Many of you might spend your day sitting in front of a screen. You do not even have to be a blogger for that. Spending all your days, around a good 8 hours per day, in a seated position leads to a few consequences on your body.
Your hamstrings, those muscles at the back of your legs, do not get sufficiently stretched and in the long run you can suffer from tight hamstrings and become stiff.
If you do not assume a correct posture when seated, and let’s face it, many of us slouch at our desk, bloggers or not, your back will also suffer. Many people are already afflicted with lower back problems on top of that, which makes the situation worse.
Finally, some of you also have the tendency to stretch your neck forward too far while trying to peep at the screen at the 8th or 10th hour into the work day. This is especially the case with those who have poor eyesight.
Now get fit
To address the shortened hamstring issue, you can bend down to touch your legs twice daily to stretch the muscles. But it is recommended to do that after warming up. You don’t want to warm up for the sole purpose of touching your toes, so some exercises on top of that would be useful.
If you visit a gym and are no stranger to lifting weights, perform the stiff-legged deadlift. This is similar to touching your toes, except that you lift up a weight while getting back in the standing position and keeping your back flat. This exercise helps to stretch and strengthen the hamstring muscles.
Watch your back
For the back, your can perform the normal deadlift. Or you could use the lower back bench to lift your torso up using your lower back muscles. This is a particularly effective lower back muscles exercise where you use your body weight or you can hold some plates in front of you if it is too easy.
To stop slouching and peering forwards with your neck, you need to consciously adopt the correct posture until it becomes an unconscious habit. Oh, and get your eyes fixed. In the meantime, you can perform some strengthening exercises for your upper back and neck muscles. For this, there is nothing better than rowing exercises. Try the various machines row or go free weight with barbell rows and T-bar rows.
What about your general level of fitness? Can you run after a bus for more than 1 minute? Can you climb 2 flights of stairs without stopping for breath and hold a conversation at the same time? Sitting all day won’t help you achieve all this nor will the exercises described above.
Your best bet to reverse the sedentary effect of office work is to pick up a physical activity which you like, be it football, basketball, cycling, skating or ballet. Whatever interests you. That way, you will have more motivation to get fit and stay that way over the long term.
If you enjoy going to the gym and lifting weights, you could incorporate a few more exercises to those described here to turn your time at the gym into a full body workout. Throw in some compound exercises like squats and benchpress and some shoulder and arm exercises if you have time. Mix in a few sets at high reps and perform everything with minimum rest and that should really get you out of your comfort zone and fighting for breath. Exactly what you need if you have been sitting all day.
These exercises should fire you up a bit if you have been moulded to that chair for a while now. Stretch these hamstrings, strengthen your lower back and correct your posture. Find a sport you enjoy or add some more exercises to your gym routine for a full-body workout performed with minimum rest and your fitness level should go up. Sitting all day is no excuse to being unfit. On the other hand, if you blog about sports and practice what you preach, you probably won’t need to read this.
Over to you, what techniques do you use to get fit?
Iron Simba blogs about building muscles and getting fit. He has been lifting weights for years and still enjoys the feel and challenge of iron. Get some real tips on his site ironsimba.co.uk.