Changes in posture are common with ageing. Loss of bone mass and muscle tissue take a toll on your spine, leading to the stooped posture that seems to go hand in hand with old age. However, bad posture doesn’t necessarily have to be an inevitable part of ageing.
There are plenty of things you can do to keep your posture at its best, which will help you stay looking younger and healthier. Here are a few of them.
Ways to Maintain Good Posture
1) Sit Straight
Sitting up straight is a simple but effective habit to get into. This is especially important for those with office jobs who spend all day sitting at a desk. Sitting up straight with your shoulders back and your lower back supported will do a lot to help you maintain good posture.
Spending the day sitting in the same position is terrible for your posture, so make sure you get up for regular breaks to stretch your back and limbs. You should also try to add some easy stretching exercises to your routine.
Try lying on the floor and making slow “snow angels” with your arms for a few minutes each day. You can give yourself an even more vigorous stretch by doing these movements with a rolled up towel on the floor underneath your spine.
3) Work Out Your Back
Exercises which work out the back are great for posture. Try doing some back extension exercises. Simply lie face down, extending your arms straight above your head. While keeping your head in line with your spine, gently lift your shoulders as far off the floor as possible, then return to the starting position.
4) Try Yoga
Yoga is an excellent way to strengthen your core and your muscles, while building and maintaining flexibility – all of which can do great things for your posture. Your core muscles – the muscles of your abdomen and pelvic area – are what form the foundation of good posture.
The good news is yoga is a simple and effective form of exercise for anyone of any skill level, so if you’ve never tried it before, don’t let that put you off joining a class. Online classes are now becoming very popular and you can join in from the comfort and safety of your home.
5) Keep Up Your Calcium Intake
It’s common knowledge that calcium is essential for healthy, strong bones so make sure you get plenty of it. You should be increasing your calcium intake a little once you’re over the age of 50, which means consuming more dairy products and green leafy vegetables.
As you age, your posture can become progressively hunched over as the spinal vertebrae and the discs between them become thinner and compressed. However, getting the nutrients you need to strengthen your bones can help to minimise this effect.
6) Get Plenty of Vitamin D
Like calcium, vitamin D plays a crucial role in maintaining bone health, and also helps you maintain muscle strength too – both of which play an important role in posture. You can usually get all the vitamin D you need by regularly spending time outdoors and eating foods containing vitamin D, such as oily fish, eggs and various fortified foods to which vitamin D is added.
What are the Health Benefits of Good Posture?
- A reduction in lower back pain
- An increase in energy levels
- Less headaches
- A reduction in the abnormal wearing of the surfaces of your joints
- Less tension in your neck and shoulders
- An improvement in your blood flow
- Your breathing benefits from an increased lung capacity
- Increased core strength
- Looking taller!
- Boosting your self esteem and self confidence!
Therefore it is so worthwhile to put a little effort into maintaining good posture to reap these benefits for our overall health and wellness.
Incorporating these tips into your routine will help to keep you standing tall at any age. Practise them regularly and they’ll become good habits that you don’t even need to think about.
For additional tips and common posture mistakes, why not follow this link to the NHS website.
Finally, if you are concerned about osteoporosis, you may like to read our article by clicking on the link.
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