Do you sit at a desk all day? Chances are you do…
Sitting all day is bad for the body in so many ways. In addition to being bad for the heart and circulation, it’s also bad for the muscles. It makes them stiff and tight, limiting your range of motion and causing aches and pains.
We spend most of our time hunched over at a desk, working on a computer or staring at some other kind of screen. Because of this, our bodies are becoming accustomed to being hunched over, stiff and immobile, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can work tiny stretch breaks into your day to help counteract the adverse effects of too much sitting.
The easy stretches below can be done at anytime, anywhere, whenever you feel like you need a little relief. Stretch at your desk while you work, stretch while you watch TV or talk on the phone-just make sure you aren’t forcing your muscles into a super deep stretch unless you you’ve warmed up first.
Simple Posture Correction
Stand with you feet hip distance apart, arms by your side with palms facing forward. Roll your shoulders back pressing your chest forward and tilt your head up. Hold that position for three deep breaths. Use this pose to stretch your constantly forward rotated shoulders and pectoral muscles. Repeat as many times, and as often as you like.
Seated Spinal Twist
While seated in a chair, cross right leg over left. Take a deep breath in and elongate your spine. Reach across your body with your left arm, placing elbow to your knee. Use your knee to push yourself a little further into the twist. Be sure to keep your spine lengthened. At the apex of your twist exhale. Take one more deep breath in this position and repeat on the other side.
Seated Hip Stretch
Again, while seated in a chair or on a couch, scoot to the edge of the seat. Place your left foot firmly on the ground; making sure your leg is at about a 90-degree angle. Lift your right leg, placing your right foot onto your left knee, keeping the bend in your right leg also at 90 degrees. Use your hands to press your right knee down, lean forward bending, not hunching, at the waist. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Seated Hamstring Stretch
While seated in a chair or on a couch, scoot to the edge of the seat, extend your legs forward, feet flexed, heels planted on the ground. Reach your hands up and bend forward, bending from your low back, being careful not to hunch over. Hold for 15 seconds and repeat.
As you stretch, remember to breathe. Your breath will bring oxygen to your muscles, allowing them to relax. Use your exhales to relax deeper into each stretch. It’s easy to clam up and hold your breath during stretches, but don’t allow your body the extra tension. Let your breath guide you through your stretching routine and you will receive the most benefits from your stretch breaks. And of course, listen to your body, as it knows best.
About Samantha Diane:
Samantha Diane is a certified personal trainer and health and wellness coach who aims to help people live healthier, happier lives through coaching, training and writing. She creates both in person and online fitness, motivation and accountability programs that help people become the best version of themselves.