We’ve all been there — we’re exhausted from a late night of studying//fun or just a case of the #Mondays. Our caffeine fix has yet to set in + we’re hunched over our laptops responding to emails [or reading da CHAARG blog ; )]. In the age of the internet, this slouched-over position has become a commonplace ++ that’s definitely not a good thing [hello, back pain]! Here are some simple ways you can improve your posture, even if you’re sitting at your desk —
#1] TAKE YOUR ELBOWS OFF OF THE TABLE
Our moms probably told us this all the time as kids, but *bad manners* aren’t the only reason to avoid sitting like this. When our elbows are resting on the desk//table we tend to relax our body weight into our forearms, causing us to slouch over [literally me as I’m writing this ; )]. Try dropping your elbows closer to your sides + off of your desk. While this action won’t automatically make you sit taller, it will absolutely make you more aware of the hunch in your back [it should be harder to *slouch*]. You’re probably sitting like this right now anyways — try it!
#2] BREATHE DEEP
It’s pretty difficult to take a deep breath with your spine curved over your lungs + stomach. Inhale + try to fill your lungs to their maximum capacity. Not only will this help you sit up straight, but taking several deep breaths can also help you relax + refocus your mind so you’re ready to tackle whatever lies ahead.
#3] STRETCH OUT THE SLOUCH
Some of us carry the weight of our day in our shoulders. Tension builds from all of our stresses + emotions ++ that can lead to some serious slouching. When bringing awareness to your posture isn’t enough to straighten up your spine, it’s time to get up from your desk + stretch it out. Try some shoulder openers — stand next to a wall with your hand on the wall at shoulder height + slowly twist your entire body away from your hand, opening up your chest. Feeling it more in your back? Do a few cat//cows, upward//downward dogs + a child’s pose to relieve some of the tension in your lower back.
#4] WORK IT OUT
It’s the end of the day + your posture still isn’t up to par. Grab your CHAARGie + get your sweat on! If you’re heading to the weight section watch your body in the mirror. This gives you great visual feedback of where your body is in space + it also helps ensure you have proper form [bad posture + lifting = injury, ++ you definitely don’t want that]. Make sure to include exercises for your entire core [back, abs, + pelvis] — strengthening those muscles will help your posture as well. Not feeling the gym? Try a yoga//pilates// barre class. Not only will those classes strengthen your core muscles, but they force you to actually *practice* having good posture. Have you ever seen a slouched-over yogi? Neither have we ; )
Great posture isn’t just for ballerinas. When we stand [or sit] tall we feel focused + confident, just like a CHAARG girl should! Do you have any posture tips we missed? Share them with us in the comments below!
++ Jackie [@jackie_inchaarg] // VirtCHAARG Cleveland