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Don’t discount the value of good posture. Stand up straight, shoulders back, chest up and stomach in to avoid the negative effects.
10 Simple Exercises To Improve Posture
How important is correct posture for overall health? Although it may not get as much fanfare as eating right and exercising, a straight spine is essential to lifelong wellness.
Accordingly, finding out how to fix your posture is an important process. Without routinely performing exercises to improve posture, most people start experiencing the negative effects of poor posture habits at an early age.
Correct posture aligns everything in your body. Bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons are all able to function optimally when you sit or stand up straight. Your organs assume their proper placement with good posture.
A person who slumps or slouches may find that the habit affects their ability to digest food. They may also have difficulty breathing and experience various aches and pains. These poor habits create greater physical problems as the body ages. Hence, it’s important to learn how to have better posture at an early stage.
Many of the exercises that can teach you how to fix your posture are easy to perform and don’t require much in the way of equipment. This means you can discover how to improve posture from the privacy of your home and without investing a lot of money. Try some of these posture exercises to reach a new level of health and fitness.
When it comes to how to have good posture, a strong core is key. The classic plank is a fantastic core exercise that lights up a multitude of muscles all at once. When done correctly the plank strengthens several abdominal muscles while also working the shoulders and back.
Even better, several variations on the plank exist, so it’s easy to switch things up for a greater challenge or to combat boredom.
Practice the plank by lying face down on the floor with palms alongside shoulders and feet and legs together. Raise yourself so your arms are straight and you’re balancing equally on your hands and toes.
Alternatively, raise yourself just to your forearms. Be sure to keep your spine straight, as proper form is essential to getting the most out of this move. Try holding the pose for 30 seconds. As your strength grows, extend the time to between one and three minutes.
2. Crunch with Twist
If you want to learn how to fix your posture, then you’ll love this move. It works your abs and obliques.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head. As you exhale, lift your right shoulder off the floor, rotating toward the left. Inhale and lower your shoulder back to the floor. Repeat on the other side to complete one rep.
3. Dumbbell Side Bends
This is another exercise for the obliques. You’ll need at least one light weight for this one, but you can also use cans of soup if you don’t have weights.
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Relax your shoulders. Slowly bend to one side, then return to the starting position. You can do all reps on one side before doing the other or work both sides at once.
4. Back Extensions
When you’re learning how to improve posture, it’s necessary to strengthen your back with this exercise. Lie face down, extending arms straight above your head. 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.
5. Pilates Swimming
Learning how to have good posture is essential for dance students, and they use Pilates in their training. This is a move that anyone can do to strengthen their back to help ensure proper sitting posture. It can also help you make sure that you’re standing up straight.
Begin lying face down on the floor with arms straight over your head. Lift the left arm and right leg, keeping the elbow and knee straight. Lower your limbs back to the starting position before repeating with the right arm and left leg.
6. Reverse Dumbbell Fly
People who have rounded shoulders as a result of years of poor posture need to strengthen their upper back. When it comes to how to have better posture, this move is a great solution.
Use two light weights, grasping one in each hand with your palms facing each other. Feet are shoulder width apart. Bend slightly forward at the waist and soften the knees. With your head up and eyes facing forward, raise your arms to your sides until they are parallel with the floor. Elbows are slightly bent. Slowly lower arms to start position. Try three sets of 10 reps each.
7. Seated Dumbbell Row
This exercise is directed toward strengthening the upper and middle back. Sit on a chair, holding a light weight in each hand. Palms should be facing each other. Bend forward slightly from the waist. Begin by squeezing your shoulder blades together.
At the same time, drive your elbows behind you. Pause before slowly lowering the weights to the start position. Three sets of 10 reps is a good start.
8. Shoulder Rolls
Proper sitting posture is important for everyone, particularly those who work at a desk all day. This simple stretch can work wonders for relieving tension and encouraging correct posture.
Shoulder rolls can be done while sitting or standing. Inhale and raise your shoulders toward your ears. Hold for a few seconds before exhaling and pulling your shoulder blades down and together. Repeat five to 10 times at least twice a day.
9. Seated Twist
This is one of the best posture exercises, and it’s easy to do anywhere. In fact, it’s practically designed to be performed during a long day at work.
From a seated position, exhale and use the right arm of your chair to twist to the right. Your abdomen and chest will be facing the right arm of your chair. Hold this position for a few breaths before returning to the starting position and repeating on the other side. This exercise can be performed throughout the day.
10. Kneeling Stretch
Tight muscles are sometimes the result of poor posture. Couple bad posture with a sedentary lifestyle, and you’ve got a recipe for back pain and worsening posture as you age. The kneeling stretch combats tightness in a number of important muscle groups. Do it regularly, and you’ll find it much easier to sit and stand with a straight spine.
To begin, lunge with one leg forward while the knee of the other leg rests on a padded mat. Place your hands on your lunging knee. Gently push the hips forward to feel a stretch in the iliopsoas muscle, an important connection between the hip and spine. The more flexible your iliopsoas muscle is, the freer you are to keep your spine straight.
Use any or all of these exercises on a regular basis to fix posture problems and improve your health and fitness.
AGELESS BASICS RULE #16: Trimming Your Hair during a FULL MOON will make your hair grow longer.
Lunar Hair Care: Cutting Your Hair by the Moon’s Phases
I began studying astrology to understand how the zodiac worked in relation to personal style, our fashion choices and even why we look the way we do. But I soon came across another, equally inspiring theory: how the moon might hold sway over our hair growth.
It’s widely accepted by farmers and gardeners that the moon supports the planting of crops for a better harvest, and many use the lunar phases in their biodynamic planting, but the discovery that the moon could dictate how hair grew was music to my ears! Even the Farmers’ Almanac — the centuries-old publication that predicts weather years in advance — suggests the best dates for cutting hair if growth is what you’re after!
Astrology can be a pretty hard subject to pin down and this is a pretty elusive area in particular, but I’ll share what I’ve found so far.
How does it work?
Although not fully understood by science, it’s thought that the moon is a regulator of growth (ie. has a direct pull on living things) and that certain activities can be performed in line with the monthly cycle.
The full moon makes hair grow fast, thick, long and luscious.
The theory goes that the powers of expansion are strongest when the moon is getting bigger (waxing), becoming nice and full and bright in the sky, on its path to being a full moon. During this waxing lunar phase, a hair cut will encourage growth right up until the full moon.
Think of it as the “Werewolf effect”: the full moon makes hair grow fast, thick, long and luscious.
When you cut your hair, you remove the dead ends, which keeps your hair healthy. Just like a plant, any dead parts of your hair will sap nutrients from the healthy parts, making it hard to grow. So if you trim hair while the moon’s pull is strongest, you have a better chance of incorporating natural elements and encouraging root strength and growth.
It’s thought that the body (and hair) is readily ingesting what it’s given during this phase, so this is also the best time to use masks and conditioners, as chances are they’ll penetrate even deeper and are likely to be more effective.
The sun makes its way through the zodiac signs, taking one year to complete its circuit, and in this way we find birth signs. Born in November? Likely a Scorpio. April baby? An Aries, and so on.
As the fastest astral body, the moon is far quicker and takes around a month to move through the signs in the sky, spending one and a half to two days in each. On its journey through the zodiac, the moon completes the monthly lunar cycle, changing from a new moon to full, then full circle.
When the moon passes through the watery zodiac signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces), it’s thought energies are more fertile. Taurus, Libra and Capricorn also fall under this category, though not as much as the three water signs. The fire signs (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius) are the most dry and arid, with Gemini, Virgo and Aquarius following suit.
When the moon is passing through a fertile sign, repair, recovery and growth is promoted. The dry signs are the best for permanent removals like waxing or laser (leaving little fertile energy to support regrowth).
So the best time to remove unwanted hair is before a new moon when it’s passing through Aries. The best time for a haircut if you want lovely, long locks is the full moon in a water sign.
Does It Work?
I find it very difficult not to follow the lunar cycle in my beauty routine — I’m a total convert! Perhaps it’s the superstitious side of me, but I’m loath to pluck a stray hair before a full moon (especially those really random, weird ones …) or cut my hair at any time other than during the waxing moon. I keep a pair of hairdressing scissors handy and will request a trim from my (very patient) boyfriend: just a little off the ends on the full moon!
It’s incredibly difficult to measure whether it’s working, and I’m the first to admit I’m no scientist. It could be that the ancient wisdom is really an old wives tale, but it’s how it sits with you, so why not give it a go?
So the next time you go to book an appointment at your salon, you might want to consult a lunar chart first!
by Kimberly Peta Dewhirst, MBG