I apologize for not having made a new post for two weeks now. I’ve been sick and then… well, you know: Christmas is this quiet, peaceful time in the year where you rush from one appointment to another. 😉
But I’m back again and with the new year coming up I thought I’d tell you about the importance of stretching and how it positively affects your health and fitness.
Sitting in the office for 8-9 hours a day is not only unnatural, but also poses great stress to our body. Our muscles are made for walking, running, climbing… Not for sitting in your car, then sitting again at your office chair, back to sitting in your car and finally sitting or laying down on your couch.
But – who would’ve known? – often we just can’t change that. So what can we do? Or more specifically, what can be done during one of those sitting activities? (Remember, here at Lazygetics we aim at optimizing our time management!)
The following are some stretching exercises that can easily be done in just a few minutes a day, preferably during little breaks at work.
1 – Shoulder Stretch
First, place one hand under your elbow. Then lift your elbow and stretch it across your chest. Hold it for 3 deep breaths and repeat it with the other arm.
The important thing here is: Don’t rotate your body as you stretch, you should feel tension in the back of your shoulder.
2 – Upper Arm Stretch
To stretch the back of your upper arm and shoulder lift one arm and bend it behind your head. Then place your other hand on the bent elbow, it’ll help stretching your upper arm and shoulder. Again, hold it for 3 deep breaths and repeat the stretch with the other arm.
3 – Chest Stretch
The muscles in my chest are shortened from sitting in front of and writing on my laptop all day. So to stretch these muscles I place my hands behind my head and squeeze my shoulder blades together, trying to bring my elbows back as far as possible. 3 deep breaths later I already feel better.
4 – Chin Tuck
Then I do the chin tuck to loosen my stiff neck and shoulder muscle – it’s a really easy one. Just face straight ahead and lower your chin to your chest until you feel tension in the back of your neck.
5 – Head Turn
And another one for the muscles in your neck: Face straight ahead again and then turn your head to one side while keeping your shoulders straight. If you’re doing it right, you’ll feel tension in the side of your neck and your shoulder. Repeat it for the other side.
6 – Side Neck Stretch
And finally, face straight ahead one last time. Then tilt your head so that you’re moving your ear toward your shoulder. But: don’t bring your shoulder up to your ear. Again, you’ll feel tension in the side of your neck.
These are just some exercises that I do while sitting at my desk and they target the typical office worker. I do them while waiting for a program to open or your documents to print and so on.
A quick Google search will have you find a lot more stretches. If there are certain areas that you need to focus on (e.g. in case of back pain, headaches etc.), look for specific exercises. Do them regularly and you’ll notice the difference: reduced pain, better movement and – that’s interesting – you’ll feel more relaxed. So if you are stressed at work, take a minute and stretch a bit. I promise, you’ll feel better in an instance.
Do you have any stretching routines? Tell me about them right below in the comment section or on Facebook or Twitter! I’d love to hear from you!