featured photo credit: Johnny Cohen via unsplash.com

                Reference

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