Stand Up Tall to the New Year in a Month of Resolutions You Can Keep
Yep. It’s that time of year again. The New Year begets new beginnings, new plans, new ideas … a bit of a reboot. It makes sense to reflect on the past and plan for the future in the New Year. And resolutions are inevitably part of that.
According to Statista, the number two resolution for people across the United States is to lose weight or get in shape, right behind saving money. (In fact, getting healthy goes hand-in-hand with savings!). And according to a UK poll, 7 of 10 most common resolutions are health and nutrition related.
Many of us have experienced the defeat of broken resolutions. So, this January, we’re going to celebrate a month of resolutions everyone can keep.
Start the New Year off standing (and sitting) tall! Good posture is essential for body and brain health. Good posture is powerful, so powerful that it can even land you that dream job.
Great posture is a first step to great health and success. And what better way to reboot and recharge?
The first step is to recognize what good, and bad, posture is. Good posture isn’t military-straight backs. Our backbones have a natural curve. That said, oftentimes we take that curve and become masters of the slouch.
With poor posture, our heads jut forward and lean down (keeping our heads out of alignment with the rest of our bodies); our sternum and chest pull inward compressing the diaphragm, making breathing more difficult; finally, our shoulders and upper back are rounded, which causes stress on our neck, back and shoulders. This can cause tension headaches and strain. (I bet you’ve just shrugged your shoulders back.) Alignment in the body affects everything from joint-health to brain power.
It’s never too late to improve posture. Initially, it might be tough, but over time you’ll get in the habit of standing tall. Here are 6 tips to better posture for better health in 2019.
- Sit well. The majority of my clients have jobs where a lot of sitting takes place. Sitting well is key to great posture. Feet should be flat on the ground. If not, get a little stool for your feet. There should be a small gap between your knees and the chair. Have something to support your lower back.
- Stand up. Many have office jobs where it’s common to slouch, slump, and hunch over a computer all day long. Set a timer to stand up every 40 minutes. Walk around. Stretch out your back muscles. Sit tall and stand up. Often.
- Walk well. When walking, keep your tummy tight, shoulders back. Walk with your feet slightly outward – no top-model runway stuff here. Body alignment is key to joint, bone, and muscle health.
- Strengthen your core. If you have time, try enrolling in a Yoga or Pilates class. If you don’t have time or a way to get to a class, there are many great exercises you can do while watching TV:
- Sit with your hands to your sides. Stand up. Sit back down. Do this during advertisements.
- Plank it. During advertisements, put your body in plank position, tummy tight. The stronger you get, the longer you’ll be able to hold the plank position.
- Try commercial crunching or sit-ups.
- Stretch. Roll your shoulders back. Arch over a physioball to stretch your abs, the front of your thighs, and chest muscles. So much of our bodies get “smooshed” when sitting so often.
- Sleep well! No stomach sleeping, please! Sleep on your back, with a pillow under your knees, or on your side, with a pillow between your knees. And use a pillow. A great pillow can make a big difference!
Standing tall is a great way to begin a magical year of success and possibility. Happy New Year!