Right now, there’s something you could do that:
• Instantly makes you look a few pounds lighter
• Boosts your self-esteem
• Brightens your mood
And, unlike most other beauty enhancers, it’s free. Even better, it only takes a few short minutes to do!
So what is it?
It’s better posture. But wait! Before you sit up straight and call it a day, you should know that just sitting up straight doesn’t actually work. Why? Well, there are actually two reasons...
Reason #1: Sitting up straight never lasts long. As soon as we get distracted and forget, we resume the usual slouching position.
Reason #2: Simply sitting up straight or throwing your shoulders back is usually bad posture, too! Most people who try to force their body into the perfect posture are overcorrecting, which will just lead to discomfort and pain.
So what is the solution? I’m going to tell you in just a minute. First, I want to quickly explain why posture is so important for looking better ... and for your health, too.
Beauty and health
First, there’s the way that slouching makes you look.
Shorter, for one thing. A natural result of hunching over is that you’re not standing (or sitting) at your fullest height. So with better posture, you instantly look taller ... and thinner, too!
But the beauty benefits are long term, too. Because over time, bad posture can cause you to develop a curve in your upper back. From there, a mass of tissue can start to form at the base of your neck. In other words, the dreaded dowager's hump. Bad posture is one of the top causes of dowager's hump. And I think I can safely say that developing a hump on your back is something all of us want to avoid!
In addition to the physical benefits, posture is also a big part of your body language. Good posture tells other people that you’re confident, graceful, strong, and empowered. It also tells other people you’re engaged with them. That’s particularly important today, when we’re often communicating virtually or through masks that block our faces.
There’s also the way that slouching makes you feel.
Slouching – with a curved back, tilted head and hunched shoulders – reduces the amount of oxygen you’re able to take in. You end up taking shallow “chest” breaths, versus deep breaths that go all the way into your stomach.
As you may know, oxygen is vital for good health, cell renewal, and feeling awake and full of energy. So getting less oxygen will start to deplete your energy.
And finally, slouching affects your mood, too.
One study found that participants who sat in a slumped position were more anxious, had lower self-esteem, and were more likely to experience bad moods than those with good posture.
So hopefully I’ve given you plenty of reasons to care about your posture. Now let’s talk about how to improve it...
A 3-minute solution
The solution is short, daily posture moves. Moves that will get your muscles working, so they’ll hold you in a better posture without you having to even think about it.
And not only is this solution quick, but you can even do it while you’re sitting!
Here’s what to do:
1. 30 seconds of shoulder shrugs. How to do it: While you inhale, bring your shoulders as high up toward your ears as you can. Do the movement slowly so that you feel the resistance of your muscles. Lower your shoulders back down as you breathe out.
2. 30 seconds of shoulder circles. How to do it: Let your right hand to hang down. Circle your right hand 5 times in each direction. Repeat on the opposite side.
3. 30 seconds of glute clenches. How to do it: Squeeze your glutes as tight as possible, and hold the contraction for a few seconds. Release.
4. Repeat routine one more time, and you’re done!
Add this routine to your daily schedule, so you won’t forget to take a posture break.
So ... while you’ve been reading this, have your shoulders crept back up to your ears? Is your neck bent forward? You know what to do!