Over 80 percent of Americans sit all day, and sitting, as you’ve probably heard, is bad for your health. Doctors have even coined “sitting disease” to cover the host of problems that sitting presents to your overall health and wellness. Sitting is linked to a myriad of health issues, like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and metabolic syndrome.
Unfortunately, sitting—for most people—is unavoidable. We sit at our desks, we sit in our cars, and we sit on our couches. But the position of sitting is actually putting us to sleep.
How Sitting Effects Your Energy
It works like this: When your anterior contracts and your posterior is rounded, you effectively constrict the flow of oxygen through your body. In this rounded position, your spine is in a C-shape rather than it’s natural S-shape, cramping the diaphragm so that you can’t take full, deep breaths. What’s more, the C-shape in the spine tucks the hips under. When your psoas and hip flexors are tucked and unengaged, the body essentially, collapses forward, crunching the vital organs into a smaller space.
Your energy flags in the post-lunch lull because you’ve spent the better half of the day collapsed forward and inert. When this happens, it’s all too easy to turn to sugar and caffeine. But what if there were a healthy, more holistic option?
The solution to activating the hips and improving posture is actually quite simple: move more. We’re not saying you need to quit your job or stop watching your favorite TV show, just simply get up and move around every 30 minutes. And while you’re at it, give your body a quick alignment prompt with these three dynamic movements from Elev8d Fitness, the new home workout program from the experts at Sonima. It takes less than a minute, but does wonders for shaking loose the cobwebs and improving your posture.
3 Moves to Boost Your Energy
The Active Cows Face requires you to stand up and engage the deep muscles around the shoulder blades (rhomboid muscles, trapezius, deltoid). This effectively opens up the front of the body, allowing more oxygen into your lungs, plus more blood flow to your head, heart, and vital organs.
Next, the Downward Dog Bent Knee activates the hip flexors and the psoas, while also loading up the shoulder blades. By engaging these deep, core muscle groups this static position requires a higher intensity burn. A true total-body exercise, the Downward Dog Bent Knee positions your head below your heart, which brings increased blood flow (and oxygen) to the brain.
Lastly, the Standing Arm Circles strengthen the muscles between the shoulder blades while also requiring static resistance in the core muscles, especially the obliques. This may look like a shoulder exercise, but notice the perturbance in the abdominal wall; you are working your abs, too! Remember to keep your shoulders down and back. Also, hand position is key!
In combination, these three movements reset posture and increase blood flow in less than two minutes so you can sit back to your desk with a clearer head and more energy. What’s more, if you make a daily practice of these three movements, your posture will improve in the long run. Give it a try!
Active Cows Face | 15x Per Side
- Place your feet fist-width apart and point them straight ahead; you may even pigeon-toe them slightly.
- Take your right arm toward the head and reach to the center of the back while you, simultaneously, bring your left arm up from the hip to the center of the back, getting the fingers as close to touching as possible.
- Return arms to their original position then repeat process with opposite arms, bringing the left to the center of the back from above, the right from beneath.
Downward Dog Bent Knee | 30 Seconds
- Start on hands and knees and then push into a downward dog.
- Bend the knees, but not all the way to the ground.
- Pull the hips back to the heels, keeping the pelvis angled up and the back flat. You should feel this in the hip-flexors.
Arm Circles | 40x
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and pointed straight ahead. Put your your hands in a golfer’s grip: thumbs up, your fingers folded forward so that the tips are on the top pads of your palms.
- Extend your arms directly sideways, straight, point your thumbs forward, hands palms down, and pinch your shoulder blades back.
- Circle your arms forward. Keep your shoulder blades pinched.
- Next, flip your hands palms up, thumbs pointed backward, and circle your arms backwards.
Transform your body in 12 weeks! Try the revolutionary new approach to fitness that helps you achieve better results by doing less. Sign up now to access a FREE 14-day trial with Elev8dFitness.com.