When energy flags in the post-lunch lull, it’s all too easy to turn to sugar and caffeine. Over 80% of Americans sit all day, and sitting, as you’ve probably heard, is bad for your health. Sitting is linked to a myriad of health issues like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and metabolic syndrome. Doctors have even coined ‘sitting disease’ to cover the host of problems that sitting presents to your overall health and wellness.
But the solution is actually quite simple: move more. We’re not asking you to quit your job or stop watching your favorite TV show, just simply get up and move around ever 30 minutes. And if you really want to wake your body from its sitting slumber, try these three simple exercises. It works like this: When the anterior contracts and the posterior is rounded and collapsed, it effectively constricts the flow of oxygen through the body. By standing up and engaging the deep muscles around the shoulder blades (rhomboid muscles, trapezius, deltoid), you effectively open up the front of the body—allow more oxygen in to your lungs, more blood flow to your head, heart, and vital organs. In addition, Downward Dog Bent Knee is a bit of a metabolic burn at 30 seconds. This total body exercise engages the activates the hip flexors and the psoas, while also activating the shoulder blades. The head is positioned below the heart which brings increased blood flow (and oxygen) to the brain. In combination, these three movements reset posture and increase blood flow in less than five minutes so you can sit back to your desk with a clearer head and more energy. Give it a try!
Active Cows Face | 15x Per Side
- Put your feet fist-width apart and point them straight ahead; you may even pigeon-toe them slightly.
- Take your right arm towards 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 golfers 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.
By Hailey Wist