Are you standing up straight? Do you sit at your desk with professional posture? Having great posture has been shown to improve self-confidence, help prevent back pain, and project a stronger, more positive image to others.
With all the stresses and distractions that our daily lives bring us, standing tall is not always easy. Miss New York, and great friend of Sweat for Smiles, Lena Coco Hunter knows this well and she has generously provided us with the following “pro” tips that she uses for perfecting posture.
The Water Bottle Technique
When driving or sitting for long periods of time (airplanes, office chairs) I like to put an empty water bottle behind my lower back and any time I slouch I hear that annoying crinkle and perk back up.
Try Hula Hooping
Of course you need to build your muscles if you want to improve long term and for that I absolutely adore Hula Hooping. Yes, Hula Hooping! Get a weighted hula hoop online or from any sports retailer and start with about 5-10 min sessions working your way up to 30 min sessions a few times a week. (Plus your waist line will shrink!)
Stretch It Out
Anytime you have 5-10 minutes to spare try these three stretches.
- First, start by bending over to touch your toes and let all the pressure of gravity come off your spine. Breath slowly with each exhale allowing you to go deeper into the stretch. (If you get dizzy STOP)
- Second, lift one arm straight up and tilt your upper body to the opposite side, reaching over your head with that arm and breath into that. Repeat with the other arm. (If you have the space try this while in the splits for a really deep and invigorating stretch.)
- Lastly, sit into an extremely deep squat where your bum is almost touching the floor. Put your elbows in front of you legs with hands together at your chest and use the leverage to go deeper into the stretch. These three really help me on days I’m on my feet.
Flex Your Core
I say to myself “FLEX” and I even text this to my friends randomly. It is a reminder to flex those core muscles you use when standing tall.
Be a Puppet
Something I learned in dance class is to imagine you are a puppet and someone is holding you upright with a string coming out of your head. You can sort of imagine the weight of life being lifted off your shoulders as you roll them back and inhale as you lift your chin and fall into a better posture.
Thank you Lena! Here’s to standing a little taller today.
With Contributions by Lena Coco Hunter, CEO Miss Lena Coco, Creator of Model Mindset