If you’re already feeling the effects of bad posture, you know just how debilitating it can eventually be. If you haven’t already experienced these negative effects, consider yourself warned.
Bad posture can lead to a number of different health problems, some of which are psychological and some of which are physical. Everything from your joints, to your bones, to your muscles, to your organs can be affected by the practicing of poor posture.
While poor posture can be corrected, it’s not at all a quick process. This is why, in the case of many people, posture is never corrected. However, it’s not the only reason. Read on to understand why most people fail to improve their bad posture.
What is Considered Poor Posture?
Poor posture can occur while you’re standing, sitting, or laying down. However, in all three cases, the same principles of good posture apply. In general, there are three different posture mistakes that people make. They include shoulder rolling, butt jutting, and back stiffening.
Shoulder rolling is typically the most common bad posture habit that people display. This occurs when the shoulders fall down and in toward the chest.
Those who roll their shoulders typically do so because their backs are not strong enough to support them. Instead of holding them back and up where they belong, they allow them to sag forward.
Butt jutting is a posture mistake which typically occurs because of overcompensation. When a person is trying to correct his or her posture, he or she will overarch the back, causing the chest to point upward, and causing the posterior to stick out unusually far.
This results in a great amount of stress being put on the lower back. If left to linger for a long period of time, butt jutting will result in chronic back problems.
Back stiffening is another posture habit which comes as a result of overcompensation. In an attempt to stand up straight, an individual will straighten out the lower back, putting tremendous amounts of stress on it.
This is incorrect because the back is meant to be slightly curved. By strengthening the core and leg muscles, you will be able to produce a more natural posture.
Common Mistakes People Make When Trying to Improve Their Posture
While it may seem as simple as making a few physical adjustments, correcting your posture is actually a fairly complex and time-consuming process. Because it’s complex and time-consuming, those who undertake it usually make some mistakes. These mistakes can make or break a posture correction effort.
Expecting Too Much, Too Soon
The primary reason that people fail in their posture correction efforts is that they expect too much progress far too soon. Correcting your posture is a process which can take months or even years to achieve. It’s by no means an overnight phenomenon.
Those who expect their posture to be improved overnight typically get discouraged and give up altogether. The key is to go into the process with realistic expectations. This will prevent you from becoming discouraged with your efforts.
Not Monitoring Progress
Another reason that people often fail when attempting to correct their posture is that they don’t monitor their progress. In order to keep yourself invested in your posture correction process, you need to see that change is actually occuring.
How do you do this? By taking pictures, and by reaching tangible goals. Tracking your exercise progress and capturing visible representations of your posture changes will keep you motivated so that you continue to strive for your goal.
Putting Too Much Stress on the Body
Sometimes, when people are attempting to correct their posture, they will put in unbelievable amounts of effort in an attempt to see quick change. They’ll lift weights every day, run every day, and generally give themselves no time to rest.
However, more often than not, this plan of action backfires. The body requires rest in order to operate correctly. When it does not receive rest, injuries occur. What happens when injuries occur? Progress is halted entirely.
While you should progress, you need to do so gradually. Pushing too hard can derail your entire posture correction effort.
Start Improving Your Bad Posture
Wondering what you should do to improve your bad posture? Consistency is key. Not only must you monitor your progress every step of the way, you must engage in certain activities on a regular basis. Following the tips below can help you to start improving your bad posture.
Key to any posture correction effort is regular stretching. Stretching helps to keep the muscles loose, allowing them to move fluidly in their designed manners. When muscles are not loose, the body is left rigid and unable to perform naturally.
Though it’s important to perform all types of stretches, there are a few stretches, in particular, which can really do a lot of good for your posture. These stretches target the lower and upper back as well as your legs, and enable your torso to operate with full functionality.
You should perform these stretches at least once a day. However, the more you can stretch, the better off you’ll be.
Work Your Core
Not only should you engage in regular stretching, but regular exercise as well. Exercising and strengthening your muscles enables your body to function in exactly the way that it’s designed to function.
Again, while all of your muscles should be exercised, one specific part of your body garners most of the importance when it comes to your posture. What part of the body is this? Your core.
Your core includes your abs, your obliques, and your lower back, and is vital in sustaining the structure of the rest of your body. To strengthen your core, it’s wise to engage in sit-ups, crunches, squats, and deadlifts.
Monitor Your Posture
As was noted above, one of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to improve their posture is that they don’t monitor their progress. Because of this, they don’t see any improvement, and eventually give up.
Taking pictures of your posture over time and keeping a log of your workouts will help you to gauge any progress that you make. A record of your progress will keep you motivated and also help you to right any of the mistakes that you’re making on your journey.
Utilize a Posture Correcting Device
Something that many people don’t do when attempting to correct their posture is to use a posture correcting device. These devices are designed to be worn somewhere on the torso, either as a vest, or a belt, or some other piece of clothing.
When worn, they apply pressure to specific points on the back, promoting good posture and ensuring that back pain is kept to a minimum. These devices are useful because they help to improve your posture without necessitating that you put in any effort. All you have to do is put them on and reap the benefits that they provide.
Tying it All Together
Your posture is something that develops over years of repetition and conditioning. Because of this, it’s exceedingly difficult to correct.
However, bad posture can be corrected. While correcting poor posture is not at all a rapid phenomenon, it is a worthwhile one. Correcting your posture can save you a lot of psychological and physical pain down the line.
Don’t be one of many who fail to improve their bad posture. Follow the above tips on a consistent basis, and you’ll eventually see the results you’re looking for.