Everyone has a normal range of body motion, but it diminishes as a consequence of inactivity. Joints maintain their youth essentially by virtue of movement. Diminished movement, from our desk-based lives, ages the body prematurely.
When tissue isn’t regularly moved, it dries out like the sponge that isn’t used. If you don’t move your body often at work and ‘feed’ your tissues, you may eventually find it very difficult to regain the flexibility and youthful ability you once had.
But fear not – help is at hand. Regular movement every day will help you maintain your flexibility and even reverse the effects of aging. Fitness must be a daily process and one that you can learn to love again.
Skip the jogging
Daily fitness is necessary to keep your body pain free and full of youthful energy. A daily routine that involves some stretching, strengthening, posture and breathing is ideal but once you’ve passed age 35 there are downsides to jogging. Jogging is carried out in an upright position, the lower back more arched with more load passing down through the hips, knees and feet.
Best practise – Rapid walking at lunch
The good news is that rapid walking burns more calories than jogging the same distance and works your upper body as well, without all the damaging effects of the repeated joint impact during jogging.
Recent science is telling us that the three-times-a-week gym goer who sits all day in the office may not be as healthy as they think. Compressed office bodies need the chance to recover after each hour of sitting. Most of you could easily commit to 60 seconds, eight times a day at work. It’s even possible that eight minutes stretched out over the course of a day’s work has more benefit than 60 minutes at the gym – hip hip hooray!
The 1-minute workout
All those hours spent sitting play havoc with your posture – round shoulders, forward head and the dreaded neck hump. Good desk posture means maintaining your ideal spinal curves, bringing your centre of gravity back to neutral and keeping a check on your breathing. Follow this simple 60-second workout right at your desk and notice how much better you feel. Before you start, scoot your buttocks back in your chair and sit tall.
- Take three really deep breaths in and out – breathe right down and expand your belly
- Roll your shoulders backward five times – really exaggerate the movements
- Turn your head as far as you can to the right (don’t twist your shoulders) then use your opposite hand on your cheek to gently push the head around an extra 20 degrees. Do the same on the left and repeat three times
- Use the arm rests support your upper body and tuck your buttocks in (flatten your spine) and then do the reverse and push your buttocks out (arch your back). Repeat five times
- Clench your buttocks and draw your stomach in, then release. Repeat five times.
- End with another three deep breaths.
Exercise and body movement must be a way of life and one you can learn to look forward to and enjoy! You can watch the posture doctor demonstrating the 1 Minute Workout at www.posturevideos.com/1-minute-workout