As we get older in life, we need to start being a little more conscious about some of the lifestyle choices we make. For example, we need to be more aware of the things we eat and the amount of sleep we get. We also need to be more aware of our posture as we age. Having poor posture may not have caused much discomfort in the past, but now that your spine has suffered some more natural degeneration, bad posture can lead to new or chronic spine discomfort.
But what are some of the best ways to improve your posture as you get older? We share some tips for improving your posture as you age in today’s blog.
Strengthening Your Posture As You Age
If you want to help ward off back problems, make it a point to work to improve your posture as you get older. Here are some ways to do that.
- Regularly Examine Your Posture – A lot of people are unaware of how poor their posture can be when they are sitting down, so make it a point to regularly check your posture and make adjustments as you see fit. Your head should be directly above your shoulders. If you are leaning too far back or hunched forward, different areas of your spine will be handling excess stress. The first step in improving your posture is taking more ownership over the situation.
- Exercise More – Regular exercise can help to strengthen your spine and the muscles that help to support it. You don’t need to do a crazy exercise routine either. Walking, swimming or moving on an elliptical are all low-impact workouts that can improve the health of your spine and make it easier to have healthy posture.
- Weight Management – There are a number of reasons to have a healthy body weight as you get older, and posture improvement is one of them. Extra body weight is more stress that your spine has to help disperse, so if you lose some weight, it will take some strain off your back. The less strain it’s under, the easier it will be to stay in a healthy alignment.
- Check Your Chair – Make sure that the areas you are sitting in help to keep your spine in a healthy alignment. An overly soft couch or an old office chair that hasn’t been replaced in a decade won’t really be providing your spine with much support, meaning spinal muscles will have to work harder to maintain a healthy alignment. If these muscles tire, your posture can slump. Instead, swap out old chairs or couches for firmer, more supportive options that naturally take some stress off your spine.
- Sleep Improvements – If you want to have healthy posture throughout the day, it’s important that your spine is protected during the night. Make sure that your bed provides ample support to your spinal column. Again, if you can’t remember the last time that your mattress was replaced, it may be time to swap it out for a more supportive option. Many people also find that their spine is best supported when they are lying on their side with a pillow between their knees to keep their hips and lower spine in alignment. Care for your spine at night so that healthy posture becomes second nature during the day.
- Physical Therapy – Finally, our team of physical therapists can help to strengthen key spinal muscles and teach you ways to more naturally have healthy posture. We can assess your strengths and deficits and come up with some simple PT exercises that greatly improve the areas of your spine that need it most. Let us help you keep your spine strong and in the right alignment as you age!
If you make these six lifestyle adjustments and trust your care to the team at OrthoRehab Specialists, we know that your spine will be stronger for it. For more information, or for help with a different physical issue, reach out to our team today at (612) 339-2041.