One of the easiest and fastest ways to improve your body image is to improve your posture. Good posture has the added benefit of helping of to reduce joint pain, reducing stress on your ligaments and allowing your muscles to work as they were designed to.
How do you know if you have good posture? Start by finding a full-length mirror. Stand sideways and check these three points on your body, your ears, shoulders and hips. Imagine a line running from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet. The three check points should all be on that line. Now face the mirror, look at your shoulders. Is one higher than the other? Are your hips level? Is your head straight? Answer no to any of these and you may want to work on improving your posture.
When you are standing correctly your spine will have three natural curves. The first is the cervical curve, which is an inward curve at your neck. Then the thoracic curve which is an outward curve at your upper back. The final curve is an inward curve at your lower back called the lumbar curve. Another way to test your posture is to stand with your back to a wall. Your head should be touching the wall and your feet 6 inches away from the wall. Your buttocks should be touching the wall. Check to see how much distance there is from your neck to the wall and your lower back to the wall. There should be two inches of space at the neck and one to two inches of space for your lower back.
Here are suggestions on how to improve your posture.
When you are standing:
Pull your shoulders back, donít slouch.
Balance your weight on both feet.
When you are sitting:
Sit all the way back in the chair. Use a rolled up towel for lumbar support if you need it.
Make sure that your feet touch the floor, if they donít, use a foot rest.
Relax your shoulders and neck.
When you are sleeping:
Purchase a mattress that is best for you; a firm mattress is not always the best.
Sleep on your back with a small pillow under your knees.
Should you prefer sleeping on your side, use a small pillow between your knees. This helps keep your spine in the correct position.
Avoid sleeping on your stomach.
Lastly do exercises that help to strengthen your core muscles as they provide you with stability and strength. As always, consult your doctor before beginning any exercise program.