Are You Sitting Down Right Now??? Well, It's Probably Time To STAND UP!!
More and more studies are showing that prolonged periods of sitting can be hazardous to your health... Sitting at a desk all day, or being a couch potato, can lead to some serious health issues. Things like heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and even cancer. And when you sit for long periods, chances are you are hunched over or rounding your shoulders, especially if you are typing on your computer. When you sit all day without much movement, the spine gets compressed and overall blood flow is decreased to muscles and joints. You might even notice your ankles swelling. Our bodies are simply not made for long periods of inactivity.
If your work requires you to sit at a desk, here are some tips and exercises that you can do:
1. Stand up. Yep, even if all you do is stand up every 30 minutes that is a great place to start! When you stand up, stretch and breathe. Yes, breathe. When you are focused on your work, not only are you compressing your spine and internal organs, but you are probably taking very shallow breaths. You will re-energize yourself and bring fresh oxygen into your body by taking 5 deep breaths when you stand up. Set your smart phone on a timer for every 30 minutes to remind you to get up. If you do nothing else, doing this will make a big difference in your overall health. (Of course I am not saying all you ever need to do is stand up. I want you to find something you can do every day for at least 30 minutes, that gets you moving, whether it's walking or going to the gym or??).
2. Strengthen your core and be conscious of your posture. If your shoulders are rounded forward for long periods of time, your body will start to adapt. The muscles on the front of the body, specifically the chest muscles, become tight and begin to pull your shoulders forward. When your shoulders are constantly pulled forward, the muscles in your upper middle back become lengthened and weak. To help with opening up the chest, pretend you have a tennis ball between your shoulder blades and draw your arms back as if you were trying to keep it in place, squeezing your shoulders together. To help strengthen the core, the plank and the floor bridge are both good exercises, but you will need some privacy. :-) Write to me if you would like more info on these or other exercises.
What's the bottom line here?? You gotta get up! Whether it's a desk job that keeps you sitting or you are spending too much time in front of the TV, you really only need to start with 2 things:
Stand up at least once an hour and get at least 30 minutes of movement/exercise a day (even if you break that 30 minutes up into 10 minute increments, start moving)!
That's it for now. Until next time,
Take good care of yourself, "For The Health Of It!"©