It’s here! That magical time of the day when more work sounds just as appealing as a punch in the nose. Your rear end has sunk semi-permanently into that office chair, draining every last ounce of motivation from your system.
Hence, you are probably surfing the internet mindlessly. Ahhhh, that’s why you are reading this!
Well workday warriors, once you are done surfing and guilt sets in, let me help with a few simple exercises.
My time with the American Council on Exercise taught me one pretty important thing: our bodies were not designed to sit at a desk all day. Remember how you feel in the morning after being somewhat still in sleep mode? You are stiff and your brain is a little fuzzy, right? Compare that to how you feel now.
The supports and padding between our joints compress and stiffen as we sit (or lie) still. Our blood pumps slower and we need a little movement to get going.
So let’s move – professionally of course so that we don’t look like weirdos in front of the whole office.
Sit up straight in that office chair, feet flat on the floor and let your head fall forward. Just let it drop and feel the stretch in the back of your neck. Now take a deep breath in. Fill up those lungs with as much fresh oxygen as you can, heaven knows your sapped brain needs it right about now. Relax, tilt your head to the right, gently rest your right hand on your ear and take that epic breath in once again. Now to the other side. Don’t worry about tipping your head back right now, it might just make you dizzy.
Next, sit up as straight as you can in your chair then just let your body round forward. But try not to whack your forehead on the desk. That would be embarrassing. With another monumental breath in, come back up to a straight back, maybe even arch it just a tinsy bit.
Yogis believe that the thoracic spine area is the center of energy production. Engage that spine and you are tapping into a geyser of natural energy.
Repeat that curling and sitting up straight move three or four times, trying not to let your neck get too floppy.
Next lift your feet off the floor and circle our ankles 10 times to the right and 10 times to the left. With feet planted firmly back on the floor and tight core muscles making sure your back is hugged in nice and safe, raise your hands over your head and open and close your fists. You can do this as many times as it takes to get blood flowing through your arms or until the person at the cubicle next door starts to wonder about you …
Voila! Five minutes and you are a happier, healthier desk jockey. Now you can reach forward for that work you have left to do instead of the coffee.
For a little mental stamina, remember Friday is just around the corner.
*All exercises are suggested for those without pre-existing neck, back or shoulder injuries. If it hurts, don’t do it!