A simple and straightforward tip this week: stretch!
It can be so easy to get stuck on your butt ~ in front of the computer, on the couch, in the car, on a plane… We often spend several hours a day just sitting!
Heath issues related to too much sitting include:
- Greater risk of heart disease
- Slower metabolism, even for those who exercise regularly
- Greater risk of diabetes
- Higher chance of elevated cholesterol
- Higher chance of obesity
- Even a greater risk of certain cancers
You don’t have to roll out a yoga mat and do anything crazy. Just stand up and stretch. Some benefits of stretching include:
- A clearer mind and refreshed outlook, preparing you for whatever work or concentration you’ll require in the next hour.
- Reduced risk of injury when you do move or exercise.
- Increased flexibility.
- Increased blood flow.
- Reduced inflammation.
- Reduced muscle tension.
- Increased energy levels.
- Relaxation and stress relief.
- Improved balance.
- Improved posture.
- Improved mood.
Easy Ways to Stretch (and to Remember to Stretch!):
A simple way to combat on-your-butt-itis is to stand up and stretch once an hour ~ no matter what you’re doing or where you are! Here are some ways to help make stretching once an hour an easy thing to remember:
- Set a watch alarm or use a kitchen timer.
- If you’re at your computer, set up StretchClock (for free!) on your browser. This handy reminder will alert you when your hour is up and will even open a short video you can stretch along with!
- If you’re a clock-watcher, stretch at the top of the hour.
- Drink water (perhaps lemon water!) throughout the day. You’ll be standing once an hour, guaranteed, as you make your way to the restroom! 😉
- Stand up. That’s all ~ just get off your rear end for a minute. I’ll bet you a nickel you automatically reach your arms up to stretch your back, spine, and shoulders once you’re standing! 🙂
- If you’re driving, it can be tempting not to stop if you’re making good time. But put your health first. Pull off to a rest stop or a scenic view if there is one. Stand up, reach your arms overhead, twist to the right and the left. Touch your toes if you feel like it. Then get back in the car. Feel refreshed? Thought so!
- If you’re flying, it’s crucial to stretch during your flight. Sitting too long on a flight can increase your risk of blood clots, which can have serious health effects. Stand, stretch, walk to the rear of the plane and back ~ that’s all it takes to reverse the negative effects of sitting too long.
- If you’re watching TV, make sure you stand up between programs.
- If you’re watching a movie at home, pause in the middle and take a quick stretch.
- If you’re at a movie theater, it’s probably very unlikely you’ll get up and stretch… but not after reading this post, right?? 🙂
It’s hard to overlook the benefits of stretching. A simple stand-and-stretch once an hour will bring benefits to your mind, body, and spirit. So don’t just sit there ~ get moving!
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Questions for readers:
Do you spend a lot of time on your feet during the day?
Do you ever practice restorative yoga poses? If so, do you have a favorite?