How to Take Care of Your Posture throughout Life
Do you want to look confident?
Do you want to look younger?
Do you want to avoid backaches and back injuries?
All you need is to practice good posture.
This article is a comprehensive guide on how to take care of your posture throughout life. After reading, you will surely have everything that you need to keep a strong and healthy back, and a stance that radiates confidence and vigor.
The Anatomy of Spine
The spine (also called backbone or vertebral column) is a part of the axial skeleton. It consists of 33 stacked individual bones. The vertebral column is what makes us a member of the subphylum vertebrata. It is the primary support of the body, allowing us to stand upright, walk, bend, sit, lie down, and twist. The spine also protects the spinal cord.
Poor posture can occur due to spinal disease or injury, lack of core stability, occupational demands, sedentary lifestyle, and decreased fitness. Sometimes, it is simply lack of awareness about correct posture and its importance.
Benefits of Taking Care of Your Posture
Correct posture involves training. It can be difficult at first, but these benefits should motivate you:
maintains proper alignment of joints and bones, allowing proper use of muscles
prevents premature loss of joint surfaces, which can lead to arthritis
reduces the strain on the ligaments that hold the vertebral bones together
prevents the vertebral column from setting in an unhealthy position
prevents muscle pain, which may increase productivity
contributes to a better overall appearance and confidence
If you’re determined to reap these benefits, simply follow these healthy habits:
Practice these exercises even if you’re not experiencing back pain to maintain spine health. These strengthen the core muscles, aiding in support and function to the spine.
Back Flexion Exercise
Lie on your back and then slowly pull your knees as close as possible to your chest. Stretch your neck forward to meet the knees. This should feel like a gentle stretch.
The Knee-to-Chest Stretch
Lie on your back, putting your heels on the floor. Slowly bend the right knee until it is close to your chest. Do it with both hands clasped around the knee. Repeat on the left knee.
The Chin-to-Chest Stretch
You can do this in standing or sitting position. Simply lean your head forward until the chin is in contact with your chest. This exercise is recommended for individuals who are seated in front of the computer most hours of the day. You can also use this to alleviate strain around the neck.
The Ear-to-Shoulder Stretch
This is similar to chin-to-chest stretch, but you can do in while seated on your workstation (or just anywhere). Slowly stretch your neck to your right, until your ear touches the shoulder. Repeat the process on the left side. Make sure to be gentle and not to bend too much.
Stand straight with your feet at least shoulder-width apart. With your right foot, take a small step back. Then, bend your left knee in order to shift the weight to the right hip. Keep the right leg straight, and slowly reach down until your outer hip feels a stretch.
Mindfulness and Meditation
Mindfulness-based stress reduction is believed to be extremely effective in alleviating chronic back pain.
Mindfulness and meditation eases the pain by redirecting focus on calmer ideas. When one is focused on the pain, pain is only amplified.
This type of stress reduction procedure is recommended for people who are hesitant to take pain medications. It can also ease depression and anxiety.
Fortunately, mindfulness and meditation are easy. All you need is to find a quiet environment where you can focus on your thoughts and your breathing. You can do these at home, but there are also places that offer mindfulness and meditation classes.
Healthy diet is crucial in maintaining posture health. Remember that the human body undergoes a natural wear and tear process, and the time may come that your movement will be limited. But you can delay that if you follow these dietary rules.
Add More Calcium
Calcium is the main component of bones. However, calcium ions are constantly removed from the bones to be used for muscle functions, electrolyte balance, blood clotting, and conduction of nerve impulses. You have to replenish these calcium ions by consuming calcium-rich food such as cheese, yogurt, salmon, beans, and milk or taking calcium supplements.
Magnesium helps the body absorb calcium, activates the enzyme for bone formation, and regulates calcium transport. It also stimulates calcitonin production, a hormone that pulls calcium from the tissues and blood, and puts it back to the bones. Magnesium is also needed for the conversion of vitamin D into a form that facilitates calcium absorption in the intestinal tract. Spinach, organic nuts bulk, whole grain, and dark chocolate have high magnesium content.
Get Some Vitamin D
Vitamin D is technically more of pro-hormone than a vitamin.
Our skin has a vitamin D pre-cursor called cholecalciferol, which is converted to vitamin D3 upon exposure to ultraviolet rays. This version moves through a metabolic pathway that brings it to the liver and then to the kidneys, where it is converted to calcitriol. Calcitriol is needed for efficient calcium absorption in the intestinal tract, re-absorption in the kidneys, bone growth and regulation. Milk, cheese, egg yolk, and fatty fishes like tuna and salmon are rich in vitamin D. You can also buy vitamin D supplements from pharmacies.
Zinc For Your Bones
Zinc is found to ward off bone degeneration. It also plays a role in bone mineralization. You only need small amounts of zinc per day. Luckily, this trace mineral is present in much of the usual diet. Some known good zinc sources are meat, cheap bulk nuts, dairy, and whole grains.
It's estimated that over 80% of the population will have spine issues at some point in their lives. Practice, in conjunction with regular exercise, meditation, and proper nutrition will definitely keep your spine strong for years.
Author: Ann Gapasin