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How to Get Instant Energy

Slouching While Standing or Sitting

If you have poor posture, you're not alone. Approximately 60% of women hunch over—a habit that makes us more exhausted, according to the San Francisco Spine Center. "There are two types of muscles in our spine," explains Desiree Kiehn D'Agostino, a chiropractor in Boston. "Slow- twitch muscles burn energy at a snail's pace and can work for a long time without tiring, while fast-twitch muscles run out of steam a lot sooner. When we don't put our shoulders back, we rely on the fast-twitch ones, so we get fatigued more quickly." What's worse, when we don't exercise the slow-twitch muscles enough, they atrophy or shrivel up, making it harder for us to stand or even sit up straight.

Fast Fixes

  • Anytime you're sitting down, place a soft ball between your shoulder blades, and then try holding it against your chair with your back.
  • If you seldom realize you're slouching, set a timer for every 15 minutes and when the alarm goes off check your posture.
  • Constantly leaning over paperwork? Rest your reading material on an adjustable tabletop easel (like the Hands-Free Book Stand, $30, target.com) so you can look at it while staying upright.
  • Crossing your legs at the knee while sitting tilts your back forward and puts stress on your muscles. So cross them at the ankles.

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