Are You Taking Care of You?
In January we talked about resolutions that were good for not just the body, but the soul. In February we celebrated self-care and self-love by encouraging you to take a moment for yourself and be your own valentine. As we enter into March we want to build off both those ideas and remind you that while taking care of your mind and soul, you should also take care of your body.
Lockdown is Killing Us (But Really...It Kinda Is)
Quarantine hit all of us hard as we know you know all too well. It’s changed everything about how we live our lives, including how we work. According to a study by the Pew Research Center, 71% of Americans are still doing their jobs from home. That’s eight hours (let’s face it, usually more) of sitting at a desk, or working from the bed. While the convenience of saying goodbye to the morning commute can’t be understated, being a couch potato, even a productive one, can put us at risk for several health conditions. In addition to things like neck and shoulder pain, obesity, stress, lower back pain and carpal tunnel, the Mayo Clinic reported that more than 4 hours a day of screen time can actually increase risk of death by any cause by 50 percent! The same study shows there's also a 125% risk for cardiovascular disease.
We promise, we aren’t trying to scare you. Just trying to put into focus how easy it can be to fall into a more sedentary lifestyle than you’re used to, and what can happen when you do.
So what’s to be done? We’re glad you asked. We’ve put together a list of exercises, or deskercises if you will, that you can do at home.
Let’s start with an easy one, the tricep stretch. Raise your arm and then bend it so that your hand reaches toward the opposite side. With the other hand gently pull the elbow toward your head. Hold this pose for 10 to 30 seconds, and then repeat on the other side. This move can be done standing or sitting and only takes 2 to 3 minutes of your time. You’ll be back to reviewing those spreadsheets in no time at all.
Now let's move down to the chest area. Again this move can be done sitting or standing. Clasp your hands behind your back, push the chest out, and raise the chin. Hold the move for 10 seconds and then repeat. That’s it! Do as many sets as you feel necessary to get the blood pumping again.
Get ready to twist (but maybe not shout). For this one, you’ll need a chair. With your feet planted firmly on the ground face forward and rest one arm on the back of the chair. Twist the upper body in the direction of the arm that is resting on the back of the chair. Hold the pose for 15 seconds and then repeat on the other side. Remember to exhale as you lean into the stretch for a larger range of motion.
The Forward Fold
Now it’s time to get on your feet! This is a great stretch that can quickly calm the mind after a frustrating zoom call. Stand and face your chair, and place your elbows in your hands. Fold over and rest your arms on the back and or seat of your chair. Hold for 20 seconds Pro Tip: BEND YOUR KNEES! Don’t be afraid to bend your knees if you need to. Bending the knees takes nothing away from the benefits of this stretch.
Half Downward Dog
We all know about the yoga pose of downward dog. It’s a great full body stretch, as is this simplified version. Stand facing the back of your chair. Place your hands on the chair and step back as far as you can (be careful if your office chair has wheels). Do what you can to keep your arms and legs straight as the spine stretches.
As we’ve said, we tend to sit a lot while working from home, so this stretch is a great one to wake up the lower body. While standing, take the left leg back a few feet, then bend the back knee. This will almost feel like you’re in a lunge. Lower both knees until you feel the stretch in the left hip. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Seated Hip Stretch
Now the name of this one might be a little misleading, because you’re still standing while you do it. Stand with your feet about hip width apart. Ease down into a modified squat and cross your left ankle over your right knee, then lean into the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side. Pro Tip: You can use the wall to steady yourself if you feel you need a little extra support.
Now Shake it Out!
You can do all these stretches at once if you prefer, or sprinkle them throughout your day. You can also do things like taking a walk on your lunch break or if you have time, take a full virtual exercise class. The important thing is to remember to keep moving. Turn the camera off during that zoom meeting, they’ll never know ;)
You Can Do This!
Moving and stretching are habits that can be built. Make it your mission to do these exercises everyday and they’ll be second nature in no time at all. The best thing about them? You can do every single one in the comfort of your SassyBax! Grab your Convertible Leggings (which happen to be on sale when you use coupon code: CL15) and flex those hips, or slip on the Racerback Sports Bra for extra support during that forward fold. Of course if you’re anything like us, you’ve been living in the Original Bralette since last March anyway!