Many people’s job requires sitting in a chair for more than six hours per day or maybe spending a lot of time in their car. Some of the people have a habit to stay on the couch in front of the TV for a few hours in the evening. We can say that is a sedentary lifestyle.
That is a phenomenon that many people are not even aware!
Even for those who know that a sitting for a long time can be destructive to their health, they don’t take this very seriously. According to the many types of research, the great number of health problems that occur can be obesity, high blood pressure, metabolic disorders, diabetes, osteoporosis and a painful variety of back problems. Having that in mind it sounds serious, isn’t it?
In the cases that you are moving around or at least sitting up straight, the abs make effort to keep you upright, but if not, you’re staying in a chair, they are not engaged much.
You should know that the muscle activity needed for standing and performing movements causes directly the breakdown of sugars and fats within the body. It doesn’t happen when you sit, because of the metabolic process are slowed down, and you can gain weight and the risks of many other health problems increase.
If you belong to this group of people, your muscles can weaken, the spine loses its flexibility, shoulders and back muscles get overextended, and even the brain activity slows down. In many cases, the circulation slows down after long hours sitting at a desk. Because, your blood flows more slowly, it improve the chances of fatty acids to clog the heart. This is why sedentary lifestyle has been already linked to significant raises of cholesterol levels and blood pressure, as well as increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.
As the list of problems caused by sedentary lifestyle can go on and on for a long time, it is necessary to find a way how to fight it, especially if we are not able to change the work conditions or daily schedule at the moment.
Without any specific plan of activities, the first thing you can easily do is to get up and move around for a few minutes every hour, and, also by including a lot of fidgeting when you are at the desk. However, that is not the real way how to solve this problem, so you should go to the next step and definitely try out some simple but powerful yoga-inspired stretches we’ve put together. It is recommended to do them twice a day in the proposed order and holding each of the stretches for 30 seconds.
- Supported Backbend
They improve your posture because they activate the muscles supporting the spine.
– Starting position – standing position, facing away from a wall.
– Lean slowly back towards the wall, raising your arms over your head, and support your body weight with the palms on the wall
– Move your hands down the wall until you begin to feel a good stretch in the back.
– Breathing long and deep, stay in this position until it becomes more comfortable.
- Lunge with Rotation
It helps in maintaining the flexibility of the spine and, at the same time, building more strength in your legs and shoulders.
– Starting position – standing position, hold the ball in front of you
– Take a big step forward with your right foot into a lunge.
– Place your hands, on the side of your right foot.
– Reverse to the starting position and repeat
– Switch sides and repeat with another leg.
– Do 10 reps on each side.
- Shoulder Opener
Shoulder opening exercises are very beneficial for the shoulders, chest, back and spine muscles.
– Starting position – standing straight, hold a rope or a belt in both hands behind your back.
– Raise your arms behind you as high as you can and at the same time pull your shoulders back and together.
- Low Cobra
It strengthens the back, stretches the hip flexors and opens the chest.
– Starting position – Lying face down rest your body in one straight line.
– Pressing your forearms into the floor, pull your shoulders back, raising your head up and bend your back backwards.
- Star Reach
This exercise nicely stretches the whole body from the toes to head, including the chest, shoulders, knees and hips providing a great relief for those stiffened joints.
– Starting position – standing with your legs slightly wider than hip width.
– Lift your arms over your head with palms facing forward.
– Spreading your fingers, rise high on your toes.
- Number 4 Sit
Among other things, the long hours of sitting can lead to atrophy of the piriformis, a tiny muscle located in the buttock region. This stretch can help you maintain its flexibility.
– Starting position – seated position, with your right ankle crossed over your left thigh.
– Using your right hand, apply a bit of pressure to the inside of your right knee,
– Slightly lean forward until you feel a gentle stretch in your right piriformis.
– Stay in this position as you inhale.
– Exhaling, attempt to apply a bit more pressure and lean a half an inch farther forward into the stretch.
– Repeat the same with each breath.
– Repeat the same on another side.