Photo credit: Marc Prefontaine
In 2017, my life changed completely when I adopted my first dog, a scruffy troublemaker whom I named Kashi. Five years later, she’s still teaching me important lessons that have improved my day-to-day existence. One of those lessons is a good stretch.
Have you ever noticed that your dog stretches every single time he or she gets up from lying down or from being seated awhile? My dog first stretches her back legs, then her front legs and spine, craning her head backwards to loosen her neck and chest, as well. Dogs do this not only to stay limber and ready, as they are the vigilant cousins of their wolf forebears, but also because it protects them from posture-related disease.
By and large, people cannot compare to animals when it comes to self-care. We have to pencil in the weekly massage and yoga class, set reminders to drink enough water and take our medicines, and schedule getaways when life gets to be too much. In our modern day, we’ve stripped away nature and instinct from things we should be doing as a matter of course. From sunup to sundown, we are ruled by screens, clocks, calendars, and the demands of daily life.
As the designer of RuffRest®, the world’s first multifunctional pet bed with 14 travel and outdoor features, I have to admit that I don’t always stretch whenever I get up from my office chair. In fact, I might stretch a bit in the morning and some at night (inspired by Kashi, who stretches with me), but there are days that I don’t remember to do even this much. And those are the days that hurt. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, we don’t have time for that yoga or Zumba class, or we’re exhausted and not feeling up to it. On the days where we can’t motivate ourselves to change our behavior towards self-care, we need help from our environment and external tools to help keep us healthy.
Enter Vivian Lee. She founded Kinflyte, a company that aims to help women get their posture back with revolutionary, all-supportive posture correcting activewear that acts as a breathable, flexible exoskeleton. Wearing one translates into a bevy of health and aesthetic benefits, including better digestion, as well as a taller, more youthful, and confident appearance. I was speaking to Vivian recently when I complained of migraine headaches, a sore neck, and rounded shoulders. I knew that if I didn’t do something soon, I’d end up with the dreaded hump (dowager’s hump or kyphosis).
“How long are you sitting in front of your computer?” she asked immediately. I had to admit that as a founder of a company myself, I’d recently been pulling 12-14 hour days in front of my laptop, with zero ergonomic equipment or setup. In response, she immediately overnighted the Rise Zip Bra - Eco Jersey to me. An adjustable, front-zip bra with patented technology, it’s designed to pull the shoulders back, reduce bounce, and supports cups A-J and sizes 28-62.
Initially, when I took it out of the box, I thought this posture corrective sports bra was going to be tight and restrictive like a posture brace. I also felt like the material may make me hot since it felt more silky than cottony. I had a few hours left in my workday, so I decided to wear it right there and then to see how I felt during the most painful hours of my day - the evening.
The first thing I noticed after adjusting the straps was that my shoulders were pulled back effortlessly and held in place. In fact, this posture improving bra felt like a really nice, firm hug, and gave me a gentle stretch, which felt so good. As promised, my chest did not bounce when I bounded down the steps to take my dog out for a walk, and the silky material did not make me feel hot; on the contrary, it allowed for smooth, non-abrasive movements without the scratchy sensation that other bra materials can give you. And it was surprisingly breathable, too.
Because my shoulders were pulled back and the posture support bra felt snug in all the right ways, my back got some much-needed relief, as well. I was tempted to sleep in the bra to continue to correct my posture throughout the night, but had to set it aside. The next day, I decided to wear it all day long to see if I could still feel the same benefits and give it the same high marks at the end of the day.
By 9 pm the following night, the verdict was in. My entire torso felt rested due to the support this bra gave me from the chest up! In fact, I felt like I could save a good bit of money and skip my next massage session - and I’m always looking for ways to save money!
One benefit not mentioned on the site, but which I noticed on day 2, was that I was breathing better. I knew that my constant slouching was impairing my breathing because of how many times I yawned every day; one time I counted 12 yawns in an hour! With the Rise Zip Bra, my yawning was immediately cut in half, and I felt more alert. I am now starting to wonder if I can give up my second cup of coffee due to feeling more energized.
I’m a convert. Any tool like this posture correcting bra that can quickly and effortlessly improve my health is going to get my attention and my money, because we all could use an adjunct (or several!) to our daily health routine. The domino effects of straight posture are incredible just 1.5 days in of wearing this bra…I wonder what the compounded effects of better posture will be one year from now!
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