Monday, June 8, 2009
If you spend hours in front of a computer every day, you can't imagine how much tension you'll be accumulating in your neck, shoulders and back. If you watch any animal, at work or play, they're stretching ALL the time because they're listening to their body. How often have we sat in front of our screens feeling the pain in our lower backs without stopping to relieve it?
Over time, sitting for prolonged periods in the same position while you are driving, typing or watching TV can lead to really bad posture and back problems. The trick is to NOT sit for more than an hour in the same position.
Just coz you have some sexy ergonomic chair, doesn't mean you shouldn't be stretching at your desk! Just stand up every so often, place your palms at the base of your back and slowly lean backwards but remember to hold this position for at least 20 seconds to allow the muscles to really stretch out properly.
And if your neck is hurting, just tilt your head to the side (bringing your ear toward your shoulder) and try to hold it there for about 20 seconds, then repeat on the other side. It seriously helps. A physiotherapist friend taught me this. You can also reach your right hand round to push the left side of your head closer to your shoulder to deepen the stretch (then repeat on other side)
Animals do all this naturally. When they get up from a nap, they usually stretch first before they even start going anywhere.
Yoga is a great way to stretch. Even cats can do the downward dog, don't mess! hehe
Check out her form. Her front paws are fully stretched out like the child's pose in yoga :)
So, just remember to MOVE or change your body position every hour. Force yourself to take a short break, even if it means just getting off your chair and walking to the bathroom or the kitchen to get a drink.
I'm not suggesting you do moves like this at your work desk (though that would be quite impressive ;) but doing a few simple shoulder rotations only takes a few moments and it really helps you to loosen up. Do a few going backwards, then forwards. Very straightforward!
No such thing as no time for a stretch. Gotta make the time :) Even while waiting for the cameras to set up on Health Buzz, Jehan and I managed to squeeze in this balancing stretch between takes :)
Stretching doesn't just relieve tension, it's so important to stretch before exercise so that your muscles are less likely to tear during a work out. Tight muscles actually WASTE energy and can become tired FASTER than relaxed, warmed up muscles. So, stretching helps prevent injury AND the muscles themselves also heal quicker!
I've only heard great things about tai chi so when I saw a group in the park at Taman Tun, I jumped in and tried to follow them.
What a great way to start my morning. Tai chi is so relaxing, physically AND mentally. Every movement is so graceful yet precise. I could feel the circulation in my body rising even though we all seemed to be moving in slow mo. Now imagine, if it was sped up, I could've morphed into Chun Li :)
My last word on this is to pretty please stretch if you're in the same position for AGES ok? Listen to your body, especially when you start feeling pain. A little bit of a stretch here and there goes a long way...
- Jojo Struys
- I find blogging quite therapeutic. It gives me a chance to express my thoughts. I'm currently a TV host living in KL and the mother of 3 confused looking pugs! ;) If u have the time, my modelling shots, tap dancing clips, full biography and TV trailers are all on www.jojostruys.com :-)
My previous blogs :)
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