Better Posture for a Better Life

Has anyone heard this as a kid?  “Sit up straight!  Stand up straight!”

It looks like Mom, or Grandma, had the right idea.  Not only can good posture make you look taller and thinner, but it also improves your ability to breathe, makes you look more confident, reduces your stress level, improves your concentration, and even improves your mood!

Wait, what?

It’s true.

While good posture obviously isn’t a cure-all, it’s an often overlooked aspect to life.  Your body works better when important internal organs aren’t squished, your bones and muscles support you more evenly too.  As mentioned before, you breathe better.  And your brain releases neurotransmitters that make you feel more in control of things.

Slouching can actually sap your energy, while moving your arms can make you feel more lively.  It’s all here in this article from Medical Daily:

Change Your Posture To Improve Your Mood, Memory, And 5 Other Aspects Of Your Life


I’ve actually seen this work.  When I sit up straight and breathe deeply, or walk with my head up and shoulders back, I feel better, more confident.  In this case, mood is affected by behavior rather than the other way around.  When I’m feeling low, I can change my mood by changing my posture.

To me, that’s incredibly powerful.  For those of us who feel stuck in moods, this can be a great way out.

How to win at losing weight

If you want to lose weight and gain health, there are three basic secrets to improve your mindset. Your healthy mindset is your most important ally in this journey. If you lose that, you will most definitely fail.

Set Goals – Know Why You Want It

There are two kinds of goals that are important – a big goal and many small ones. Your big goal is your vision. It’s what keeps you moving. It’s something you need to really, really want, because it is going to remind you of why you are doing all this, at times when you’re low and cravings are kicking your butt. For example, my big goal is that I want to be 150 pounds by age 40. I have 3 years to do it in. I have about 75 pounds to lose. I want to be fit, strong, able to bench a fair amount, and have awesome shoulders and arms. That’s the vision that keeps me going. Maybe your goal is a marathon, or to hike the Appalachian Trail.

Your small goals are critical too, they are the stepping stones that will get you to your big goal. For example, you might say “I will lose two pounds in two weeks.” Or “I will walk around the block without getting out of breath.” Every time you meet a goal, give yourself a pat on the back – that success will help you go farther.

Stay Positive – Focus on the Journey

If you can be mindful of all the little things there are to love about being healthy, and being on this journey, you will be more likely to continue. Even though weight can be slow to come off, there are a million good things that happen between each one pound mark. If you made a really tasty salad, savor every bite. If you feel good after walking, take a moment to enjoy it. If you feel your abs tighten more than usual, or notice a little more strength, celebrate it! Really focus on the good times.

If you learn to appreciate the process and each tiny victory, the lifelong changes you need to make will have a better chance to take hold.

Make it Easy for Yourself

The more convenient you can make your healthy habits, and the more inconvenient you can make your unhealthy ones, the better. So make sure your walking shoes are by the door, make sure you keep junk food out of the house, prepare healthy lunches on the weekend ahead of time, keep vegetables and nuts or whatever you want to use for snacks at hand. Where you can, buy colorful, appealing foods that attract the eye. Find exercise that you really enjoy, or at least that is tolerable. For instance, I like weight lifting so I do that more than I’ll run on a treadmill. Keep reminders of your goal around you, such as pictures of that race you want to run, or that trail you want to hike, or that bike you will buy when you meet your goal.

If you take a moment to make your healthy snacks and healthy activities more convenient, you will be less likely to grab junk food as you hurry to work.