Our bodies are simply not intended to sit all day. Spending hours in a chair bent over a laptop does a number on your alignment, not to mention the loss of flexibility. In addition, many injuries can be prevented if we keep our bodies limber as we age by stretching and staying active.
Take breaks every hour during the day to stand up and move around – – refill your water bottle, grab a handful of almonds, or better yet, do a quick loop around the block. And try these 5 simple stretches a couple times a day. Your spine will thank you!
Inhale deeply and lift your shoulders towards your ears. Exhale and drop your shoulders. Repeat 5 times. Circle your shoulders forward and backwards 5 times. Remember to breathe!
Clasp your hands behind your lower back and pull your shoulders back. Hold for 10-15 seconds and release. Or stand in a doorway and hold onto the door frame at shoulder height. Gently lean forward and feel the stretch in the front of your chest.
Gently pull your head toward your right shoulder using your right hand. Do NOT force it! Hold for 10 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Seated Spinal Twist:
Place your right hand on your left knee. Inhale and twist your upper body to the left. Exhale and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
Seated Hip Flexor Opener:
Place your right foot on your left knee. Using your right hand gently push down on your right knee and take 5 deep breaths. Repeat on the other side.
Conditions in the workplace and classroom have changed dramatically in the past couple decades with the widespread (constant?!) use of the computer. Our jobs, educations, and daily life in general, were much more mobile, and only recently have we become “trapped” for hours a day sitting down, staring at a screen. While I sadly don’t see this trend changing anytime soon, it does make it essential for us to do our part to stay flexible by adapting a daily stretching routine. Extra credit if you can throw in a yoga, Pilates, or Barre class a couple times a week! Too important to skip.