Why You Should Stop Sitting And Start Exercising
If you’re like most people, there’s a good chance you’re spending too much time sitting at your desk, scanning through emails. Or you’re attending calls, but nonetheless, you’re still sitting. The unfortunate reality of modern day living is that our jobs are engineered in way that we spend most of our time sitting down. And, quite literally, sitting is killing us.
Humans aren’t designed and made to be still. We need physical activity to keep us healthy and, honestly, give us the ability to do things. However, on an average we spend 9.5 hours a day sitting. Add to that the average 7.5 hours we spend sleeping, we’re really not getting much physically activity. Sooner or later all this sitting is going to catch up to you. Be it increased stress levels, ailments, mobility challenges, you name it and it will start happening. With all this sitting you’re on the fast track to an unhealthy future.
Now that I’ve brought this up, I’m sure you’re thinking “I’m going to start going to the gym” or “I’m now going to work out in the mornings”. Sure those are great to do, but, be honest with yourself, will you really start doing those immediately? Didn’t think so!
What you can do, right now, are these simple exercises as soon as you’re done reading this blog. And you can (should) continue doing them in your daily routine, while at work and at your desk.
1. Stretches You Can Do Sitting
Sitting for long durations can seriously prevent blood circulation and stiffen your muscles. Try these stretches to ease your muscles and encourage blood flow while you’re still sitting.
Raise your shoulders up towards your ears as you inhale. Hold them there for a few seconds. As you breathe out release them. Do this a few times.
Straighten your back and place your hands on your lower back. Breathe normally while staying in this position.
Sit up straight, drop your right ear towards your right shoulder. Hold it there for a few seconds. Repeat this for your left side.
Turn your head to the right as you breathe in and look your shoulder. As you exhale turn back to look straight. Next, turn left in the same way.
With your fingers interlaced reach as high up as you can while breathing in. Keep your palms facing up towards and ceiling. Hold it there for a few seconds. Then slowly bring them down as you breathe out.
Raise your left leg with your knee bent. Grab your knee with your hands and pull it as close to your chest as you can. Breathe normally for a few seconds before you release your knee and bring your leg down. Repeat this for your right leg.
Much like you did for your arms, interlace your fingers and reach as high up as you can. Now slowly bend your back to the right side and hold that position for a few seconds before you straighten out your back again. Repeat this for your left as well.
Place your right ankle on your left knee. Gently press down against your right knee a few times. Do this for your left leg as well.
2. Stretches You Can Do Standing
If you feel less conscious about what your colleagues think (and you should) then get off your chair and try some of these stretches.
Raise your heels off the floor as you breathe in. As you’re exhaling bring your heels back down. Do this a few times slowly and make sure you’re in front of a desk, should you need support for balance.
With your toes pointing outwards (almost 45 degrees), spread your legs out a little in a wide stance. Slowly bend your knees over your foot until you can’t see your toes. Come back up again as you straighten legs. You could do these a few times.
While resting your back against a wall move your feet away from the wall. The weight of your back should be supported by the wall and your knees should be bent while you hold this position for as long as you comfortably can.
Place your hands on a sturdy furniture and slowly push your body off it. Basically this is a variation of a standing push up.
These simple stretches and exercises won’t replace a good, regular workout but they will help you feel more energetic, active and less fatigued. You’ll start feeling the difference with just a few days of these. Since you can’t stop sitting at your work, you could at least start doing these to keep yourself physically active and in shape.
Are there any exercises or stretches that you do to help you shake off the sitting routine? Do share them for all of us to learn.
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