So I woke up rather stiff and miserable the past couple of days. Early mornings, late nights eventually take their toll, eh? They did, at least for me. Plus add the heat. I can’t believe our garden city recorded a higher temperature than Chennai, which is acknowledged as the sweatiest, warmest place to be.
I feel exhausted and energy-less. On top of that, I am dealing with power cuts, plumbers, and electricians. In short, my home is like Liberty Hall. And no, answering the doorbell is not enough exercise, although I wish it were.
In any case, I realized that the only way to beat the lethargy and tiredness, is exercise. But with impending thunderstorms, I am not eager to be stuck outside. After my recent data loss, any sign of thunder has me switching everything off and retiring to the kitchen to cook something up.
What to do?
Good news is, there’s exercise.
Shh! I hear you say “no time!” Let me finish. You can do these exercises at the desk.
If you, like me, have been spending a lot of time hunched over your desk, I am pretty sure you are experiencing some kind of back pain with energy drain.
You have probably heard that sitting is the new smoking, so you really want to watch yourself. Also, our posture as we sit, and our other movements can play havoc on our joints and muscles. Now who wants a bunch of medical problems eh? I shudder to think that I once battled carpal tunnel syndrome. Most painful thing ever, since the pain shoots up the arm, up the elbow and shoulders and neck and from there, the back and before you know it, osteoporosis, risk of fracture and a whole lot of other conditions.
So enough about the endless consequences of sitting. Let’s look at solutions.
Set aside just a few minutes. Perhaps even set the alarm for 15 minutes. So maybe you’ll look a little freaky doing this at your desk if you go to work, but guess who’ll have the last laugh when you end up feeling good. Ha ha.
Stand up, sit down
No hands. Stand up, sit down without using your hands. Tip: look cool by doing it when you are on the phone.
Get your balance
If you can, replace your chair with an exercise ball. It is great for low-back problems as it keeps your back, leg and butt muscles engaged to help you work on your balance. A standing desk might help, too, if you can’t use a ball.
Shrug it off
To loosen your neck and shoulders do this: inhale deeply, shrug shoulders all the way up to your ears. Hold. Relax. Do this thrice.
Then do the indecisive head shake—nod yes up and down, nod no side to side.
Are you amazing? Yes! Do you want to slap the guy who bumped into you? Yes! Would you really do it? No! Do you love me? Yes, yes yes! and so on.
Make air circles
To loosen your hands, stretch both hands out in front and clench your fists. Make air circles, ten left and ten right. Then shake out your hands.
Point that finger
This one works on your hands, wrist and forearms. Stretch your left hand out in front, fingers pointing toward the floor. With your right hand, gently push fingers down towards your body. Repeat this with the right hand. Next, stretch the left hand out front, wrist bent, fingers pointing skyward. With your right hand, gently pull the fingers back. Repeat with right hand.
Twist that torso
Take a deep breath. As you exhale, turn to your right and grip the back of your chair with the right hand, while you grab the arm of the chair with the left. Weird eh? Still holding the chair, try to twist around as far back as you can. Return to original position. Repeat on the other side.
Abs and legs
Sit in your chair. Grip the seat for support and stretch your legs out straight in front, almost parallel to the floor. Flex and point your toes a few times. Relax. Repeat.
This is good to stretch your back. So give yourself a big ol’ hug, right hand on left shoulder and left hand on the right shoulder. Breathe in, breathe out. Feel that area between your shoulder blades stretch.
Work the shoulders and upper back
Extend your left arm out in front of you. With the right, grab the left elbow and pull it across your chest to stretch your shoulder and upper back muscles. Hold. Relax. Now repeat with the right arm.
The leg hug
This stretches your back and shoulders. Sitting on the edge of your chair, place your feet together flat on the floor. Leaning over, chest touching knees, allow your arms dangle to the floor. Release that neck. Now, clasp hands behind legs. If you can reach the elbows, great! Feel the back, neck and shoulders stretch. Hold. Release hands to floor. Repeat thrice.
Look up for upper body love
Sitting straight in your chair, or standing up, stretch arms overhead and lock your fingers. Turn the palm up to face the ceiling, lift your chin up, tilt your head back and look at the ceiling. Inhale. Exhale. Relax. You know, if you do this on waking up, it feels really good!
Walk the talk
Instead of sending that group email, go talk to that colleague your really want to communicate with. And? Don’t hold lunch meetings at your desk. Walk to the café, talk, eat without distraction.
And that’s it for E for exercise.
Do one, two or twelve.
If you’re a multi-tasking Mama, I promise you’ll feel better. You’re welcome!
Now, try at least ONE of these and tell me how you feel!
Caution: If you have an underlying health issue, or an existing back problem, please consult your doctor before attempting any exercise. And I hope you get better soon!
Featured image is from Shutterstock