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Already in our yearlong series “Guide to Charm” we’ve looked at:
We continue follow the steps from the book Better than Beauty A Guide to Charm, this month focusing our posture and weight.
The way we carry ourselves from standing to setting can say a lot about a person. Someone who always has his or her head held high gives an impression of confidence. While a person who tends to hold their head down, portrays a sense of low confidence.
Besides just giving an impression by our posture, there is a real health concern regarding posture. The majority of people today spend their time sitting at a desk, which can lead to all sorts of poor posture and ultimately back and neck pain.
The infographic below from LifeHacker is a great example of the effects of sitting to long. As you can see it causes all sorts of bad posture and can even affect our brains.
Improving Your Posture
Since bad posture can lead to many health problems, it is important to exercise good posture. You might be asking yourself, how does one improve their posture.
Some people will tell you to practice walking around with books on your head; I’m not one of them. Instead I’ve found that Yoga is probably the best exercise for improving your posture.
I suffer from a lot of back pain, probably because when I’m not lecturing to students I spend hours setting in front of a computer hunched over grading, for many hours. As painful as grading can be, sitting hunched over is probably worse. While I’ve tried all sorts of things Yoga is the one thing that really helps stretch out my back and neck.
There are many articles, including one from Shape Magazine, about how yoga can help improve your posture by providing strength and alignment to your spine and the muscles around it.
Your yoga workout doesn’t need to be overly time-consuming, you just need to practice the right moves.
You can take a yoga class at your local gym or practice it at home. There are many yoga-training videos available and even some iPad apps.
Personally I practice yoga using the Wii Fit game on my Nintedno Wii. While some may say the game is not accurate or helpful I beg to differ. The Wii balance board does a good job of charting my posture, and I like the fact that I it keeps a chart of when I exercise, my weight and posture. There are some negatives to the Wii Fit, one you must have a Wii and sometimes the dialog the game trainer says can be condescending, I really recommend.
One’s weight is a touchy matter. It seems like no matter what a woman weighs their never truly happy, well at least not most women anyways. I can attest to that statement.
According to the book Better than Beauty A Guide to Charm, a girl has 3 best friends, one of which is a scale. If this is true, I must really hate my friends, because I can’t stand my scale.
The book references a traditional weight to height chart by age. Keep in mind that this book was written in 1938. Now days most weight to height charts don’t mention age, instead they focus on your Body Mass Index (BMI), which is used to interpret the healthy risks your weight may cause.
Addressing your Weight
The book is meant to be motivational, so it doesn’t suggest an ideal weight. After all we all know that weight isn’t really the issue, it is our overall health, which could be impaired due to weight issues. These weight issue could mean that on is either under or over weight.
I’m not going to lie, I have weight issues, and within a given year my weight fluctuates dramatically. What is the best solution? If I knew I wouldn’t have these problems.
Eating Right and Exercise
While I don’t have a good answer about maintaining healthy weight, the book suggests eating in moderation and exercise.
There are countless books on eating right and dieting. Our guide to charm recommends finding something that works for you and to avoid crash diets.
Obviously eating the right foods and avoid high carb/calorie foods is one way to maintain a healthy weight, exercise is also important.
We’ve already talked about how yoga can help improve your posture; it can also help with weight loss. Keep in mind that yoga is a low impact exercise, so you won’t shed as many calories with a yoga workout as you would with a high aerobic workout.
Exercise as a whole has been linked to happiness. According to a study by Happify.com , one’s mood can improve with just 20 minutes of exercise. As we all know that when we are happy we feel better, and when we feel better we tend to look better too. It all goes hand in hand and takes a little work on our part.
My biggest grip about exercise is making time for it. However, as studies suggest, morning exercise is the easiest to stick with, since it’s the first thing you do when you wake. I would have to agree I’m pretty good at sticking to a morning exercise routine (most of the time).
A Charming You
When working towards a more charming you, it’s all about feeling good about yourself. If you have back problems because of your poor posture, or have digestive problems because of your diet, your bad mood will show through and that is not charming.
Making small life style changes can make big improvements on the way you feel. When you feel good it shows, and thereby lends itself to making your more charming.
Speaking of feeling better, next month we will discuss cleanliness and sleep as our “Guide to Charm” continues.
Don’t forget you can copy of Better than Beauty: A Guide to Charm, here.