Self-isolation has become an endless loop of waking up, eating, and sitting through a zoom meeting or class all day before going back to sleep. Although it may seem not to like it, sitting down for a prolonged period isn’t only uncomfortable, it’s also incredibly unhealthy. For others, namely students or people with online jobs, it’s also unavoidable reality.
Staying home to stay healthy and safe from COVID-19 has ironically made us sedimentary and at risk of many other health problems. Studies show that prolonged sitting and even temporary sedentary lifestyles could lead to chronic diseases and some cases depression.
However, being aware of our habits and what we’re doing and NOT doing may be the key to avoiding these health risks.
Problematic Posture and Back Pain
This is probably the most noticeable and tangible of the bunch. Poor posture is almost normal for most people and that becomes a problem in long bouts of sitting.
Poor posture could lead to back and neck pain. In more severe scenarios it could also stiffen your spine and make it difficult to move your shoulders! Fixing this should be the first thing you do cause it’s the most difficult to do.
Simple passive stretching and arm raises could help a lot in between meetings or classes. However, these stretches only provide short term relief for tension.
Fixing poor posture will require exercise that addresses certain muscles from acting up and being dysfunctional. This is where the 5 stretches come in!
5 Stretching Techniques and Exercises
Practicing these stretches every day will help not just your posture but also aches and tension you feel every day!
Supported Warrior Pose
This exercise usually done in yoga helps release tension in tight hip flexors.
Doing these exercises isn’t complex at all!
Face sideways of a table around the height of your hip and place your left hand on the table.
- Go on a short lunge position with your left foot on the front of your right.
- Put your weight on weight on the hell of your feet and point your toe outward.
- Bend forward the leg slightly while keeping the back leg straight.
- Inhale as you raise your right arm and lean to the side of the table and exhale as you return to the resting position.
- Do this for three to five long breaths and repeat on the other side.
One-Armed Doorway Stretched
This relieves tension present in your shoulder and chest when you slouch while sitting.
To do this exercise, follow these steps.
- Facing parallel to an open doorway or door, place your arm on the door frame forming a right angle with your arm and elbow.
- Slowly rotate your entire body away from your arm till you feel a stretching sensation in your chest/shoulder.
Modified Windmill Twist
If you have a relatively static position and feel the tension on your upper body because of this, windmill twists will help a lot with releasing that tension.
Follow these steps:
- Standing or facing a desk or a table, do a shallow squat position to begin the exercise.
- Use your other hand to support your body by resting on the desk.
- Raise your arm and rotate it clockwise.
- Focus on your breathing, rotate slowly and inhale when it’s on the forehand exhale when on the backhand.
Otherwise known as wall angles, are great for relieving tension and stress on your scapula and also helps with overactive muscles.
- Get your back against a wall with your arms on right angles.
- Position your feet and knees a comfortable distance for you to do a squat while having your back pressed on the wall.
- Inhale while rising and exhale while sliding down.
This is an exercise done to strengthen your core, hips, and pelvis to make your overall posture better to maintain.
Doing this is relatively simple, get on the floor in a tight sit-up position but lift your hips and pelvis upwards by a bit. Place a towel or a piece of foam between your knees and push them together to make your lower body more engaged. Place your hands on your ribs and slowly breathe.
Do all of these exercises regularly and you not only fix your posture, but you also keep yourself nice and healthy during self-isolation!