From Bad Posture to Good Posture: 3 Easy Tricks

Nix bad posture and slouching for good with these simple fixes.

By Dorothy Foltz-Gray from Make Pain Disappear (Reader's Digest Association Books)
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Achieving Good Posture

Good posture isn't a 15-minute exercise. It's 24/7 mindfulness about how you hold your body. But if you haven't been as posture perfect as you should be for a while, you'll feel strange at first as you square your shoulders and sit up straight. Don't worry–that feeling will go away. The good news is that both strengthening and stretching exercises help to improve posture.

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1. Take the Mirror Test

Standing before a mirror, see if your shoulders are square, not rounded or hunched; your chest is lifted, not sunken; your chin is slightly tucked, not protruding forward; your head is directly over your shoulders, not thrust in front of your chest. Pull in your stomach and buttocks and unlock your knees. In this pose, you should look and feel good. 

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2. Find a Wall

Stand with your back against the wall, with your heels about 6 inches away. Let your head, shoulder blades, and behind touch the wall. Slip your hand behind your lower back. If there's more than a hand's thickness, tighten your stomach to flatten the curve in your back. If there's too little space, arch your back so that your hand fits. This is your ideal posture.

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3. Sit at Your Chair

Put both feet on the floor or a foot rest, keeping your knees level with your hips. Tuck your chin slightly so the top of your head points toward the ceiling. Square the small of your back against the back of the chair. If you need more support, put a rolled towel or cushion behind your lower back. 

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