As we wind down the old year and begin to think about the upcoming year, many of us begin to think about the things we’d like to improve about ourselves. Some of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions are to lose weight, exercise more, and eat less.
These resolutions often come about because we’re unhappy about how we look or feel. Here’s a quick, 2-minute self-check that will instantly help you to feel and look better. It’s about your posture! A slumped, rounded posture can make you look heavy and can actually cause a depressed mood. (Personal challenge: if you’re in a bad mood, try sitting up straight, engaging your abs, and pulling your shoulders back. You’ll instantly feel better!)
For everyday habits, here’s a good posture checklist:
- chin parallel to the floor and ear right above your shoulder
- neutral shoulders (watch for shoulder rounding!)
- neutral spine, especially no over-arching your low back or jutting your head forward
- abdominal muscles engaged
- hips should be even and squared
- body weight distributed evenly on both feet.
Okay, what if that doesn’t work? Maybe you’re very aware of your posture but still can’t seem to achieve evenness? Then it’s time to visit your chiropractor. Watch this video as Dr. Taylor talks about how the Atlas/C1 vertebra affects posture from head to toe:
Here’s an example of a young man whose mom “just through he stood that way”, but really had an underlying Atlas/C1 subluxation. With one adjustment his posture changed dramatically:
Chronically poor posture is one indicator of underlying neurological distress, sending incorrect messages to your body’s posture centers.
If you have any of the following posture indicators, please see your chiropractor today:
- head forward (ears are forward of the shoulders when viewed from the side)
- uneven shoulders
- uneven hips
- one leg longer than the other
These problems are unlikely to resolve on their own and can worsen over time. As you’re making healthy changes for the new year, start with your posture to give a strong foundation for all of your other changes!