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Tag Archives: sitting

We all know we ‘should’ be doing more, right? Should be moving more, should be doing yoga more, should be eating more greens, etcetera, etcetera.  We all know we ‘should’ be doing less, as well, right?  Less screen time, less blueberry muffins, less sitting, and so on.  But we’re here, now, and we’re all doing the best we can, given what we’ve got to work with.  In light of this, I wanted to share my three favorite upper-body stretches I do to combat all the time I sit hunched over my computer, sitting in my car, staring at my phone, and all that jazz.  I try to do these whenever I think of them, whether that’s for a few seconds in between sessions, or for 10 minutes at the end of the day.  Anything is better than nothing.  (Although, if you want to get technical, you need to hold a stretch for a minimum of 45 seconds if you want lasting change in the fascia.) And there’s very little needed by way of equipment, so you can get started right now, if you want.

Doorway hanging

All you need for this is a doorway and your body.  The idea is to open up your arms, shoulders, and rib cage as much as you can comfortably.  No need to push yourself into an injury.  Just grab the frame of the doorway (wherever you want), and walk through until you start to feel a stretch.  Try to keep the bottom of your rib cage in line with your pelvis instead of jutting your ribs out in front of you.  You can get a million different stretches with this just by adjusting your hands through the whole rainbow of possible positions.

Supported Snow Angels

For this one, I like to use a rolled up towel or small blanket, but you can use a pillow, a yoga block, a foam half-dome, or a rolled up sweatshirt in a pinch.  You’re going put your towel or whatever on the floor, then lie down on your back, with your spine running the length of your prop.  Then, pretend you’re making a snow angel with your arms, at a ridiculously slow speed.  Spend longer in the places where the stretch is more challenging. Also, if you can get Miss Marley to supervise, she’ll make sure you’re doing it right.

Platysma Pull

Your platysma is a muscle that extends from your collar bone to your jaw, or your lower lip, depending on who you ask. This is my favorite “I’ve been looking at my phone way too much” stretch, because the platysma gets short when we look down all day.  Start by looking down, and using both hands, press your fingertips just under your collar bones, with a downward motion.  Hold that pressure and look up as high as you comfortably can without compressing your neck.  This in itself should give you a pretty good stretch.  But when you’re ready for a bigger challenge, slowly jut your chin up towards the ceiling.  Hold that for a minute and you’re well on your way to justifying all that time you spent on SnapChat.

Happy Stretching!

I don’t know about you, but for me, summer is non-stop, and I absolutely love it.  There are just so many opportunities for movement that I don’t feel like I need to “work-out.”  It just happens.  Volleyball in the park, riding my bike instead of driving, a hike with friends, camping, dancing at weddings, long walks with ice cream on a warm night, the list goes on and on.  And as a general rule, I know I feel better when I move more (serious injury not withstanding).  More activity equals more joy.

I also love the fall, but as the temperatures drop, the hours of daylight lessen, and that myriad of movement opportunities seems to disappear just as quickly.  Volleyball leagues end, my bike seems like a chore because of all the layers I need to wear, hiking seems more tedious for the same reason, it’s too cold to camp, wedding season is over, and ice cream doesn’t hold the same appeal if I need to put on a coat first.  It sounds like a much better idea to cozy up on the couch with that book I’ve been dying to read and a blanket on my lap.

So this is when I really need to be careful that I’m still getting all the movement my body needs and wants.  In an effort to make sure I don’t lose my summer-time happiness, or, for that matter, my summer-time muscles, I’m trying to consciously up my movement wherever and whenever I can.  And I really mean wherever and whenever.  I’m trying to wiggle my toes and shift my weight from side to side while I wait in line at the grocery store.  I’m trying to do squats and calf raises at my office while I wait for clients (don’t laugh too hard if you catch me in the middle of a squat when you come in).  I’m trying to walk while I make phone calls instead of sitting on the couch or the bed.  I’m trying to dance while I fold laundry.  Can I do 5 push-ups while I wait for the water to get hot in the shower?  As I write this, I’m lying on the floor, kicking my feet behind me, just to try a different position from sitting.  I’m looking for races in the winter and spring to keep me motivated through the desire to hibernate.  I just listened to a Katy Bowman podcast where she mentioned building obstacle courses through her house, just to keep things interesting.  The cats will love me forever when I finally do that.  Maybe this is the excuse I’ve been looking for to jump on the bed to my heart’s content.  Just like I’m always trying to sneak more vegetables into everything I cook, I’m now trying to sneak more movement into my day.

What about you?  Do you have a plan to keep you moving through the fall and winter?  Got any tips or tricks you want to send my way?  I’ll take all the help I can get.

Happy moving and happy fall!