An easy trick to look 10 lbs thinner
Do you have an event like a reunion or wedding coming up and wish you could snap your fingers and instantly improve your appearance? Try this simple exercise in front of a mirror:
- Stand normally, and check your body’s appearance from the front and side.
- Next, place a hand on your belly and contract your abdominal muscles back toward your spine.
- Keeping those muscles tight, lift your shoulders, roll them back and then let them drop. Your shoulders should be slightly back, chest upright, and arms hanging loosely at your sides.
- Lift your chin and take a deep breath and keeping your alignment, look at yourself from the front and side again.
Did you see the difference between the before and after? If you’re like most people, this little exercise was an eye-opening experience.Good posture makes a person appear taller and thinner; taking as much as 10 pounds off their frame. Even clothes will look better because they’re not designed to fit a hunched body. And looking better is only the beginning of the benefits you get from correcting your posture.
You’ll be healthier and have more energy too
When you roll your shoulders forward, collapsing into yourself, you reduce your lungs’ ability to fill with oxygen. Standing up straight opens your chest, allowing for better airflow which helps you feel more energetic. Positioning yourself properly when seated is also important.
If you routinely sit with your legs crossed rather than knees bent at a 90 degree angle and feet flat on the floor, your body can become unbalanced. For example, one hip can become higher than the other. Improper alignment creates uneven stretching and compression of the ligaments and joints. Over time your body becomes unbalanced, and the result can be joint pain.
Another common postural problem is holding your head down (looking at a phone), or straining your neck forward (working on a computer) for hours on end. Both can cause chronic pain in your neck and shoulder muscles.
The mirror trick is only a short term solution to these problems. It might work for one evening, but if you want to realize all of the benefits of good posture, you need to put time into getting your body back into balance.
Pilates help builds good body alignment that lasts
Pilates was designed specifically to improve posture, flexibility, and muscle toning. Although it includes exercises that work every muscle in the body, the larger focus is on building core muscles, like those in the hips, back, chest, and abdomen.
A strong core stabilizes your body, giving you better balance. Building your core also helps support the muscles in your back and neck, reducing muscle strain. Lastly, doing Pilates increases flexibility in all of your muscles and joints, helping you move and bend more easily.
Adopting good posture makes you look better in the short run, but training it into your body gives you a lifetime of benefits.