Sherri McMillan

“Working From Home” Aches and Pains

If you are a business professional, but your industry has been categorized as non-essential, you’ve probably found yourself working from home. If you are like most people, your new working environment is probably less than ideal. Perhaps you’re hunched over your computer on your couch, in your bed or at your dining room table. Most likely the ergonomics aren’t the best and you’re probably experiencing a lot of aches and pains in your back, hips, neck and shoulders.

Here’s some tips to help ease some of those physical issues:

Get Up Often

You’ve probably heard that sitting is the new smoking so if you sit for extended periods of time, you need to set a timer to assure that you are getting up and moving at least every hour. An Apple watch will remind you on the hour to get up and move which is so critical for circulation and getting your tissues out of those tight and shortened positions. Also, consider investing in a variable desk that will allow you to sit or stand while you work so you can adjust your body’s position. Holding the same posture for extended periods of time is not good for you body and decreases your energy levels.

Perform a Few Anti-Gravity Stretches

If you are working at your computer for extended periods at a time, your hip flexors are in a shortened position, your upper back is hunched and rounded and your shoulders are slouched forward. So at least every hour, do a couple stretches to counteract those positions. Stand up, put your hands on your low back and look to the ceiling. Place your hands behind your head, look towards the ceiling and press your elbows back and down. Stand on one leg and grab your foot on the other leg and bring your heel towards your hips/glutes. Taking a couple minutes to perform a few of these types of stretches will go a long way towards relieving some muscles strains, increasing your energy, improving your productivity and enhancing your posture.

Opt Outside For 10 minutes

The fresh air, Vitamin D and movement will get your blood flowing, endorphins flowing and you’ll feel so much better. Perhaps, conduct a phone meeting while you walk & talk and be productive on the go. You’ll return to your work feeling energized and ready to tackle the rest of the day.

Recess For Lunch

Just like kids need a break from school, adults need a break from work activities to reset and come back more productive. Schedule a lunch time workout, walk or run. Talk to your employer to discuss whether it’s possible to have a personal trainer conduct a Work-from-Home virtual training session or energy break for you and your co-workers. A short express workout or stretching session on Zoom can be great to combat those feelings of isolation while doing something good for your body, mind and stress relief. It’s worth the investment because it will improve comradery, increase team morale and enhance productivity!

Deep Breathing and Brain Exercises

When your energy is draining and your body is dragging, take 5 minutes away from your computer to focus on deep, slow breathing. Often, just oxygenating your blood can make you feel more awake and alert. You can also try some brain exercises such as massaging your head, ears and forehead to increase blood flow to your brain and make you feel more energized. Try contracting and relaxing muscles in your face and head to also get the blood flowing causing you to feel more awake. Sometimes even a short 10-20 minute nap to allow yourself to lie down and relax your body can do a world of good!

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan

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Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan, holds a master's degree in exercise physiology and has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for more than 30 years. She has received numerous industry awards including 2010 CanFitPro International Presenter of the Year, 2006 IDEA Fitness Director of the Year, 1998 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, 1998 CanFitPro Fitness Presenter of the Year and 2005/2006 ACE Fitness Educator of the Year - Runner up. She is a fitness trainer, fitness columnist for various magazines and newspapers, author of five books and manuals including "Go For Fit - the Winning Way to Fat Loss" and "Fit over Forty" and the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She has presented hundreds of workshops to thousands of fitness leaders throughout Canada, Australia, Mexico, Jamaica, New Zealand, Germany, England, Spain, South America, Asia and the U.S. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver and Salmon Creek, hosts races at WHY Racing Events, participates in various community fundraisers and can be found running, biking, or hiking around the community. Find more information at nwpersonaltraining.com.

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