How Sitting Can Kill You

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It’s a fact, sitting can be detrimental to your health. A recent medical journal study showed that people who sit for most of their day are 54% more likely to die of a heart attack. Scary! To make matters worse, sitting may not just be bad for your heart but also for your posture. Sit all day typing away on your computer? You’re inviting muscle stiffness, poor balance and mobility, and lower-back, neck, and hip pain. Ouch! Bottom line- we weren’t designed to sit for hours on end and we’re paying the price for it. Sitting is this generation’s cigarette.

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So, what’s the big deal about parking your butt in a chair for hours a day? You belong to a gym, you workout. Well, it turns out that even if you still manage to squeeze in five 45 min workouts, but sit for 5 hours or more… you’re still just an exercising couch potato. Get this- new evidence suggests that the more you sit, the greater the likelihood of dying an early death NO MATTER how much you exercise or how lean you are. Yikes!

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Now we know how our heart suffers when we’re desk-bound what’s up with the rest of our bod? To fully understand, go with me on this quick anatomy tour. Let me introduce you to your fascia. Fascia is the connective tissue that plays an integral role in supporting your form. This dense connective tissue covers all of our muscles, bones, nerves, arteries, and veins, as well as all of our internal organs. Grab your 3D glasses to get a in depth view of how it supports your organs and joints from your head to your perfectly pedicured toenails. In it’s natural state, fascia is elastic and pliable, but it can become constricted due to traumas, accidents, repetitive motions, or poor postural habits (like sitting in front of your computer all day). So while fascia is a go-with-the-flow kinda guy, it tends to “set” in the position our muscles are most in. Shoulders hunched forward, neck craning forward, knees bent, hips tightening, booty muscles weakening. Click. Your fascia is taking this as a photo of where it should be living. NOT. GOOD. Not to mention painful. So, what’s a office bound creature to do?

 First step is to make sure you are getting that regular exercise when you’re not at the office or traveling on the plane. That’s first and foremost. Secondly, think in terms of movement. You MUST get moving throughout your day! Take the stairs instead of the elevator, stand up when you’re talking on the phone, walk around the office, consider even getting a standing desk. Anything that gets you off your arse and up and at em. Your body will thank you.

Now’s your chance to get active and live longer as a result! We know that Pilates is both an investment in time and money- and want you to have the most out of your sessions. This is why we offer an introductory special to all first time clients at our studio. This customized approach allows our instructors to specialize a Pilates program just for you.  Build your foundation solidly. 

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Airplane Pilates

Long flights can make your body tight and your sour your disposition. Do these simple exercises anywhere, even in coach.

TV Stretches

Begin seated, feet flat on the floor, knees tracking right over your toes.
Tilt your head to the right bringing your right ear towards your right shoulder. Switch sides twice. Hold the last time each side and give yourself a gentle stretch with your hand. Now, turn your head to the Right then to the Left. Repeat twice. Hold the last time, curling your chin into your ampit and possibly using your had on the back of your head to increase the stretch.

Finally, interlace your fingers behind your head. Curl your chin to your chest and gently stretch.

The Hundred Breathing

Seated tall, inhale for a count of 5 then exhale for a count of 5. Do ten sets of this breathing concentrating on keeping the powerhouse pulled in and up and breathing into your lower back and sides.

Cat and Cow

As you inhale, arch your back opening your collar bone and tilting your tailbone towards the back of your head.
Exhale round your spine trying to bring the crown of your head towards your tailbone. Keep the connection to the powerhouse throughout

Knee Stirs

Sitting tall pull your right knee into your chest.
Without moving anything but your arms circle the knee in the hip joint three times in each direction.
Think of using your powerhouse to move your knee not just your hands.

Knee Holds

After the last knee stir hold each knee into your chest with your powerhouse for the count of five.

Side Bend

Sit tall and cross your arms across your chest.
Pull your powerhouse in and up and bend right then left just moving your upper body not your hips.

Twist 

Stay in the same position and now twist the upper body to the right then the left, avoiding moving your hips.

Roll Down

Inhale sit up tall. As you exhale curl your chin to your chest rounding your spine forwards your knees. Keep your tailbone and sits bones pointing straight down towards the floor and avoid “tucking” the pelvis under.

Then roll up sequentially through your spine until you are sitting up tall once again.
Repeat this three times. On the last rep reach down and grab onto your ankles to get a deeper stretch.

Hamstring Stretch

While standing, open your feet hip width apart. Place your hands on something hip height and bend your knees a lot. Arch your back and try to keep your tailbone sloped upwards as you attempt to extend your legs slowly.

2×4

After your stretch stand in a small Pilates stance (heels together feet no wider than a fists width apart) Place one had on a seat back or wall.
Bend your knees keeping your heels on the floor. Lift just your heels glued together. Then extend your legs, finally lower your heels to the floor.

Repeat by starting with straight legs, lifting your heels, bending your knees, lowering your heels, straightening your legs. Keeping the powerhouse engaged and your heels superglued together the whole time.

Take this workout on the road and let us know if it makes you feel like a million bucks! Share it with other road warriors and leave your comments below. If you want more info on how to take Pilates with us and stay out of travel pain click here.

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