HEAD health

Diabetic Living - - Exercise -


Sit­ting hunched over a key­board for hours on end wreaks havoc on your hips and legs, as well as your neck, shoul­ders and back.

If pain and poor pos­ture aren’t bad enough, it’s the seden­tary na­ture of an of­fice job that’s the true oc­cu­pa­tional hazard. Ex­perts warn against pro­longed sit­ting as it in­creases a per­son’s risk of chronic diseases such as car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease, di­a­betes and can­cer. Plus, more than six hours of sit­ting a day can shorten life ex­pectancy. The an­swer is to get up and mov­ing at work. Ex­perts say tak­ing stand­ing breaks could lower a num­ber of health risks. Now, many fit­ness track­ers on the mar­ket have built-in

no­ti­fi­ca­tions to re­mind users to get up and move reg­u­larly.

Yoga in­struc­tor Suzan Colón has an­other so­lu­tion. Her app, Take A Yoga Break ($2.99, iTunes), has a se­ries of moves de­signed to help com­bat the health dan­gers of sit­ting. Based on tra­di­tional poses, her ex­er­cises will get you on your feet reg­u­larly, in­creas­ing cir­cu­la­tion and loos­en­ing tight mus­cles while pro­mot­ing deep breath­ing. “No spe­cial yoga equip­ment or cloth­ing is re­quired,” Colón says.

Pro­gram the timer. When the alarm goes off, it’s your cue to stand up and strike a pose. Here are a few of Colón’s moves to get you started.

1 TREE BREAK Flexes mus­cles sup­port­ing the spine and stretches feet.

Brace your chair against a desk and stand be­hind it with feet to­gether and one hand on top of chair. Shift your body weight to your left foot with­out stick­ing out your left hip.

In­hale, bend­ing your right knee enough to come to your tip­toes. Ex­hale, ro­tat­ing right knee out as if open­ing a gate. In­hale then ex­hale, re­turn­ing knee to front.

Do 5 times on each leg.

2 OF­FICE CHAIR POSE Strength­ens and tones quads.

Push your chair against a desk and stand arm’s length from it with your feet hip-width apart. In­hale then ex­hale, bend­ing your knees as though you’re about to sit. Go as low as is com­fort­able and breathe at a nor­mal pace. In­hale and stand – then ex­hale and bend your knees.

Do 3 times, rest a mo­ment, then re­peat 3 more times.

3 COR­PO­RATE CAT Flexes mus­cles that sup­port the spine and stretches feet.

Brace your chair against a desk and stand be­hind it, feet a com­fort­able dis­tance apart, with both hands on top of chair.

In­hale a slow, deep breath as you arch your back with­out strain­ing your neck and bend the left knee for­ward, com­ing to your toes.

Ex­hale and round your back while bend­ing your right knee for­ward. Re­peat this move.

Do 10 times to­tal, let­ting the move­ments fol­low your breaths.

“Yoga adds years to your life and life to your years.”

– Alan Fin­ger

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