These days many people spend a significant part of their day slaving away over a hot computer and as a result, their posture is not what it should be. Bad posture can result in short-term discomfort such as neck stiffness and headaches and also lead to more serious problems in later life. It is therefore worth spending some time to counteract the damage we may be doing to ourselves every day. But how about this – did you know that some of the same exercises that you can do to maintain good posture are the very same exercises, which if done regularly, can help you to achieve a six-pack? I am totally serious ? this is something I discovered recently while looking at different exercise routines because I wanted to do something about my own bad posture. As well as sitting and standing up straight, you will also look good on the beach next summer. Kill two birds with one stone!
The following exercises should be done a minimum of three times per week and although you will not see and feel significant results for approximately 6-8 weeks, you will start to feel the developing muscles encouraging you to sit and stand straighter, almost immediately.
Pelvic tilt ? Lie on the floor with your knees bent. Your feet should be parallel and arms to the side. Tighten your lower abdominal muscles, pulling your navel and lower back towards the floor. You should do this without using your buttocks or leg muscles to help you. Do this five times, holding for five seconds each time.
Trunk Curls ? Lie on your back on the floor, with knees bent. Place your hands lightly behind your head. Using your upper abdominal muscles, raise your trunk off the floor to about 20 degrees and hold for 5 seconds. Then lie down again slowly. Do not put any strain on the neck or lead with your head. Try to imagine touching the ceiling with your chest. Repeat five times.
Arm / Leg raises ? Lie face-down on the floor, keeping your neck straight, with your legs extended and arms straight overhead. Then slowly raise your left arm and right leg about six inches off the ground. Hold for five seconds and lower. Repeat with the right arm and left leg. Repeat five times on each side.
As you should before starting all types of exercise, consult your doctor if you have a history of health problems.
Emmanuel Mendonca moved from London to Athens in 2004 and is getting to grips with life in Greece.