Do you find yourself hunching your way through life? Well, it turns out the little things we do throughout the day can contribute to bad posture which can affect our breathing patterns and our digestion. We spoke with Charlotte Reardon, a New York-based trainer with BiCoastal model management, who has recently worked with models from such companies as Adidas, DVF and Jason Wu to see why good posture is so important and how we can correct it.
“Posture is so incredibly important in so many different ways,” explains Reardon who had made a career of being a fit model and ballerina before coaching people in those industries on fixing their bad posture.“Hunching over is such a normal thing for everyone. Everybody looks at a tablet and they don’t look at it at eye level. There isn’t one day that goes past where I’m sure you don’t look at your telephone or look at a screen of some sort… the way we look at our tablets makes us hunch over in general.” Here are five easy tips from Reardon to help you fix your bad posture.
5 Tips to help fix your bad posture
Photo Credit: iStock.
1.) Set reminders on your phone
By setting reminders for yourself on your phone to straighten out your back while you are at work can make a huge difference. By just taking a few minutes three-to-four times a day, you will start to focus on breaking your bad habits once and for all. Reardon believes that it just takes a little reminder to get on the right track. “Eventually, you probably won’t have to set those alarms because you will be able to feel it.
2.) Tense and release your abs
Since many of us have jobs where we are sitting at our desks all day, that pressure from the rest of our body can take a toll on our lower backs over time. To alleviate this pressure, Reardon believes you should take the time to tense and release your abs a few times a day. “Imagine you have a straight line like a long string going through your spine that is pulling you up,” explains Reardon. “Instead of just trying to give yourself a straight back you are trying to lift off of your hips. That’s the first thing that we try to talk about in ballet … to try and lift off of your legs and create more space in your midriff.”
3.) The High release
By lifting the the top part of your shoulders backwards you will lengthen the center of your back and help open up your breathing. This is what Reardon calls a “high release” and it can do wonders for your back especially if you are hunched in front of a screen answering emails all day.
4.) Head and neck rolls
Since the average head ways around 11lbs, our necks can get tense causing us to lean forward rather than upright with good posture. By taking a few moments to roll your neck, you can relax those muscles before it leads to tension headaches. Reardon suggests taking a few minutes a few times a day to roll your neck in both directions and to also nod your head up and down as if you are affirming “yes” and “no”.
5.) Shoulder Rolls
Lastly, Reardon suggests rolling your shoulders throughout the day. But making sure you are doing it properly will make all of the difference. “I always tend to tell everybody not to pull their shoulders forward because if we are pushing our shoulders forward that really promotes that slouch again.”
You can follow Charlotte Reardon on Instagram at @charlottereardon.