Follow up post, stiff, sore back at work…

Hello everyone, I hope you enjoyed the recent video posts exploring some possible causes (and solutions) for a stiff, sore back at work. I have heard people say “sitting is the new smoking”; while I do agree that sitting all day can contribute to some health and fitness challenges, in my opinion it is a scosche (tiny bit, a tad) over the top to equate sitting with intentionally breathing in smoke, tar, nicotine, and other chemicals. While I do not agree with the comparison, I do think it is important to explore the mechanisms of sitting and how we can balance them out. There are some actions we can take to alleviate potential negative impact of sitting, which are much more effective than placing a filter on the end of a cigarette, to close out that analogy. Here is a quick written recap, since we all learn and absorb information differently:

  1. Sitting puts the hips, and knees in “flexion”, prolonged time in this position can cause the hip flexors and hamstring muscle groups to become shortened, and tense:
  2. Shortened, tense hip flexors and hamstrings can contribute to poor posture, and stiff, sore hips/low back.
    1. Note: If you throw “lower back pain” into a google search, you will see many, many potential causes.
    2. This post is exploring one possibility for stiffness and soreness, please be an informed consumer of information and do what is best for you.
    3. Here is a deeper dive on back pain from Web MD-worth a look:
  3. Sitting also puts the glutes (butt) and quads in an inactive position.
  4. Taking time to stand, and do some light stretching to balance your hips, and hamstrings may bring you some relief at work.
  5. When you stand up, you should see a straight line down from your head, to shoulders, to hips, to knees, to feet.
    1. If you have any deviation or imbalance, it is a good idea to find out why.
  6. When you have time at home, it may help to throw on some comfy clothes and do more intentional stretching, and strengthening of:
    1. Hip flexors
    2. Glutes
    3. Hamstrings
    4. Quads
    5. Calves
Basic Hip Flexor Stretch
Glute Stretches

I hope the recent video post and exploration of the potential impact of sitting all day has been helpful for you. If you have any questions or would like to see me explore a specific topic, please send me a message through the blog or Facebook page. Please like the Facebook page “10 Minute Fitness Take-Aways” if you have not done so already, to get the most recent updates to your feed. Thank you!

The Journey Begins

I am beyond excited to be starting a health and fitness blog! Not sure where to begin with such a vast topic, so I will say let’s start with why…why is health and fitness important to you? That is the question we all need to answer for ourselves, because “why” is much more important than “how”. If you do not have a compelling reason why you want to be healthy that you think about right before you go to bed at night, and right when you wake up in the morning which motivates you, no program, diet, or exercise routine will ultimately stick and make a difference.

For me it is an easy answer, I choose to pursue health and fitness to be an outstanding example to my family, friends, and co-workers as to what is possible if we commit ourselves to wellbeing. I choose health and fitness because it makes me feel good, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Last but not least, I choose the pursuit of health and fitness to lead the way for my son, and be able to partake in any activities he may choose growing up…He is currently 1 year old and I don’t want to miss a moment.

Word of advice on the topic, make your reason why a positive, something that motivates you. If your reason why to be healthy is a negative or feels like an obligation, it is less likely to make you feel good about what you are doing. Take away for today:

  1. Decide for yourself why you want to be healthy, and make the reason “why” exciting!
  2. Think about strategies to remind yourself on a daily basis why you made this choice to be healthy, let it guide your actions.
  3. Start putting your reason “why” into action…don’t wait! You will be surprised to learn as you go that once you have your reason why you want to be healthy and fit, “how” you get there will fall into place.