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Proper Posture Affects More Than Just Your Stride

When you hear about posture, it is often in terms of working toward running form or the reducing back and hip pain. However, there is more to it than that.

Posture Affects Your Mood

“A person with good upright posture tends to have a balanced emotional state and positive attitude,” explains Alice Ann Dailey, an exercise physiologist and author of Dailey Strengthening: Six Keys to Balance Core Muscles for Optimal Health. “With good upright posture, an aura of confidence is promoted and strengthens your positive mental attitude. You will tend to have a balanced emotional state along with a healthy heart rate and blood flow.”

When talking about good upright posture, Dailey means that you have healthy shoulder posture that balances the muscles of the front and back sides of your collarbones. Your breast bone lifts and ribs open outward. Your neck is straight, as well. This posture should not be too stiff, but should feel comfortable and relaxed (and will as you build strength in the muscles being used).

“If poor posture becomes habitual, our joints will become stiff and our muscles will lose some of their flexibility and strength,” Dailey adds.

Next Steps For Improving Your Posture

“The first step to developing better posture—which will then improve your heart rate, blood circulation, and an intelligent body—is to create awareness of your body alignment,” notes Dailey. ” To develop erect posture, you need to balance the body from bottom to top, front to back, and right side to left side, so that all movements spiral upward.” Dailey adds that her book shares specific movements you can do to improve your posture.

A great step to take is to focus on your body when you are stressed. That is one of the times you will especially benefit from proper posture. The next time you are stressed, take a series of deep breaths and align your posture. Because proper posture can improve your mood, the good feelings that come from your de-stress session will be a great reminder to work toward proper posture on a daily basis.

Ashley Lauretta

Ashley Lauretta

Ashley Lauretta is the freelance web editor for Women's Running. A freelance journalist, she is the assistant editor at LAVA Magazine and has written for espnW, ELLE, Men's Journal, VICE Sports, Health and more. Find her online at ashleylauretta.com and on Twitter at @ashley_lauretta.