Posted by: Pamela Kalivas | February 12, 2013

Quick Tricks to Boost Success

Flexible Old Lady

When time is of the essence, working on the computer for 8 hours a day, forty hours a week can take a toll on your body in terms of flexibility.  Stretching just a few times per day in the office can make for a re-energizing break providing a no cost boost to breezing through the workday.  Stretching offers a variety of healthy benefits such as: better range of motion, more flexibility, lowering blood pressure, reducing anxiety and improving relaxation  (exercise.about.com).

Here are some simple quick stretches you can do in the office or anywhere you have a few minutes to spare.

1.  Gluteal Squeeze– This exercise is easy to do any time during the day.  While sitting in you chair make sure to squeeze the gluteal muscles for 5-seconds and release. Repeat 5-10 times each day (health.howstuffworks.com).

2.  Shoulder shrug– Shrug your shoulders as high as you can and release them. Repeat 2-3 times each day to relax the shoulder muscles (health.howstuffworks.com).

3. Upper Back Stretch–  Many of us involuntarily tighten or tense our shoulder and neck muscles. Our chest and back as a result also tightens and this can affect our shoulder blades.  A great way to release tension in this area is a chest stretch.  Stand in a doorway andput your arms/forearms against the door frame so that your arms are essentially making the shape of a field goal.  Step one foot forward and hold for 60-80 seconds.  Repeat 1x per day.

An alternate stretch to release our back and shoulder blades is to bring your hands out straight and perpendicular to your torso.  Reach the hands and shoulders forward to feel a stretch in the upper back and shoulder blades.  Do these as many times as you like per day (exercise.about.com).

hipflexorstretch

Hip Flexor Stretch

4. Hip Flexors– Our low back and hips get stiff when we sit for too long. Hip flexors stretching exercises can help relax and loosen the front of our hips.  Start standing behind a stationary chair and reach the left or right leg back as if to begin a lunge.  Squeeze the gluts and bend slowly down until you feel a stretch in the hip belonging to the foot stretched back. Hold for 10-30 seconds, and repeat on the other side (exercise.about.com)

5.  Forearm stretch– Stretching your forearms and wrists out can prevent the onset of injuries such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.  Hold one arm straight and perpendicular to your torso.  Flex right hand upward and use left hand to gently flex backwards your right hand.  Hold for 5 seconds.  Turn your Right hand downwards and use the left hand to gently flex the hand downwards. Hold for 5 seconds. Switch hands.  Do these a few times during your work day (Personal Health Designs).

Polar Bear Stretch

Why not take a cue from our furry friends  to take time out of our busy day for a relaxing and refreshing stretch. Stretching can give you an energizing edge throughout your day. Your body and your pocket book will also thank you.

~Pam

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