Mirror Shot (2)This month, we’re encouraging you to make a conscious effort to sit up straight. Studies have shown that correct posture is essential in improving the longevity of our lives, decreasing back pain and making sure that as we age, we are healthy and look our best.

Here are a few of our favorite posture-improving tips:

1.)    Exercise

Most exercise is good for you, but there are a few exercises in particular that will help lessen stooping.

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Strenghthen your core. A healthy back starts with a strong core. Having a strong core will alleviate and prevent future lower back pain. Make sure to exercise your core at least every other day for optimal results. Don’t know where to start? Personal trainer, Mary Beth Knight, recommends five beginner core strengthening moves that you can do at home.

Yoga is excellent for improving flexibility and strengthening muscles throughout your body. It’s also a great way to relax and relieve stress (which can cause tension and tightness in muscles).

Lifting weights will help strengthen muscles that surround the skeletal system and keep the back strong. Make sure your body is in proper alignment when lifting  and that you are lifting correctly so you aren’t pulling muscles. Read more.

2.)    Sit up straight

Posture+ 3Q BehindSometimes this is easier said than done. When we’re sitting for eight hours or more at a desk each day, it’s easy to start hunching. You may start the day sitting up straight and then a couple of hours into the day, your body starts moving closer to your computer screen or you start moving further down in your seat. By the end of the day, good posture is the last thought on your mind. BackJoy offers several easy-to-use sitting devices that optimize posture and require no effort or thought. The BackJoy automatically tilts the hips up, reducing pressure on the tailbone and elongating the spine to reduce slumping and slouching. It’s also extremely comfortable to sit on.

3.)    Move around

Sitting all day is exhausting, and long periods of sitting lead to slouching. We recommend getting up and moving around at least once an hour for a couple minutes at a time. Stand up, do a few stretches or take a stroll around the office. Do something to get your blood flowing. (And who doesn’t like an excuse to take a quick break from work?!)

4.)    Stretch regularly

Stretching is a necessity to keep your body limber and improve your range of motion. Whether you do stretches at your desk or stretch during exercise, your posture will greatly improve. Start incorporating these easy stretches from celebrity fitness trainer Ashley Borden into your daily routine.

5.)    Wear supportive shoes

Not all of us are sitting at desks all day. There are a lot of us that are standing and moving around for work. Sometimes we forget that posture is just as important when standing and walking as it is when sitting. Buy shoes that are going to give you the added support and comfort you need when standing. Or make sure to insert good insoles into your shoes for additional comfort and posture help.

6.)    Sleep!  BJ_Pillow_LS_003

Getting a good night’s sleep is extremely important in helping us lead healthy lives. We spend about 30% of our lives sleeping, and if we aren’t getting good sleep and feeling rejuvenated after waking up, we are doing our health a disservice. Just like with sitting and standing, posture is equally important when lying down. Investing in a good pillow is worth it. You’ll fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer while making sure that your spine is properly aligned.

7.)    Eat healthy

Maintaining a healthy weight removes extra pressure and stress on your lower back. Eat foods that are rich in nutrients and make sure to get enough calcium (to keep bones strong and reduce risk of osteoporosis) and Vitamin D (to make bones stronger) in your diet. For a list of healthy food recommendations, click here.