I am a true desk jockey. I spend almost all of my waking hours in a seated position. My day goes like this…I commute to work for 1 hour and 30 minutes. I spend an 8 hour workday at a desk job. I travel (M/W/F) to my gym which is an hour from my office. On Tues/Thurs I travel an hour and a half home. When I get home I usual eat dinner, watch some TV and write. Do you see just how much sitting is in my average day? At minimum we are talking about 12-13 hours! I know I’m not alone. Some of you have even longer commutes than I do. So for us desk jockeys we have to use our seated and non-seated hours as productively as we can.
Movement works in 6 dynamic directions. This information comes from the study of engineering and robotics. The idea of putting this engineering parlance into a human movement system originated with FlowFit.
- Heaving: moving up and down;
- Swaying: moving left and right;
- Surging: moving forward and back;
- Pitching: tilting up and down;
- Yawing: turning left and right;
- Rolling: tilting side to side.
So how do we use this concept of movement to help fix our tight shoulders, back, and hips? We have a couple of options. We can either take the time to commit to a rigorous stretching and strengthening routine or we can take moments out of each day to work on our flexibility. Both of the options have merit. I am working to combine the two into my daily life. I do spend time in the gym each week working not only on endurance (elliptical, bike, treadmill) but also on strength. But I’ve found that even that is not enough to keep the occasional aches and pains at bay. Most of my body irritations originate from a sheer lack of flexibility. All the strength and endurance in the world can’t help you if you can’t touch your toes or clasp your hands behind your back, and as a matter of fact the lack of flexibility will hinder your efforts to become more fit.
So what are we to do? Well flexibility is like losing body fat, it cannot be done over night and there is really no quick scheme that will work. It takes dedication to your cause and daily effort toward your goal. But like fat loss it is just as easy…yes, you read that right…I said fat loss is easy. AND it is, it is just not fun. Most people give up on fat loss because they have never developed patience. Fat loss and Flexibility take just that P.A.T.I.E.N.C.E. Time + Dedication = Results.
Here is a video of the first mobility exercise that I have added into my daily life. Try it. And again. And again. Don’t get frustrated if you can’t get your hands in just the right position. At first I could only hook my thumbs together behind my back. If you can’t do that grab a belt or some string and get your hands as close together as you can. Each day your hands will come closer and closer until you are able to clasp them. Like I said, flexibility takes patience and daily effort. You can do this! Next week I will bring you another mobility exercise that will build on the series. If you haven’t checked out the other posts in the Healthy Writer Series click here.