Let me guess: Are you reading this hunched over your screen, with your legs crossed and your left hand on your face?
Don’t worry, I’m not secretly looking over your (rounded) shoulders. Sitting like a pretzel is the default posture for many of us, myself included.
But slouching and poor posture doesn’t just affect your appearance and spinal health. Research shows that how you carry yourself also impacts your energy levels, mood and ability to focus.
That’s mostly because standing or sitting in a slumped position cuts off the circulation in your body. Proper posture on the other hand opens up your chest cavity and airways. With more oxygen and nutrient-rich blood flowing more freely through your body and to your brains, you automatically feel more positive, productive and alert.
Luckily, it only takes one minute to start improving your posture. And the best news is, almost anyone can do the exercise below, even if you have health problems.
So straighten up and start your day with this power pose!
The Simplest Exercise to Improve Your Posture, Energy Levels and Overall Health:
- First off, stand with your feet hip width apart and plant your feet firmly on ground. Spread your toes and subtly rock back and forth, from left to right, until your find your centre of balance.
- Lift the arches of your feet so your ankles are straight under your knees. Raise your knee caps without over-stretching them. Keep your legs active and strong.
- Gently pull your navel inwards, so your hips are somewhat tilted and your core muscles activated.
- Keep your spine proudly upright, while keeping your shoulders low and pulled slightly backwards. That simple move opens up your chest cavity, creating room for deep breathing and an optimal blood flow.
- Elongate your neck, with your chin a little towards your chest, so there’s a natural straight line from your tailbone to the crown of your head.
- Lastly, relax your jaw, soften your eyes and feel how the smile on your face spreads throughout your entire body.
You can do this simple posture exercise anywhere, anytime. When your feet touch the ground first thing in the morning. When you’re brushing your teeth or waiting in line. See how it affects your confidence, energy levels and overall health.
And as your body awareness grows through regular practice, you’ll naturally begin to sit up straight, stand tall and align your body correctly in all kinds of positions.
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