Did you know that one of the reasons for indigestion and acid reflux is a bad posture while eating? That’s right. The posture you assume during meals has a significant impact on the way your body digests food. For great digestion you need to be mindful of your posture while you are eating. A good posture improves your overall health and appearance.

What constitutes a good posture? A good posture means keeping your head, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles in one line when you stand. So how do you ensure that you have assumed the right posture while eating? Here are a few handy guidelines to help you:

•    Sit down when you eat: In this fast-paced world, eating on-the-go has become extremely common. However, if you fear for your digestions, try not to eat while you are walking, driving or lying down, watching television.
•    Sit up straight: The moment I see something delicious on the table, I instantly jump onto my chair, lean forward and gobble down the food. Hunching forward in this manner is a strict no-no as it makes digestion more difficult. Bring your plate closer to your mouth, instead of having it the other way round.
•    Use a chair with a high back: Choose a chair that provides support to your back. Look for chairs with full backs or use a cushion.
•    Support your back: If you suffer lower back pains, always use ergonomically designed cushions. Or else, stuff some cloth or a cushion between the small of your back and the chair.
•    Align your body: One way to ensure that you are sitting straight is to keep your knees level and align them with your hip and keep your back lined up with the back of the chair you are sitting on.
•    Keep your feet flat on the floor: If you find it difficult to keep your feet on the ground (as I do), you can use a foot rest. This will help you to avoid leg cramps.
•    Keep your shoulders straight: The rule of thumb is: Keep your shoulders straight, chest out and your stomach in.
•    Exercise often: Do abdominal and back exercises regularly. Yoga helps to maintain a good posture and avoid back pain and long-term discomfort.
•    Constant vigilance: Being aware of your bad posture is the first step towards fixing it. Generally, when you’ve been sitting for long periods of time, you have a tendency to slouch forwards. So keep checking if your back is straight.
•    Use a firm mattress: A firm, and not a soft, mattress is the best support for your back. Sleep on your back or on your side. You might even find it comfortable to sleep with a pillow under your knees. But avoid sleeping on your stomach as it is promotes indigestion.

Remember, it will probably take a while for your back to get used to being upright constantly. But in time, your digestion will improve.

When you stop slouching you will discover that not only does this aid digestion, it will also help with your breathing, your confidence and other problems involving your neck, shoulders and back. You will soon notice that sitting up straight and strengthening the muscles in your back does wonders for your overall wellbeing.

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