Eight health benefits to gain from a properly-aligned posture
People with good posture tend to capture attention, whether at a gym class or a dinner party. Aside from the aesthetic appeal, there is much more to proper posture than standing a little bit taller!
Energy boosts, enhanced breathing, preventative health measures? Yes, all this and more are the plusses of an improved posture. We’ve lined up eight benefits of cultivating a good, strong stance here:
- Prevent headaches When we slouch our necks to check our phones or laptops, our poor posture can cause tension in our shoulders, back and neck. Tech neck, as many have come to call this unnatural bend of our neck, is a likely culprit of many throbbing headaches.
- Increased energy levels Our muscles work best when our spine and joints are aligned. Conversely, they fatigue when working to compensate for imperfect posture. Less stress on the muscles means more energy to spend elsewhere.
- Improved breathing Good posture opens up your chest cavity, giving our lungs more room to expand and better absorb oxygen. Increased oxygen contributes to the energy boost just mentioned.
- Backpain relief Sitting or even standing in a slouched position for extensive periods stresses our spine and can cause chronic pain. Studies have shown that aligned posture is positively correlated to reduced pain.
- Better digestion Similar to its impact on your lungs when breathing, good posture aligns your digestive organs as well. Movement in our gastrointestinal tract can be hindered when our stomach and intestines are compressed.
- Boosted mood During anxious or stressful moments, many people unconsciously lift shoulders to ears and tighten muscles. Experts explain this is a natural movement that signals to our brain that there is a threat (fight or flight mode). But when we do the opposite and align our posture, it helps communicate to our body that there is no threat.
- Better balance A strong core enables us to hold our back straight for better posture. When our core muscles are week, we tend to slump, which in turn tips our body forward and off-balance.
- Increased mobility Poor posture causes excess strain on your spine and connective tissues, whether it be to compensate for muscles not active or stiffness. The maintenance of proper body alignment can keep you feeling mobile over time.
Now that you know some of the benefits of proper posture, you want ways to improve your posture. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are some simple exercises and stretches that will help strengthen your core and improve your posture—no equipment needed.
For ease of explanation, click on each exercise to see a how-to video.
Stretches to try for all experiences levels:
Strength building for all experience levels:
Try to incorporate some out some of these stretches and exercises into your workout regime a few times a week. Actively be aware of your posture throughout the day. You’ll start to feel difference in a few weeks. Looking for more ways to increase your mobility? Check out our stretching guide for relief after a long day of work.
Healthy Living is a frequently updated content section brought to you by the Saudi Sports for All Federation. In the spirit of supporting our #HealthyActiveCommunity, we’re sharing tips around wellness, physical activity and more!