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{Lifestyle} Better Posture, Better Life

When I was in college, not only was I a student, but I also worked full-time at the school newspaper, which meant that I got to school before 8 a.m. most days and didn’t leave until after 11 p.m.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved every minute of it, but after I had done this for two years, I started having crazy neck pains — it was almost as if someone was stabbing me with a knife at the base of my neck.

I hated the thought of taking Aspirin every day, so I started to research what I could do to prevent this type of pain instead of covering it up with medicine. I started to research how to improve my posture, and it made all the difference.

If I could ask you to do only one thing daily to boost your physical health, it would be to improve your posture.

And if you don’t care what I think, picture it this way:

Wonder Woman didn't slouch.

I literally laughed out loud when I read that in an article in The Seattle Times. I know you all are called on to be super heroes every single day at work, at home, and at church, so do it confidently and walk tall, like Wonder Woman would!

Having good posture makes you more attractive. You look thinner, more confident, happier, and overall more beautiful. But good posture not only affects how you look but also how you feel, as evident through my disappearing neck pain.

So how do you achieve this good posture?

The Cleveland Clinic has a great info site on good posture that includes detailed descriptions of good posture for sitting, driving, lifting, and sleeping or lying down. Here are some tips for sitting (since that is what most of us do all day):

•    Sit up with your back straight and your shoulders back. Your buttocks should touch the back of your chair.

•    All three normal back curves should be present while sitting. A small, rolled-up towel or lumbar roll can be used to help you maintain the normal curves in your back.

•    Distribute your body weight evenly on both hips.

•    Bend your knees at a right angle. Keep your knees even with your hips (use a foot rest if necessary). Your legs should not be crossed.

•    Keep your feet flat on the floor.

You can also do back-strengthening exercises like these on Real Simple.

Changing my posture changed my life for the better. If you want less pain, more confidence and happiness, and an appearance boost, try applying some of these tips in your own life, starting with the way you’re sitting as you read this article.

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Molly Gray is a 2011 graduate of Ohio State University, where she graduated with a journalism degree. She is now working on a master’s degree in digital journalism at the University of Southern California. She loves exploring new places, reading, crafting and meeting new people.

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