Western society spends an insane amount of time sitting. Whether it’s working on a computer all day, commuting to work, vegging out in front of the TV...the list goes on. All this sitting has a negative effect on our bodies but try to focus on the solution side of things.
Even if you sit all day, it is possible to stay healthy by finding ways to be more active. Go for a walk or to the gym on lunch, or before/after work. Find opportunities to be more active, like parking at the back of the lot . Move more, eat well is the general mantra.
Even when you are sitting, whether in your car, a train, or your desk, the opportunity is present for a little activity. Don’t expect a six-pack from any of these moves, but any motion is good motion.
● The leg straightener (works the quads as well as knee/hip stability) Sit forward on the back of your seat so your shoulders are stacked over your hip bones. Lift one leg up a few inches and flex the muscles for 10 seconds. Relax, release, and repeat with the other side. Work toward a few sets a couple times a day.
● Sing the ABCs...with your feet (strengthens your Achilles' tendon and engage the arches of your feet) Collapsed arches are practically an epidemic. Slip your foot out of your shoe, and sit up straight in your chair with your shoulders over hip bones. Now, flex the toes and muscles in your foot and write out the entire alphabet with one foot. Then switch and do the other. Again, try to do it a couple times a day.
● Cheek clench (strengthens the glutes) Basically anywhere, anytime, place both feet firmly on the ground, and clench the muscles in your seat. Hold for 5-10 seconds, release, and do it again. And again. For as long as you can.
● Arm circles (works the trapezius and latissimus dorsi...aka the neck/back muscles) These are a favorite for a lot of group fitness instructors. Plant your feet on the ground and extend your arms out, palms up. Moving from the scapula, rotate your arms in a small circle, 20 times in both directions. For extra motion, do it again with larger circles (Cassey Ho of Blogilates instructs viewers to think of your hand cupping golf balls for smaller circles, volleyball for larger circles.). Try to get these in at least once a day. Forewarning: it’s more tiring than it sounds!
● Pelvic tilt (tones the abs and improves posture) Like the first suggestion, plant the feet and sit forward in the chair a few inches, centering shoulders over hips to start. Using ab strength, pull your hips forward and sit under, like a crunch. Hold for a few seconds, then release. Try to tie to your breath by inhaling, pulling hips forward and exhale to release).
For extra points, start improving your diet and adds some motion to your day with something as simple as standing and walking a few minutes once an hour. Every little bit helps a little bit more. How do you stay healthy in the office?