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How to Maintain a Healthy Posture

Health & Diet

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Our body is composed of multiple bones that are responsible for our overall stance and appearance. Typically, an infant is born with about 300 bones in his or her body. As one ages, this number decreases as the bones fuse into a 206-boned skeleton of an adult human being. Genes, diet, and exercise are the main factors that affect our bones’ growth and strength. One can significantly increase their bone mass at childhood, adolescence, and also early adulthood. When we turned around 25 to 30 years of age, we have reached our maximum bone size and strength. Meaning, our body’s ability to remove and replace bones had officially started decreasing. However, the good news is that we can take steps to prevent our bodies from suffering due to severe bone loss over time. The more calcium we take in our bodies, coupled with healthy diet and exercise, the less risk we have in developing bone loss problems such as osteoporosis. You see, this is important. Changes in our bones, as well as muscles and joints, greatly affect our posture and walking pattern, which can lead to weakness and slowness in movement. Posture is the position by which we are holding our bodies whether we are standing, sitting, or even lying down. To put it simply, without posture and the muscles that control it, gravity would just take effect and cause us to fall down to the ground. Keeping a good posture is important not only to our appearance, but also to our overall wellness. A good posture involves a habit wherein one is able to sit, stand, walk, and lie in positions that require least strain on supporting muscles and ligaments. They say postures change with factors such as aging. But just like what we said, a few measures can be taken in order to maintain a good posture even as you age.

Why is it important to have good posture? 

Aside from helping us stand, walk, and lie properly while making sure that there are minimal or no strain on the muscles and ligaments, good posture allows us to achieve the following.
  • Correct alignment of bones and joints
  • Reduced stress on ligaments holding the spinal joints
  • Efficient muscle function
  • Muscle strain prevention
Photo by Amy Elting on Unsplash

What can bad posture do to our body?

 Complications that arise from bad posture are more serious than most people think. Take note of the following.

1. Postural Pain Syndrome

This is a result of prolonged postures or positions that can affect muscles, tendons, and surfaces. When end range positions are maintained for an extended period of time, you may experience local and reproducible pain.

2. Osteoporosis

This a condition that causes the bones to become weak, brittle, and thin. It also causes our bones to lose their bone density. Ultimately, it is because of the lack of calcium in the body. It usually begins in women at the start of one’s menopausal period and in men at around 65 years of age. Osteoporosis can weaken our bones to the point that even bending over or coughing can result with a fracture. Moreover, it can cause a person to lose height.

3. Decreased Lung Capacity

Bad posture can result to a decreased lung capacity. The amount of oxygen in our body can decrease the space in our chest cavity which then restricts the functioning of our lungs. Also, Inhaling through our nostrils and respiratory system can be difficult if our head is slouched forward.

4. Nerve Interference

Bad posture can lead to misalignment of our spine. This may further cause interference in the functioning of our nerves.

5. Limits on Range of Motion

Our muscles can be shortened or stretched when your normal position is a slumped over one. Getting used to this position causes muscles and ligaments to no longer function as required.

What can you do to maintain good posture?

Here are a few tips on how you can achieve and keep a good posture.
  1. Try to move for a few minutes every half hour. Being in the same position for a couple of hours tires the body without you knowing it. Have you ever tried being in the same position for a really long time and felt both relieved and pained as soon as you stretch your body? Move about every now and then to avoid this.
  2. Sit straight. This may be hard to establish as a habit, but try your best to always be reminded to sit straight. Master this and your body will thank you for it later.
  3. Exercise your core. There are some exercises that focus on strengthening your core such as pilates and yoga. They build up your abdomen and pelvic areas, which are the key parts needed for a good posture.
  4. Get some vitamin D. This specific vitamin is essential for bone health. Make sure that you greet the sun with as smile as you do your morning walk while getting that daily dose of vitamin D.
  5. Eat healthy. Have a healthy diet and get enough calcium intake. It is suggested that you get it naturally from food rather than taking it as supplements as it has been studied that those who choose the later tend to have higher risk of kidney stones and heart attacks. If you aren’t able to prepare food for yourself, make sure that the person preparing your food knows how important it is to integrate calcium in your diet.
  6. Sleep properly. Perhaps a very essential element in every person’s health regardless of age is sleeping. Your basis for choosing your mattress should go beyond picking what’s soft for the back. Your mattress should ultimately relieve your back pain while you rest asleep. Also, sleep with a pillow and avoid sleeping straight on your back. If you are going to sleep on your side, place a pillow between your legs.
Things such as erect posture is one of the many things that we tend to lose as we age. These are inevitable parts of our human body’s nature, which everyone has to go through at some point. Nevertheless, let us follow these simple ways in order to minimise these changes and help us age beautifully and gracefully.

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