'Tis the season of sitting
It's that time of year when somehow we sit even more than we usually do. So here are some ideas to keep you mobile and moving through the whole of the festive season. You don't need to set aside a whole hour; these suggestions tuck into tiny pockets of time in your day.
1. Sit on the floor (on purpose!)
Wrap presents, fold clothes, write a list, read a book, watch TV, dry your hair. Change your sitting position and reach to front, sides and twist. That’s almost a whole range of spinal movements in one go.
2. Stand on one leg
When you brush your teeth, put on your socks, wait for the kettle to boil.
3. Bend your knees and squat to reach down
Picking things up from the floor, getting stuff from the bottom shelf, putting away shopping, sweeping or wiping.
4. Doorframe stretches
Reach for the top of the door frame as you walk through. If you can grasp it, ease yourself forwards and stretch your shoulders. Or, reach one arm out to the side and (gently) keep moving forward for an open shoulder stretch.
5. Rest your eyes
Relax your eye muscles by gazing on the furthest point you can see. Have regular ten second ‘blink breaks’. Cover your eyes with your palms and hum.
6. Tea (or coffee) break movement
Waiting for the kettle or the microwave or washing to finish is a natural pause. Fill that minute with circling your arms with squats, lunges or (if there’s no one around) let it go with a lion breath.
7. Balance walking
Check it's safe place – so, not by the side of a busy road! Tightrope walk along the curb stones. The shrub beds are enclosed by curb stones at the office and I just can’t resist walking along them like a gymnast on a beam. Just with slightly less grace and accuracy! Or walk backwards, or walk on different terrain - grass, gravel, up or down hill.
8. Stretch your calves
Stand up, bend your knees, place the ball of your foot on a rolled up mat, towel, book or block and slowly straighten your leg but without locking into your knee. If you’re yearning for a bit more stretch, step your other foot forward. Repeat on the other side. Next time, do the same but instead of straightening, keep bending your knee as far as you comfortably can.
9. Massage and stretch your feet
Roll your foot over a tennis, golf or ball pit ball. Or massage your feet with your hands to add some hip opening to the movement. Point your toes and flex your feet.
Raise your heels and balance on the balls of your feet. Easy? Try closing your eyes too. Hold it steady, take it slow or speed up with a gentle dynamic bounce. Walk on your tiptoes.
These ten ideas are just to get you started. Now it’s time for you to freestyle. Maybe there’s a move from yoga class that could do with a bit of extra practice like opposite arm circles or a dynamic balance. Or perhaps you’ve already noticed types of movements you just don’t get in your everyday life that you can add to spice things up. I know I miss out on side stretches and twists. Feel free to share your suggestion in the comments.
See you on your mat soon!