As you're reading this blog post, you may be doing yourself a real disservice. Sorry about that. But it's true.
Frankly, too much sitting around is dangerously unhealthy for all of us. But if you feel you have no choice because you're seated at work each day or you have a long commute, don't worry.
You can do yourself a favour that'll pay big dividends over the long-term with regards to your heath, mobility, and appearance. If you have to sit all day at a desk or some other work station, interrupt your sedentary stints as often as possible (within reason).
Stand up every half hour and tidy up your desk. Grab yourself a glass of water, or go buy a coffee or tea. Walk around while you're talking on the phone. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Run some errands on foot... You get the idea. Most of all, remember that if you shake things up this way, you'll burn up a lot more calories. This will make a really positive difference over time.
Additionally, you need to be aware that your muscles and tendons all tighten-up when you sit for any length of time, especially your hamstrings, calves, and back muscles.
If that doesn't seem important to you, then visit a nursing home to see what awaits many of us in the not-too-distant future. You'll witness the sad spectacle of senior citizens slumped over in their chairs, or walking around hunched over, with their eyes involuntarily fixed on the floor. You certainly want to avoid that happening to you.
So if you want to look and feel 10 years younger (or at least stay in your prime), you need to maintain flexibility and elasticity in every part of your body, particularly your spine.
Whether at home or the office, try to incorporate the following advice into your daily routine as much as possible: Whenever the body has been in one position for a while, stretch it in an opposite direction briefly.
For example, if you spend time working at a desktop computer, get up periodically and stretch your back and neck by arching them backward.
Also, practice yoga at least once or twice a week to keep all of your muscles and tendons limber and youthful. Stretching can even help prevent cardiovascular disease by combating arterial stiffness. In turn, this helps to prevent high blood pressure, according to the American Journal of Physiology.
If you follow this simple advice on a daily basis, it will benefit your health immeasurably over the long-term. And with such little effort. It's just a matter of moving around a little every once in a while. Surely we can all do that. Especially if it's in our best interests!
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"Alignment refers to when your body is in the proper position that allows your joints, muscles and ligaments to work efficiently without any unnecessary stress," says Kingston, Ont.-based physiotherapist Cassie Dionne of Taylored Training. "In order to have good alignment one needs to have strong stabilizer muscles and good motor control. If these muscles are not working properly and the issue isn’t addressed, it will undoubtedly lead to pain and injury in the future."Dionne suggests loaded carriesto train alignment and stability of shoulders hips, core and entire body. "These exercises essentially force you to find your alignment simply by picking up something heavy," she explains. There are three different types of carries you can do, all of which can be done with free weights or kettlebells and can be done bilaterally or unilaterally: The three different carries (Waiter’s Carry, Racked Carry, and the Suitcase/Farmer’s Carry), which can be done with weights or kettlebells, are shown in the video here.
"If you think about the posture you adopt most of the time while sitting, your head and shoulders are forward flexed," Dionne says. The wall slide or laying shoulder mobility exercise targets the thoracic spine and shoulders to keep everything moving well. To do it: 1. Stand against the wall, arms positioned like football goal posts. Your head, hands, wrists and forearms should all be flat against the wall (including the back of the hands). Depending on how difficult it is for you to get into this position, you may have to bring your feet farther away from the wall — that is OK. 2. Slide your hands above your head until they are straight overhead, making sure your low back does not lose contact with the wall. Your goal is to maintain contact with the wall for all body parts previously mentioned. 3. Do not go to a point of pain and don’t force the movement. Repeat ten times. "At first, this can be too challenging, so I often start people with the laying shoulder mobility," she says. "To do this follow the exact sequence as above, just laying on the floor with your knees bent instead of leaning against a wall."
"Slider reverse lunges are simple and easy to perform and really help get your glutes working hard," Dionne adds. "To do them, simply grab a slider — you can use a Valslide or a furniture mover — and either work on a carpeted floor or place a towel on the ground so you can easily slide on the surface. Then all you need to do is put the slider under one foot and use that foot to slide back into a reverse lunge. Return to standing and repeat! A great way to engage your glutes after a long day of sitting."
This exercise that works the whole body, but especially the glutes. To perform it: 1. Lay on your back with your knees bent and lift your hips in the air. 2. Maintaining this tip position, slowly lift one leg off the ground and hold for two seconds. Make sure you don’t allow any movement in your hips. 3. Put your foot back on the ground and repeat with the opposite leg. 4. Do this about 20 times, ensuring your hips stay stable for the entire exercise.
"This exercise is all about improving mobility in your upper back and shoulders. With this you will both mobilize the thoracic spine and stretch the front of your shoulders out," Dionne says. To perform it: 1. Start on the ground on your hands and knees, with your right hand on behind your head. 2. Rotate downwards so that you bring your right elbow to your left elbow. 3. Then, rotate upwards to look towards the ceiling as far as you can. Make sure your hips remain square the whole time and the movement is coming predominately from your upper back. 4. Complete 10 to 12 reps per side.