One of the ways we can practice SELF care is by paying attention to what certain things are doing to our bodies. Many of us have jobs that require sitting, a LOT of sitting, which has a negative impact on our bodies. People were meant to move! I reached out to my friend and client, Bonnie Machuca, of PrecisionPoint Pilates to see if she could offer some simple tips for ways we can keep strong and active, even if we find ourselves sitting most of the day. Below she shares 5 simple techniques to get up and start moving!Do you find yourself sitting for hours on end at your desk or stuck in endless traffic? Do you experience mysterious low back pain, tight legs, shoulders and sore glutes? Most likely this is caused by over-sitting and not enough movement/stretching in your daily routine. Sitting causes our hip flexors and hamstrings to get tight and weak, and our glutes and lower abdominals to get loose and weak. Here are 5 easy tips to stay strong and stretched if you’ve been sitting for longer than 2 hours:
- Quadriceps Stretch: Stand behind your chair—you can use it for balance. Place one hand on your chair and grab your foot from behind your back with your free hand. Your knee should be bent and slightly pulled behind you. Tuck your pelvis a bit to get more stretch. Hold this for 30 seconds and repeat on other side
- Hamstring Stretch: I will call this a standing roll down. Stand up as tall as you can get, take a big inhale and stretch your arms overhead. Waterfall your arms, head and then trunk over your legs until you are in a forward fold. Stay over your legs to enjoy this hamstring stretch. Roll up and repeat 3 times. Make sure to engage your belly as to not overwork your back.
- Lower abdominal work: This one is easy peasy and can be done anywhere. So no excuses, please! While sitting at your desk or car, sit up as straight as possible. Arch your low back slightly. Take a big inhale and as you exhale tighten an imaginary belt around your waist. Try and make this belt as tight as possible. Congratulations! You are engaging your Transversus Abdominus (your most important abdominal layer)!
- Shoulder and Neck Rolls: While standing next to your desk, stand up as straight as you can get. Roll your shoulders forward six times and then backwards six times, then roll your head in small circles to the right three times and to the left three times. This helps loosen the muscles of the neck and shoulders that get tight from typing and stress.
- Simply take a walk: If you do not have the time for a lunch stroll, just getting up to stroll around the office between long sitting times will suffice. Just the mere act of walking helps stimulate the synovial fluid (fluid that helps lubricate the joints) in the spine, hips, and knees. Walking is a wonderful way to prevent arthritis. So keep those tennis shoes handy!
Bonnie is the owner of PrecisionPoint Pilates, located in the vibrant Grand Lake neighborhood of Oakland, CA. She is a busy mom of three, is active in her children's school and is one of those people you just enjoy being around. Her energy and smile is contagious, and I loved every minute of this recent session we did at her studio! For more info on Bonnie and the different classes she teaches, check out http://www.precisionpointpilates.com/ and be sure to give her some social media love by following her on Facebook .