If you haven’t figured it out by now, the more you sit and not move the tighter your muscles become; yet, you still sit there, busy, busy, busy. Your muscles were meant to move, and in this highly efficient, work from home or car lifestyle, you don’t have to move, barely. It is this constant, daily inactivity, with its postural overload and adaptive shortening that leads to back pain, neck ache and poor posture (which is another story altogether). Yes, you can go to the gym 3 times a week, and walk a few miles on the weekends, but compare the 3 to 5 hours of activity in your week with the (approximate) 100 hours of sitting at your desk, in your car, during meals and watching TV or reading. They’re not equal.
Well-placed breaks, every 30 to 60 minutes, can help offset the growing tightness and stiffness that comes with prolonged sitting. One to three minutes of stretching or moving per hour not only helps loosen you up, it helps you to mentally stay awake and focus. The benefits are far reaching; helps with circulation, which gets fresh blood to your brain. Moving keeps the joints limber and the muscles mobile, which not only makes you feel better, it also helps with increased circulation. Setting a timer and sticking to it will be the first step in getting up, mixing up the stretches and moving around will be the second, and doing something every day will be the third. (The secret to success is consistency of purpose – Benj. Disreali)
The best things to do? Drink a glass of water first (or urinate if you’re old, then drink water). Stretch your back with back bends, side bends and twists; stretch your hip flexors with the lunge stretch; move your wrists, ankles and neck; do some deep breathing and look away from your computer; take a short walk. These suggestions are just a start, so use your imagination to add more movement into your day. For examples of stretches you can do for your back, visit www.bengriffesdc.com and check out the videos under the Health & Fitness section. Also, check out the Imagine Your Evolution seminar on January 26 and 27th. I will be teaching more of these exercises during the course of the program. Happy New Year. BWG