I often tell my clients that improving body posture and monitoring how you use your body is very important. But why is that? How does it help to have a good body posture? You may be surprised to learn that it affects your life more than you thought.
So, let’s start with the more obvious reasons and move towards surprising facts:
1. Less muscle tension, less pain
Much of the muscle tension comes from bad body posture. We tend to pick up a few bad body posture habits when we are young and also as modern adults when we, for example, spend way too much time in front of the computer or sitting behind the desk.
Good posture allows your spine to be aligned and balanced. Did you know that in this way, your bones are doing most of the supporting and holding up? Muscles and ligaments function smoothly and with minimal effort when you walk, run, sit or turn. In contrast, bad posture forces your muscles and ligaments to strain for that balance. All that extra work they have to do can trigger lower back pain, neck pain, headaches, tendonitis, and worn-out, imbalanced muscles.
2. Feel better, have more energy
Slouching is the quickest way to drain your energy. It has a massive impact on your breathing, causing much less oxygen entering your lungs. It also affects your digestive system.
As a result, we not only feel less energy, but also our mood drops down. Did you notice that people who are depressed tend to slouch and drop their heads? The bad posture does not only sustain them in the depressed mood, but is also linked to anxiety and insecurity.
So, since our body posture has a profound influence on how we feel, it is a good idea to try to sit upright in a relaxed aligned body stance every time we find ourselves feeling depressed. The change of mood to the better will follow.
3. Stronger abdominal muscles
Bad body posture is very often associated with weak deep “core” muscles. If you train to keep your abs engaged, you not only get nice looking “stomach”, but you build a good support for your lower back (weak abs= back problems). And as a bonus, your upright body posture happens more naturally without extra efforts.
4. Thinking sharp and concentrate better
It has been found that people who have a good relaxed posture tend to think more positively and clearly. This state improves creativity and helps to increase not only concentration and focus. Experts claim that people with better body posture perform better on intelligence tests too. Crazy, right?
5. Biochemistry and physiology changes
I can not stress this enough. We are hormone driven beings. The way we use our body influences the type of hormones that are released into our blood stream.
When we slump, we send signals to our brain that there is something threatening us. We get immediate and repeated boost in a form of adrenaline and other stress hormones. These cause faster heartbeat, slower digestion and “ready” muscles for fight or flight. Can you imagine what does this do to you in the long term? I am witnessing many forms or stress disorders in my massage clinic every day. Would you not want to know how to prevent some of this?
Upright relaxed open body posture sends also signals to our brain. The hormones released in this state, on the other hand, cause sense of being safe and empowered. You feel naturally more confident. People with good body posture are also perceived by others as more confident and successful. So it goes both ways really.