What if I told you that it takes just one minute each morning to improve posture, boost self-confidence, reduce stress, increase energy levels, and more? It may sound too good to be true, but the latest research supports a strikingly wide range of benefits to improving your posture, which is the goal of this weekend’s exercise.
The 1 Minute FHP And Posture Corrector can be done right in bed. I encourage you to get into the habit of performing this move each morning when you wake up, so you can start the day off in the right frame of mind and body.
And as you do this daily, its effects will be cumulative, and you’ll gradually see your rounded shoulders flatten and your kyphosis or forward head posture (FHP) disappear.
The 1 Minute FHP And Posture Corrector stretches and works the muscles that hold your head up and shoulders back in correct posture. And you simply can’t beat it for convenience!
What research has revealed about the health benefits of good posture is nothing less than astounding. Posture has a lot more influence over your health than just looking good!
1. More Energy
The first point I want to explore has to do with energy levels. Just about everyone feels tired in the middle of the afternoon now and then, and the temptation to consume sugar and caffeine can be hard to resist. Rather than turn to bone-damaging foods, try working on your posture instead.
In his study of 110 college students, Professor Erik Peper found that slouched posture and upright posture are directly connected to energy levels, and the feedback loop this sets up encourages further improvement.
Peper observed that after “slouched walking, the participants experienced a decrease in their subjective energy…after opposite arm leg skipping they experienced a significant increase in their subjective energy.”1 That’s not all. Peper also notes in the study’s conclusion that:
“By changing posture, subjective energy level can be decreased or increased. Thus the mind-body relationship is a two way street: mind to body and body to mind.”1
So as you make adjustments to your posture, you can directly influence your energy levels. And I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t appreciate a little more energy!
2. Greater Confidence
This is another example of a positive feedback loop. Ohio University researchers discovered a connection between sitting up straight and feeling more self-confident, and also the reverse – slouched posture was connected to poor self-evaluation.
Study participants did a self-evaluative exercise that involved writing down their best or worst personal qualities in either a slouched or erect posture.
“In line with the self-validation hypothesis, we predicted and found that the effect of the direction of thoughts (positive/negative) on self-related attitudes was significantly greater when participants wrote their thoughts in the confident than in the doubtful posture.”2
3. Improved Breathing
The ability to draw deep breaths is an often-overlooked but very important aspect of bone health. Deep breathing detoxifies and alkalizes the body, and research shows it produces a sense of relaxation.
Slow, full breaths stimulate the vagus nerve, thus kicking in the body’s “calm-down” response, which includes reduced levels of stress hormones. But if your posture is slumped, your lungs can’t expand properly, and you can’t reap the benefits of deep breathing.
I go over proper breathing technique in more detail in the following articles:
4. Stress Reduction
As noted in #3 above, good posture reduces stress, but it does so through more than deep breathing and vagus nerve stimulation. Interestingly, the stress response is also influenced by the state of the body’s muscles.
Delving into this concept, scientists assigned 74 volunteers to sit in either a slouched or upright position and their blood pressure and heart rates were monitored continually. They were then asked to complete tasks in reading, speech, mood, self-esteem assessments, and perception of threat.
“Upright participants reported higher self-esteem, more arousal, better mood, and lower fear, compared to slumped participants,”3 the study authors report. They further state that:
“Sitting upright may be a simple behavioral strategy to help build resilience to stress.”3
And it all begins with simple postural exercises like this one!
- Take your bed pillow from its horizontal position and turn it so it lies vertically on your bed.
- Lie back on your pillow so one end is close to your lower back and the other end is right at the top of your head. The back of your shoulders should be on the pillow and not touching the bed.
- Spread your arms straight out to the sides with your palms up.
- Push your shoulders down against the pillow. Your shoulder blades will come together and your chest will rise up. Lift your chest slightly toward the ceiling.
- Push your head down toward the bed, keeping your chin tucked. Think of pushing your neck down rather than your head.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds, relax, and repeat for another 30 seconds.
To continue your postural training, try following up this weekend’s challenge with these others:
The Densercise™ Epidensity Training System Includes Postural Exercises
Given the wide-ranging benefits of excellent posture, it’s no surprise that the Densercise™ Epidensity Training System – the Save Institute’s exercise program designed specifically to build bone density – contains many postural exercises.
Correcting posture is a key element in reversing osteoporosis and osteopenia. Of course, there are many other types of exercises in Densercise™, too, because building bone density requires various types of motion, including weight-bearing exercise and resistance training. Densercise™ covers them all in more than 50 of the most effective bone-building moves.
Take Exercising For Your Bones to the Next Level!
Learn the 52 exercise moves that jumpstart bone-building – all backed by the latest in epigenetics research.
I’d love to hear from the community about this weekend’s challenge. Feel free to share your tips for good posture, your thoughts on building bone through exercise, or other ideas about today’s topic by leaving a comment below.
Enjoy the weekend!
1 Peper, Erik and Lin, I-Mei. Erik Peper and I-Mei Lin. “Increase or Decrease Depression: How Body Postures Influence Your Energy Level.” Biofeedback. 40. 3. (2012): 125-130. Web. http://www.aapb-biofeedback.com/doi/abs/10.5298/1081-5937-40.3.01?code=aapb-site
2 Briñol, Pablo, Petty, Richard E., and Wagner, Benjamin. “Body posture effects on self-evaluation: A self-validation approach.” European Journal of Social Psychology. 39. 6. (2009): 1053-1064. Web. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ejsp.607/abstract
3 Nair, Shwetha, et al. “Do slumped and upright postures affect stress responses?” Health Psychology. 34. 6. (2015): 632-641. Web. http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/2014-37739-001/