If there’s one characteristic that’s become associated with aging, it’s a stooped posture. However, it does not need to be that way, in fact, practicing ways to constantly improve and maintain your posture will keep you looking younger, and feeling better than pricey surgical procedures and “Botox.”
Unless a medical condition predisposes the individual to inevitable spinal issues, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy impeccable health well into your senior years!
So, is it that difficult to maintain and improve your posture?
Not at all!
In fact, by following the tips outlined below, you will enjoy a better posture and improved overall health.
It’s a fact that more than 50% of adults, and the general population at large, do not practice any form of stretching exercises. So why is stretching important? Stretching is important to maintain the normal range of motion of joints, and relaxing muscle fascia (relieving muscle tightness).
Stretching can also help you relieve stress, and is recommended especially for adults who work at a desk job, sitting with hunched shoulder for hours every day. For best results, get up at least once per hour and do a few stretches.
Work On Those Core Muscles
Most people think of the core muscles as only those found in the abdominal area, but the core muscles also include the many spinal extensors found on the back. Strengthening the core muscles helps to prevent age-related hunching that results from muscle loss, and can have other benefits besides improving your posture. For example, strengthening the core can also reduce the likelihood of urinary incontinence, as well as even improving your sex life!
Try This: Practice yoga a few times a week, along with an exercise called the plank. The plank is a static hold that calls the muscles of the core into play, while the benefits of yoga on strengthening the core are well documented.
Get Enough Calcium And Vitamin D
By now, everyone should have heard about the benefits of calcium for spinal and bone health, but not everyone appreciates the use of Vitamin D in conjunction. Vitamin D improves the absorption of calcium and can make or break your supplementation.
Not a fan of pills? That’s absolutely ok! Try to consume at least 1 cup of low-fat milk daily, and try to get a bit of sun exposure every day (20 minutes should be enough). Not only will your bones thank you, but your muscles will too since calcium facilitates normal contractile processes.
This tip probably sounds like a no-brainer, but did you know that many instances of bad posture came about as a result of years of bad habits? Habitually slouching, over time will definitely lead to a forward curvature of the spine, giving you the impression of being “a hunch back.”
The fix is simple; practice walking with an upright chest, shoulders back, and sit with your back against the backrest as much as possible. (If necessary, strap yourself to the chair!)
Practice Foam Rolling
What is a foam roller you ask? Foam rolling is a trend sweeping the nation and those interested in rehab science by storm. It is a simple cylindrical unit made of foam of different densities, excellent for deep tissue repair and now, improving your posture too.
To Perform — simply lie flat on your back, with the foam roller placed under your lower back. This will cause your spine to arch upwards at the hip. Outstretch your arms over your head, as far as you can. The action of extension, coupled with flexion of the spine, can help improve your posture and relieve pain at the same time. Ever notice how good it feels when you wake in the morning and have a good stretch? The exercise provides the same result.
Improving and maintaining your posture as you age does not need to be a difficult undertaking. If you practiced good posture in your youth, you’re halfway there. Just continue to exercise, and mindfully keep that back straight!
How To Maintain Improve Your Posture As You Age & Why You Should