Today’s guest post is great for anyone who spends a lot of time hunched over a desk – Ie: Probably everyone reading this blog. It’s been my experience that there is a direct relationship between the mind and the body. By taking care of your body you’ll be less stressed and more productive.
In this article, Maria gives a great exercise you should incorporate into your work schedule. I’ve tried a variation of this myself and I can honestly helps me stay sharp and focused. Enjoy!
Modern, active lifestyles often don’t leave time for a trip to the gym. Although medical studies on the benefits of stretching are inconclusive (Some studies say it helps, but others show no improvement.)
It is generally thought that stretching can improve your health, increase flexibility, and decrease the risk of activity-based injuries to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Maintaining a daily routine can help increase your productivity, reduce the severity and frequency of cramped muscles, and relieve stress.
Tips for Safe Stretching
*Don’t push yourself too hard, you can actually cause more harm than good!
*Focus on all the major muscle groups, but pay particular attention to any muscle groups you use at work. For us “Internet Lifestyle” types, that means the wrists, arms, shoulders, back, and legs. Also, keep sure to stretch both sides of your body.
*Hold each stretch for around 30 seconds and don’t bounce! Bouncing will actually create small tears in your muscle fibers, increasing tension and decreasing flexibility.
*Consider taking a class or watching an instructional video on Tai Chi or Yoga. Both of these activities offer a number of different stretches that can be performed in an office. Scientists believe that the gentle motions associated with Tai Chi may increase flexibility even more than traditional stretching.
1. Abdominal Breathing – This yoga technique is quite effective at reducing stress and provides a good starting point for your stretching routine. First, start off by sitting up with your shoulders relaxed. Place your hands on your stomach. Breathe slowly in through your nostrils until your abdomen has completely expanded, and then slowly breathe out through your mouth. Concentrate on filling your “stomach” with each breath. Do this for several minutes.
2. Now stand in place with your feet spread slightly apart. We will begin our stretching routine at the top, and move down as we go along. First, concentrate on stretching your neck by pressing your chin down to your chest. Return to a neutral position. Now tilt your head to the right, bringing your right ear towards your right shoulder, and then repeat now going to the left. Now tip your head back and look straight up. Maintain proper posture with the rest of your body, moving only the neck. Hold each position for 30 seconds.
3. Now, while holding the rest of your body stable, slowly shrug up your shoulders and hold for several seconds then relax. Repeat 3-4 times. Now, lift up your arms to your sides, make small swirling motions, first forward then back, 30 seconds each.
4. Now, extend your arms in out in front of you, extend the fingers of one hand upwards so that your palm is facing out. Gently pull back on your fingers and hold. Now point your fingers downwards, pull and hold. Repeat for the other wrist.
5. Now place your hands behind your back and clasp your hands together. Extend your hands backwards, pinching your shoulder blades together, and hold in order to stretch out your chest.
6. Now spread out your legs slightly, about shoulder width, and raise one hand up into the air. Grab a hold of your wrist using your other hand and lean to the other side. Maintain your arm straight and directly overhead. Hold and then repeat for the other side.
7. Now bring your feet close together, maintaining both your legs and back straight, bend over, trying to touch your toes, and hold. Return to a neutral position and spread your legs out to shoulder width again. Bend over, again maintaining your legs and back in a straight position and attempt to touch one of your feet, and then repeat for the other foot.
8. (Optional) Now sit on the floor with your back straight up and your legs directly out in front of you. Bring your feet in towards your body and grab with your hands allowing your knees to swivel sideways towards the floor and hold.ng her laptop.Take Action. Get Results.