You are losing flexibility while you sit hunched over.
8 hours in an office chair is a brutal reality for your back. Multiply that by the average amount of days you work in a year and you can see how the hours add up against your spine. Unless we are proactive, we are literally letting our flexibility fall by the wayside to the chagrin of our bodies. We need flexibility to perform basic human movements without pain: the lifts, twists, turns, and reaches that make up the subconscious movements of the day. Even standing up and walking depends on our bodies having a baseline of flexibility.
Stretching from your desk can revolutionize the way you feel at work.
Try this from your office chair:
- Gentle twist: Sit up straight. Gently twist to the right and look over your right shoulder. Hold for 5-10 seconds and repeat on the other side.
- Fold from the chair: come to the edge your chair and extend your legs forward with feet hip-distance apart. Exhale and fold your upper body forward reaching with your hands for your feet. Grasp as far down your leg as you can and hang for 15 seconds.
- Upper shoulder stretch: Reach right hand over right shoulder and reach your left hand behind your back. Clasp your hands together and create a tension that stretches the shoulders and chest. Hold 15 seconds.
Stop feeling stiff at work
This stretch routine takes about 2 minutes and it can release a lot of tension from the body. If you could do it once every hour you would be doing your body a grand favor. Let’s work together to identify the ways in which you are letting your body down. From poor body mechanics and movement to poor posture, everyone has room for improvement. By being proactive about your flexibility, you can ensure an old age with less pain and more independence. Let’s start moving more and moving more purposefully today! Give our office a call to schedule an appointment.
We’ve all used the term, “I’m taking a mental health break,” when we take a needed day off from work. But simply “not working” is not the same as doing something positive for our mental wellbeing.
As Noam Spencer Ph.D. said, “Mental health is not a destination, but a process. It’s about how you drive, not where you’re going.”
What’s Involved in a Mental Health Break?
Removing yourself from stressful situations, like anxiety at your workplace, is a good way to start. But then what? Your brain is still hard at work trying to resolve those issues you thought you distanced yourself from.
Getting yourself healthy, whether physically or mentally, requires you to be proactive in the process. When your body is in need of alignment, you call a qualified chiropractor, like Dr. Randall Holmes, DC in Houston, Texas, to put things right and get you back in the game. Here, he offers you some suggestions for getting your mental wellbeing realigned too.
Suggestions for Achieving Better Mental Health
Clean your house. That may sound like a terrible way to take a break until you consider how much clutter leads to stress. Try cleaning out a closet or two. It often leads to hours of looking at old photographs and vacation souvenirs, which can be its own little getaway.
Revisit Old Loves. Not old flames, but old pastimes. If roller skating, playing the guitar, or finger painting was something you enjoyed as a child, try picking it up again. You may find they missed you too!
Do Good. Nothing takes us out of ourselves more than investing our time in something outside ourselves. You can volunteer to rock preemies at the local hospital, serve hot meals to the aged, or go all in and start your own charitable organization. It’s possible to get grants if you’re registered as a non-profit.
Fresh Air and Sunshine. It’s been said so often it’s become a cliche, but walking outside is so good for us, it almost doesn’t matter where you walk or how fast. However, combining the walk with being out in nature gives us a double shot of those feel-good endorphins.
Tai Chi. Originating thousands of years ago as a martial arts practice Tai Chi is noted for how well it integrates physical exercise and mental wellbeing. Its slow, deliberate movements focus on proper body alignment, breathing, and relaxation.
Pet a Dog. If your difficulties in maintaining consistent mental health are interfering with your ability to work or simply enjoy life, you may qualify for a therapy dog. The simple act of petting a dog has been shown to lower pulse rates and blood pressure while relieving stress, anxiety, and depression. Or if you’ve been thinking of getting a dog as a pet and need another good reason, mental wellbeing could be just a wag and a lick away.
Get Physically Realigned. If your body is out of alignment, you’re in constant discomfort and that’s something you can’t take a vacation from. Visit a qualified chiropractor for needed adjustments before the pain becomes chronic or before you head to a pharmacy.
Plant a Garden. It doesn’t matter if you want to grow petunias or potatoes, there’s something rawly therapeutic about digging in the dirt. Visit a local nursery with a bag full of the type of soil available in your yard along with photos of the area you’re designating for your new garden to give the professionals an idea of the conditions your space offers. They’ll have the best suggestions on what and how to grow your new garden.
Drive to the Closest Beach. We are biologically drawn to water. Nearly 40% of the U.S. population lives within 100 miles of a coastal area. Whether it’s the sea or a lake, we all feel more relaxed near the water. Even the color blue of the water is associated with calmness and relaxation. Wiggling our toes in the sand is the icing on our beach-break cake.
In today’s society, even with all the technology at our fingertips to ease both our physical and mental labors, we seem more anxious and worried than at any other period in history. Maybe that’s a sign that getting back to the basics to improve our mental health is exactly what the doctor ordered.
What’s the big deal behind 10,000 steps?
It is a nice round number that can be easily tracked by fitness devices, and the number seems to have stuck. Science is currently debating the specifics of 10,000 steps down to the detail of the individual’s leg length, and overall fitness of the individual. Of course, fitness is more nuanced than a simple round number like 10,000 but there is still merit to the idea.
The math behind 10,000 steps:
10,000 steps can be achieved in roughly 30 minutes of walking. This is a lot easier on the ears than 150 minutes of exercise per week, which 30 minutes of walking a day actually exceeds. This is enough to qualify you as a “moderately active person.”
The idea of 10,000 steps is right
Perhaps you already hit the gym three times a week; in this case, walking 10,000 steps a day is unlikely to increase your level of fitness. For someone who never exercises, 10,000 steps can be a boon. Even if the verdict is still out on just how healthy 10,000 steps can be, the idea is in the right place: it is easy to understand and sets a baseline to strive for. This falls in with the idea of setting a daily fitness goal for yourself. So let’s take this idea and adapt it to your life.
The question remains: how can you be more healthy?
Setting realistic goals is the best way, so rather than following arbitrary guidelines such as 10,000 steps, think at a more individual level- what ways can I improve? Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Walk 30 minutes a day
- Eat 1-2 pieces of fruit per day
- Stretch for 30 minutes
- Run, swim, or bike (whichever makes you happiest) for 30 minutes twice a week.
Start by keeping your goals broken into realistic chunks of time such as 10 minutes or half an hour and powerful changes in both attitude and fitness will result. We want to help you heal your body so that you can focus on activities that make you happy and keep you fit. If you have long-standing pain or dysfunction that is holding you back, give our office a call to schedule an appointment today. We will work with you to detect the true cause of your pain and create a multi-faceted plan for removing you from the clutches of pain today.