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The first and probably most important thing to get into the habit of is recognizing bad posture and integrating sound posture as part of your life. If your muscles are already weak, they're only going to get weaker if you spend a lot of time sitting, standing, or bending improperly. In fact, the domino effect of poor posture will create a litany of other ill effects like neck and upper back pain, which can lead to chronic headaches, shoulder pain, and middle and lower back pain.

For a refresher course on proper posture tips, refer to Chapter 11, "Safety First." In addition, pay careful attention to the photographs, and try to mimic the models. Study the way you stand in a mirror and/or in photographs of yourself and see how you stack up. Remember, breathing from your belly usually ensures that your posture is sound. So breathe well, and you're likely to stand well.

In fact, before you continue, take a deep breath right now. The restorative power of deep breathing is incalculable.

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