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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

                Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt & Red Team Critical Thinker

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                Last Updated on February 11, 2020

                50 Habits of Highly Successful People You Should Learn

                50 Habits of Highly Successful People You Should Learn

                If you’re like me and really into self-development, you’ve probably read many of the thousands of self-help books out there on the market. But also like me, you probably find all the information a bit overwhelming.

                That’s why I wanted to do the self-less task of taking the most important, life-changing lessons I’ve drawn from these books and condensed them into 50 key points.

                Here’re 50 habits of successful people you should learn:

                1. Believe It to See It

                Our minds tend to focus on what’s happening around us and refuse to see what could happen. Only when you trust in what’s possible and dare to dream big, big things can happen for you.

                2. See Problems as a Wonderful Gift

                While others only see problems and give up, successful people use the problem as a lesson to find improvement in themselves or the task at hand.

                3. Keep Looking for Solutions

                Even if they’re knee-deep in problems, successful people will still put all of their focus on finding solutions.

                4. Remember It’s All About the Journey

                Successful people are conscious and methodical in creating their own success. They don’t sit around doing the bare minimum, hoping success finds them.

                5. Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway

                There’s so much fear on the road to success, but instead of letting that fear control and limit them, successful people do a good job of just forging ahead regardless.

                6. Always Ask Productive Questions

                It’s all about asking the right questions. Successful people make sure they are questions that will elicit information for a more productive, creative and positive mindset moving forward.

                7. Understand the Best Waste of Energy Is Complaining

                Successful people know that choosing to see the negative side of things will only create a useless and unproductive state.

                8. Don’t Play the Blame Game

                Taking responsibility for actions and outcomes is a form of empowerment that you can build your success upon. While the act of blaming others or outside circumstances takes this empowerment away from you.

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                9. Maximize Your Strengths

                Not every successful person is simply more talented than the rest, but they do use what they know they’re good at to achieve more successful results.

                10. Be in It to Win It

                Successful people are busy, productive and proactive. Instead of sitting around over-thinking and over-planning a great idea, they just take a step towards it no matter how small.

                11. Know That Success Attracts Success

                People who are successful surround themselves and seek out like-minded people. They understand the importance of being part of a team and forge win-win relationships.

                12. Actually Choose to Be Successful

                Dreaming big is a massive part of being successful even if your dream seems impossible. Ambition is a mindset that needs to be a daily conscious choice.

                13. Visualize, Visualize, Visualize!

                You’ve got to see your success in your mind’s eye even before it comes. Successful people clarify and get that certainty about what they want their reality to look like rather than being mere spectators of life.

                14. Be a One-Off Original

                Successful people look for what’s working and then create a unique spin on it. Imitating only regurgitates other people’s ideas with no originality.

                15. The Perfect Time to Act Is Now

                Waiting for the right time to act is basically procrastination wrapped up in an excuse. Successful people know there’s never a perfect time so they may as well just do it now.

                16. Keep Learning, Keep Growing

                Continuous learning is the key to a successful life. Whether it’s academic, being a student of life or actionable learning, it’s all about expanding your knowledge and personal development.

                17. Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

                Successful people have the knack for finding positive aspects in all people and circumstances no matter what.

                18. Having a Bad Day? Do It Anyway!

                We all have bad moods but it shouldn’t be an excuse to stop everything. Giving into a bad mood just stop-starts your life, slowing success way down.

                19. Sometimes Risky Business Is Needed

                Calculated risks are a must for success. It’s about weighing the pros and cons while moving forward with that element of trust.

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                20. Accept Challenge All the Time

                Dealing with problems head-on is a must to be successful. Successful people also face challenges in order to improve themselves.

                21. Make Your Own Luck

                In the mindset of a successful person, there’s no such thing as ‘luck’ or ‘fate’. They take control to actively and consciously create their own best life.

                22. Ignite Your Initiative

                While many people are reactive, successful people are proactive – taking action before they have to.

                23. Be the Master of Your Emotions

                Being effective at managing emotions is key on the road to success. That’s not to say successful people don’t feel like we all do, but they’re just not slaves to their emotions.

                24. Champion in Communication

                Consciously working on effective communication skills gets anyone closer to success.

                25. Plan Your Life Strategically

                Successful people’s lives aren’t a clumsy series of unplanned events and outcomes, they methodically work at turning their plans into a reality.

                26. Become Exceptional at What You Do

                To become exceptional, you typically have to do things that most won’t. To become successful, hard decisions need to be made and acting on them is crucial.

                27. Choose to Live Outside of Your Comfort Zone

                While many people are pleasure junkies and avoid pain and discomfort at all costs, successful people understand the value and benefits of working through the tough stuff that most would avoid.

                28. Live by Core Values

                Successful people firstly identify their core values and what’s important to them, then do their best to live a life that reflects these values.

                29. Realize Money Isn’t Everything

                Money and success are not interchangeable and the most successful people understand this. Putting money on a pedestal and equating it to success is a dangerous mindset to have. Success comes in many forms.

                30. Don’t Get Carried Away

                Successful people understand the importance of discipline and self-control and as a result they are happy to take the road less travelled.

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                31. Self-Worth Is Not Tied to Success

                Successful people are secure. They do not derive their self-worth from what they own, who they know, where they live or what they look like.

                32. Kindness Breeds Kindness (And Success)

                Generosity and kindness is a common trait among long-term successful people. It’s important to take pleasure in helping others achieve.

                33. More Humility, Less Arrogance

                Successful people are humble and happy to admit and apologize for mistakes. This is because they’re confident in their ability. They are happy to learn from others and happy to make others look good rather than seek their own personal glory.

                34. Change Opens New Doors

                People who are successful are adaptable and embrace change, while the majority are creatures of comfort and habit. They are comfortable with, and embrace, the new and the unfamiliar.

                35. Success Requires a Healthy Body

                It’s not just how you think, it’s about how you show up for success. Successful people understand the importance of being physically well, not for vain reasons but because being in tiptop condition creates a better personal life for success.

                36. Laziness Just Doesn’t Exist

                Successful people are never considered lazy. Yes, they can relax when they need to, but working hard is their game.

                37. Resilience by the Bucket Load

                When difficulty strikes, most would throw in the towel, but successful people are just warming up.

                38. Feedback Is Just Another Chance to Improve

                How people react to feedback determines their potential for success. Being open to constructive criticism and acting on it to improve is most seen in those who are successful.

                39. Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe

                If people are hanging out with toxic and negative people, then they need to take a look at themselves. Successful people hang out with others who are positive and supportive.

                40. Can’t Control It? Forget It

                Successful people don’t invest time or emotional energy into things which they have no control of.

                41. Swim Against the Tide

                Successful people are not people-pleasers and they don’t need constant approval from others in order to move ahead.

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                42. Alone Time Is Valuable Time

                More self-worth means being more comfortable with your own company. Successful people are more happy and see the value in spending time alone.

                43. Self-Standard Is Higher Than Most

                Everyone has a choice to set high standards for themselves. Successful people do this, which in turn produces greater commitment, more momentum, a better work ethic and of course, better results.

                44. Failure Isn’t Rationalized

                While many use age, health, lack of time, ‘bad luck’, or lack of opportunity to explain away their failure, the key to success is finding a way to succeed despite facing these challenges.

                45. Down Time Is an Important Part of a Routine

                Having an off switch and taking time to do things that make them happy is a common trait of a successful person. Take a look at here The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

                46. Career Isn’t Who You Are, It’s What You Do

                Successful people know their career isn’t their identity. They are multi-dimensional and don’t define themselves by their job.

                47. Be Interested in Only the Path of Resistance

                While most people look for the easiest way or the shortcut, successful people are more interested in the most effective way. They look for the course of action which will produce the best results over the long term.

                48. Follow Through

                Many spend their life starting things that they never finish, but successful people get the job done. Even when the excitement and the novelty has worn off they still follow through and finish.

                49. Invest in All Your Dimensions

                We’re not just physical and psychological beings, but emotional and spiritual creatures as well. Successful people consciously work at being healthy and productive on all levels.

                50. Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

                To obtain success, it’s important to practice what you preach. Successful people don’t talk about the theory, they live the reality.

                So there you have it, a summary of what I’ve learned from self-help books. But of course, you need to start taking actions so you will get closer to success too.

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                Featured photo credit: Juan Jose via unsplash.com

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