There are many things we can do to stay in shape. Regular exercise combined with a healthy diet and active lifestyle can contribute greatly to our overall health. When it comes to losing weight, most of us know that we have to burn more calories than we consume in order to stay thin.
However, despite our efforts in working out and eating right, there are probably a few more things we can do to burn calories. You may not be aware of it, but your posture can have a significant effect on how many calories you are burning.
If you have poor posture, you may not be maximizing your workouts and you may even be harming yourself while you are sitting.
Read on below for more information on how practicing proper posture can help you burn more calories.
Proper Posture Use More Energy
If you currently have poor posture, it takes some effort to get yourself in the right position that would be considered proper posture.
This effort will help use up energy, which will, in turn, burn more calories. Taking the time to sit up straight and roll your shoulders back as well as keep your neck up may help you engage muscles that you don’t normally use, thus resulting in a higher level of energy burn.
The same can be said while you are working. No matter what, you will burn some calories when you are walking. But if you make sure to hold your head up and keep your shoulders back, you’ll be burning more calories due to the extra effort you are putting into it. Even making sure that your steps are aligned correctly and that you are using your legs properly will help you to expend more energy.
Proper Posture Will Engage Your Core
Your core is comprised of all of the central muscles of your body. It is highly important for maintaining overall strength throughout your body and keeping good balance. It is the major stabilizer in your body, and having a strong core can help you to become more powerful and agile while promoting your overall health.
There is a symbiotic relationship between a strong core and proper posture, so practicing the right posture can help you to engage and strengthen your core. One way to do so is to suck in your belly as if you are trying to bring it in to your spine.
Keep your neck and shoulders back, and imagine a straight line from the top of your head all the way through your hamstrings. Hold your body in alignment with this imaginary line. This will engage your core greatly which will help burn calories even if you are standing still.
Taking the effort to get out of a slouched position burns energy and holding your muscles tight while you are standing still is a great way to burn calories even if you aren’t working out.
Proper Posture Will Help You Breath Better
If you are a belly breather, you should make a concerted effort to start breathing exclusively with your chest. Belly breathing leads to poor posture and causes your back, neck, and shoulders to relax. This is a vicious cycle that just gets worse with time and will not help you to burn more calories.
When you practice proper chest breathing, your back and shoulders will line up properly and will be crucial in helping you to lose weight.
It is also better for your cardiovascular system, as you’ll be getting deeper breaths and experience an increase in energy.
This can help you when you are working out, allowing you to get a more intense and efficient exercise, which will always burn more calories than an exercise that is not being performed properly.
Proper Posture Will Promote Better Exercise
If you have had poor posture your entire life and you try to exercise without any help, there is a good chance that you will get winded quickly or have an increased risk of injury. Even jogging, which may seem like the most basic exercise, can be hindered by a life of poor posture.
You may be hunched over as you are running or your feet might hit the ground harder than they need to. All of these things contribute to premature fatigue which doesn’t allow you to get a thorough workout.
Proper posture while running allows you to get more air with each breath and keeps your muscles engaged in a way that won’t injure or fatigue them.
This means that you can run for a longer distance at a more efficient pace, thus burning more calories.
This also translates to lifting weights, swimming, biking, or any other form of exercise. Hunching over or “cheating” through strokes or certain lifts is a common problem that is caused by poor posture. When you are unable to perform the entire movement required by the exercise, you will not get the maximum benefits that it is supposed to bring you.
As you gradually work on bringing your posture back to satisfactory levels, you will notice that you have the ability to perform these exercises and that you will be burning more calories in the process.
It will also improve your flexibility and mobility which allows you to do more reps at higher weights. In addition to building more muscle, you will start to lose fat thanks to the energy expended and the calories burnt with every repetition.
Proper Posture Boost Healthy Metabolism
Studies show that poor posture can negatively affect your metabolism. That’s right, it doesn’t only hurt your physical stature, bad posture can have a detrimental effect on your internal health. This is because bad posture means that you are constantly placing pressure on your digestive system and compressing your organs.
Over an extended period of time, your digestive organs will not be able to perform their functions at the levels that they used to be able to. This means you won’t be absorbing vital nutrients or expelling the toxins that they are meant to get rid of.
Once this happens, your metabolism starts to slow down as well. When that happens, you naturally start to burn less and less calories, whether you are sitting, standing, or even taking part in an intense workout.
A slowed metabolism means that you will more easily gain weight, especially the unhealthy visceral fat that forms around your belly and sides. Fortunately, practicing proper posture can help you to avoid these pitfalls.
Good posture helps to stretch your body out and get into the position in which it was meant to function. Your organs will be able to perform their vital tasks without interruption from being compressed or pushed up against each other.
This means that you will digest food more efficiently and be able to take advantage of the energy you get from consuming it. Using this energy for exercise helps you to burn calories at a faster rate, and you’ll even benefit after your workout as your heart rate remains elevated.
Burning calories at rest are almost as important as doing so while active, and a healthy metabolism is able to do this at a fantastic rate. As we’ve now learned, maintaining a good metabolism is rooted in keeping good posture throughout your life.
Proper Posture Will Lower The Chance Of Being Injured
Poor posture can cause mishaps during exercise that might result in serious injuries.
A weakened core from poor posture means that your back is not able to handle certain tasks or workouts, and you might pull a muscle or even break a bone if you aren’t properly balanced.
You may also suffer from chronic pain as a result of poor posture. No matter how tough you are and how hard you try to fight through it, you will never be able to perform your workouts to their maximum benefit if you are always in pain.
Keep in mind that long-term injuries also make you less active overall. If you have to take several months off because you broke a leg, your metabolism will start to slow and you will have to retrain your leg to start working out again.
This can be very devastating to your entire system, and it will be a difficult uphill battle to get back to the level that you may have been at in the past. The best way to prevent these sorts of injuries is to always be aware of your posture so that you can best avoid the mistakes that lead to them.
Fix Your Posture Today!
As you now know, your posture has long-term benefits in every aspect of your health. Next time you catch yourself slouching in your chair, remember that it is detrimental to your health and that you can get back in shape simply by sitting up straight and paying attention to your alignment.
When you do this, you’ll have more energy, feel better, and be able to take advantage of a healthier lifestyle. If you want to continue to burn calories whether you are sitting, standing, or exercising, make sure to make posture a priority!