Home working Exercises
Hello everyone, how are you doing? I hope that you are all well and making time to look after yourselves in this mental health week.
Before I talk about the appropriate exercises I wanted to mention that its mental health week and the focus is kindness in the UK. I wanted to talk about money and mental health and a lovely quote from Dr. Wayne W Dyer. “The world is just the way it is and things are how they are….whether you think they are right or wrong. People say and do “bad” things, things that annoy, frustrate or even hurt you.But if you are filled with anger at these people then you are contributing to the anger in the world. You have no need to make others wrong or to retaliate when you have been wronged. If you can depersonalise the wrong, meet it with empathy and understanding, and respond with kindness, you will bring far more peace in your life. Be kind rather than right. #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek #KindnessMatters
The other thing I think is really important to mention related to mental health is during this time get your money sorted and always check better offers. There is lots of help during this pandemic and I follow Martin for tips all the time and check his advice weekly. Here is a link for advice and help during this time – Follow this link
Working from Home
Is working from home turning you into a couch potato? Starting to get a few more grumbles from the mid and lower back whilst working from your kitchen table without a proper office chair? I certainly am.
With the current times ensuring that we #stayhomestaysafe a lot of us have to recreate at makeshift office at home. With the best will in the world, few people have access to ergonomic chairs or standing desks that happen to be lying around ready for a pandemic.
As a Pilates teacher I’m finding many of my clients, as office and corporate clients, who have moved from hot desking, travelling, and lugging heavy laptops from room to room, to the business HQ; the kitchen. In order to reduce the impact of this change in habit, I have a few tips to help reduce discomfort from our new daily grind.
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE, 2016) recommends strength, stretch and aerobic exercise to help treat back pain – fortunately, I know Pilates does all these. Joseph Pilates said that ‘physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness’ and now, more than ever this seems like good advice. With life feeling overall a little more anxious than usual and stress and anxiety being huge factors in causing pain, there is no better way to start some spinal movement with some stress busting breathing.
Join one of our Back care courses here
Follow the Video below for more exercises.
Simple Breath Exercise
Close your eyes, inhale slowly through your nose for about 5 seconds. As you do, imagine the breath reaching down to the very bottom of the lungs and ribcage opening sideways and outward. Hold for a couple of seconds, then slowly release outward, letting any tension go with it, for again, around 5 seconds – a little longer if you can manage it. I would recommend repeating this, 5 times, for 3-5 times a day. It takes no time and is an excellent way to shift some tension and have an instant reset.
Stretch and Mobility Exercises
With extended hours at home, no gyms or classes to attend and working over the kitchen island in your favourite tracksuit, there is a possibility of moving less. And whilst our daily walk outside is wonderful, some bigger movements, in different directions will really help to reduce tightness and soreness in your spine. Here are three of my favourite Pilates exercises for spinal mobility. Try 6 of each, at least once a day.
1. Mermaid Stretch in standing; ground through your feet and grow tall from your pelvis as you reach over. Breathe deep, relaxed breaths, opening up the rib cage.
2. Arm openings in standing; your back will thank you. It was designed to twist and this soothing rotation will make you feel wonderful after!
3. Corkscrew; this sounds more complex than it is. This stretch really opens up the front of the chest to allow the shoulders to move back and give the upper back some space it needs to move.
If your daily commute usually involves some escalators, a run, a quick gym visit before the office. Then you are likely missing some strength work. Keeping our backs strong is vital for good spinal health. Here are three exercises I recommend for almost all of my spinal patients. Try 2-3 sets of 8 repetitions. Remember, you are in control so can stop if anything is painful.
1. Shoulder bridge; a truly great exercise. If you are currently looking after children, home schooling, entertaining, holding zoom meetings or checking in on family, you will know a multitasker when you see one. This exercise is just that. Great for central stability, lower back, opening the hips, recharging the glutes and hamstrings. It’s a must.
2. Scissors level 1; keeping a neutral spine to allow just the legs to move with control, this functional exercise is the charm to target the deeper muscles and assist with overall posture.
3. Swimming – legs; a little shoulder strength, some deep core engagement and leg movement. This fantastic exercise is dynamic and strengthening.
As the physio favourite saying goes; ‘your best posture is your next posture’. Regular movement is key to reducing the onset of most musculoskeletal pain. So regardless of your WFH set up, try to move every 20-30mins, roll your shoulders and dance around your chair before settling into the next meeting. Create a positive routine of a little exercise before starting your workday, some outside time if you can and set a time to phone a friend or family member to stay connected. I have a collection of online classes, or book a zoom 1.1 class, right to your lounge. If you are struggling with pain and in need of a little more advice, contact me for an online appointment.
Stay home, stay safe, and stay well.
Pilates Community Membership
If you’re already a member of the Pilates Community you will know that a library of over 150 daily videos on the website and over 75 on the Facebook group can be yours for just £9.99 per month with our Pilates Community online membership – and the option to join our Farnham Community Online Facebook Group to help with motivation and camaraderie. In addition, you will have access to 3 Facebook Live classes per week!. Click here for more details.
If you need some daily motivation, you might like to try my 30 Days of Pilates programme for a special price of £5.99 – daily motivational videos and emails to keep you on track with your Pilates. follow this link to find out more – Click here for more details.
See below for the an up-to-date class schedule, outlining the ZOOM and FACEBOOK classes I’m running each week that are available to those with online membership.
Squeeze and breathe