Exercises You Can Do While Sitting in a Chair
Copyright 2001 by Rachel Keller
A stretching break can make a big difference in your productivity, your ability to handle stress, and your overall well-being. It reduces muscular fatigue, tension, pain, and degenerative joint or disc problems and energizes parts of your body that have become stiff.
Too many of us spend too much time sitting, either in work-related jobs, computer time, or relaxation in front of the television. If you sit in front of a computer for a long time, your neck and shoulder may get stiff, and you may even suffer occasional lower back pain.
You will feel so much better if you can get up every hour or so and walk around or stretch for a couple minutesA stretching break can make a big difference in your productivity, your ability to handle stress, and your overall well-being. It reduces muscular fatigue, tension, pain, and degenerative joint or disc problems and energizes parts of your body that have become stiff.
But what happens if you can't get up? While gently massaging those muscles may help, you can also do certain exercises to aid in flexibility and strength training.
These exercises you can do while sitting. (I have even done a few of these exercises in a meeting, and no one has ever known.) When doing these stretches, keep in mind these few suggestions:
Never force a stretch.
Do these stretches slowly and carefully.
You may feel some tension. This is normal, but you should not experience pain.
Hold only a stretch that feels good.
Exercises for the Lower Body
While seated, slowly point your toes forward away from your body until you feel a slight tension. Hold for 20-30 seconds.
While resting your heel on the floor, pull your feet and toes back toward your body. Hold for 20-30 seconds.
Slowly rotate your feet clockwise several times and then counterclockwise.
You can trace the alphabet and numbers with your feet.
Extend your leg and rest your foot on a towel. While you pull on the towel, push with your foot. (This one feels really good!)
This one is good for strengthening your leg muscles. Extend your leg out in front of you and hold for about 20 to 30 seconds. Lower your leg sooner if it starts to quiver. As your leg gets stronger, you can add ankle weights if you are interested in strengthening your leg muscles even more. You can do one leg at a time or hold both up together.
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