We spend a ridiculous amount of time seated: from driving cars to and from work, to actually sitting at work, to eating dinner at home with family or even out with friends, finishing up the evening TV or computer time before we go to bed. Then we do all that sitting again the next day.
So, why not do something healthy with these ever-SITTING bodies?
That is where I come in.
Below you will find some of my simple suggestions to relieve the stress on your ever-sitting body.
The best part: no need to set aside time or change your current routine to give your body the break and boost it needs.
Here are a few of my seated stretching suggestions broken up into two segments: upper and lower body.
Do them all at once or spread them throughout the day; the choice is yours.
Arms and upper body:
Start with both feet flat on the ground. Right hand will hold on to the chair next to your right hip. Left arm will reach up to the lights and over to the right. You should feel this stretch down the left side of the body (armpit to hip bone). Then reverse sides.
Sitting up tall reach left arm out in front of your body. Hook the right arm under the left and pull to your chest. Press both shoulders down your spine/away from your ears. Shake your head “no”. Then reverse sides.
Sit up tall and make sure both your hips and shoulders are facing forward. With your Right hand grab hold of the outside of your left thigh. Extend your left arm behind you and look at your left fingertips. Allow your shoulders to rotate, but again, press your shoulders down your spine/away from your ears. Then reverse sides.
Lower body and legs
Plant both feet firmly on the ground and make sure all 10 toes are facing forward. Sitting up tall, tuck your chin to your chest and let the top of your head slowly roll down towards your knees. When you get low enough place your hands on the floor and rest your chest on your legs. Shake your head “yes” and “no”. Then roll back up starting with your tailbone and working your way back up to your head. Lift the chin to look forward. Repeat a few times.
THE KNEE PULL
Sitting up tall, make sure both hips and shoulders are facing forward. Lift one leg off the floor and grab the knee with both hands. Keeping a straight back pull the knee to your chest holding for a moment. Slowly lower the leg to the floor and repeat with the other leg. **Variation: While you pull the knee to the chest, tuck the chin and try to touch your nose to your knee. This will “round” your back. Don’t forget to do both sides.
THE HIP STRETCH
Start with both feet on the ground, sitting up tall. Take the left ankle and rest it on right thigh. Grab your left ankle with your right hand to provide support. Place your left hand on your left thigh (above your knee) and gently press down. Making sure both hips and shoulders stay facing forward. Then reverse sides.
All of these stretches are great because they can be done in almost any type of chair: the subway, at your work desk, or even a park bench. Devote 5 – 10 minutes a day to stretching; it doesn’t all have to be at once. But I promise, your body (and even your mind) will thank you for it.