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It’s no secret that sitting all day can wreak havoc on us as humans. We know it’s important to move and breathe not just for our physical health, but our mental health as well! Moving and stretching during the work day can keep our bodies in balance, and give us a little zing of energy. This not only makes us a little happier each day :), but it allows us to be more productive and effective while at work!
And the beauty of it all is — you don’t even have to leave your desk to get things going! On a tight deadline? Stuck in a meeting? No problem. Use these five poses to strengthen, lengthen and invigorate the body right now! Let’s work from the ground, up.
This stretch is super helpful to lengthen the front sides of the legs, which are compressed when we sit all day.
Start with feet together, and if you’d like help balancing, hold onto a table or a chair. Shift your weight into your left foot, and bend your right knee back. Grab the outer edge of your right foot, and gently move the heel towards the hip as you reach the knee down (imagine literally lengthening the thigh here). Keep both knees together. Take 3-5 deep breaths and repeat on the other side.
Forward folds not only stretch the hamstrings, hips, sides of the body and the spine, but they calm the nervous system and stimulate blood flow to both ease stress and anxiety and give you a little boost of energy.
If you don’t want to fold fully forward, stand behind a chair or a table, feet planted hips width distance apart. Keep a little bend in the knees as you hinge at your hips, and bring hands to the chair or the table, so your body is in an upside down “L” shape. Keep knees bent, belly pulled in, and relax the head and neck. This will give you a little extra shoulder stretch. Push down into the chair or table to activate the arms to protect the shoulders. Take 3-5 deep breaths.
For a full forward fold, plant your feet hips-width distance apart and bring hands to the hips. Inhale to lift the crown of the head, lift the chest, and pull the belly in as you exhale and fold forward. Keep a slight bend in the knees, and bring hands to the ground, forehead to shins. Keep the knees bent, belly pulled in, and let the upper body get heavy, maybe grabbing for opposite elbows. Take 3-5 deep breaths.