After a long car ride, plane trip or just sitting at your desk for an extended period, have you noticed how stiff you are initially when you get up to move? This is due to reduced circulation from sitting too much so your tissues get tight, and joints get stiff. As soon as you get up and start to move around, circulation is increased, blood starts flowing at a more rapid rate, tissues get warm, synovial fluid is released into the joints so they can articulate more smoothly, and you start moving better with less aches and pains. So, it is true that ‘Motion is Lotion’.
In terms of your joints, fascia and connective tissue, movement throughout the day is better than movement all at once. For example, if you workout for an hour in the morning but then sit at your desk all day with little movement the rest of the day, that is not as healthy in terms of circulation and optimal health for your joints and tissues. A better approach would be to enjoy your morning workout and supplement that with mini movement snacks throughout the day.
Throughout your day, look for opportunities to get up and move. Take a ‘recess’ in the morning, lunch and afternoon and go for a walk outdoors or around the office. If you’re on a plane, choose the aisle seat so you can get up and move. If you’re on a long car trip, schedule quick breaks along the route so you can get out of the vehicle and move around for even just one minute. Short movement breaks make a massive difference in how your body feels and functions.
If you’re working, ideally on the hour, take one minute and perform any of the following movements:
Up & Down
Stand up, reach your arms to the sky, look up to the ceiling and press your hips forward. Now bend your knees and reach your hands towards the ground. Return to the starting position and continue for 1 minute.
Stand up with your back against a wall. Place your arms against the wall at about shoulder height and press your arms into the wall and hold for about 2 seconds. Now take your arms a bit higher up the wall and repeat. Repeat at different angles until your arms are straight up over your head. Continue pressing against the wall as your stretch your chest and shoulders for about 1 minute total.
Stand about a foot from a wall with your back facing the wall. Keep your abdominals contracted and slowly rotate backwards and reach your hand across your body towards the wall. Repeat rotating side to side for the wall touches for about 1 minute.
Stand up. Swing both arms forward and up to the ceiling as you press one foot/leg behind you. Alternate and continue for one minute.
Stand up. Lift one knee up and then alternate. As you’re lifting your knees, swing your marching arms forward and backwards.
None of these movements require any equipment and you can do them anywhere. You also aren’t doing them long enough to work up a sweat, so they work great during your workday. In addition, you’re performing them all standing and don’t need to get to the ground so you can do them in a professional environment. Set a timer on your computer or use a smart watch to remind you to move on the hour. Motion throughout the day is a beautiful thing for your body and your health.
Yours in health & fitness,