Freelancer Exercises: How to Stay Fit While Working at Home
Try these freelancer exercises to counteract the long hours you spend sitting at a desk, on your couch, or in bed.
We all know that moving more throughout the day is beneficial. Working from home, stay-at-home orders, and closed fitness centers can make it seem difficult to get enough exercise, much less 10,000 steps (or more) per day. So, what can you do if you’re stuck sitting at home for long periods of time, don’t have a standing desk, and can’t move around as much as you’d like? The good news is that just because you have to work from home doesn’t mean your posture and health have to suffer — and you don’t even have to raise your heart rate.
If you sit a lot, you should be aware of a few other things in addition to moving more throughout the day and trying to get regular exercise. Continue reading for advice from a physical therapist and professional fitness trainers on how to mitigate the negative effects of sitting for long periods of time.
What Happens To Your Body When You Sit For Long Periods Of Time ?
We all know that sitting for a long period of time (whether on a computer, in a car, or on a plane) will leave you stiff, weary, and just plain blah. But what happens to our bodies when we sit for long periods of time?
Sitting for long periods of time, according to Dr. Erin Policelli, founder of Stretch Kinetics, is bad because it tightens your hip flexors and causes low back pain. “Because the hip flexors attach to the anterior portion of the lumbar spine, pelvis, and femur,” Policelli explains, “tightening them causes a constant strain on your back.” This has a domino effect and can weaken your glute muscles as well as your pelvis, rib cage, and diaphragm.
“An essential function of the glutes is to provide stability for the pelvis and low back,” Policelli explains, “so when they don’t function, it causes further back strain as well as increased workload for the hamstrings as they attempt to assist.” “Long periods of sitting cause myofascial tightness, joint misalignment, muscle weakness, and overall instability, all of which lead to pain and dysfunction.”
How Long-Term Sitting Affects Your Stance
Upper body tension is one of the most common complaints among people who spend a lot of time sitting at a desk. When you spend a lot of time typing or hunched over a computer screen or phone, a lot of people (including myself!) maintain tension in their upper body, throat, and shoulders. Fortunately, there are a few tips you can remember while sitting to help you improve your posture and body alignment.
P.volve, an exercise technique that includes physical therapy-inspired exercises, has a master trainer in Evan Breed.
Tips For Sitting At A Desk With Better Posture
- When you sit, keep your feet flat on the floor and hip-width apart, and avoid crossing your knees or ankles for better alignment, according to Breed.
- Maintain length at the back of the neck by keeping the spine as straight as possible (against the chair or a cushion).
- While typing, relax your shoulders and keep your elbows at a 90-degree angle to your ribs.
- Alternate sitting with a standing desk or a yoga ball as an ergonomic chair.
What Exercises Are The Most Effective For Reducing The Effects Of Sitting ?
You also know that you should move more if you sit all day. Taking regular breaks is one way to ensure that this happens. You should use your phone to set a timer to remind you to get up at least once every hour. (For every hour you sit, Breed advises taking a 10-minute break to get up and move.) If you have an Apple Watch, you can use the stand feature to remind you to get up and move every hour, as well as keep track of when you do so.
Because your glute muscles tend to sleep while you’re sitting in a chair all day, Pollicelli recommends focusing on strengthening them during your workout. You don’t even need to go to the gym to begin strengthening these muscles. To help activate the muscles, she suggests doing glute squeezes at your desk or chair.
“While this won’t help to strengthen these muscles, it will help to increase your awareness of them, which will go a long way toward ensuring that the neuro pathways between these muscles and your brain remain well connected,” Pollicelli says. These neuro connections are critical for ensuring that we use our muscles correctly during exercise and daily activities.”
Sitting At A Desk All Day ? Try These Freelancer Exercises.
# 1 Chest Opener
“Standing tall with feet hip-width apart on the floor, hands interlaced behind head, and elbows open. Return the weight of the head to the hands by lifting through the spine and looking up to the ceiling. Make a comeback. To stretch the back of the neck, close the elbows and gently round the upper spine. Rep five times more “Breed explains.
# 2 Rag Doll Fold
“Bend your knees and hinge forward at the hips from a standing position. To release the muscles that support the neck and low back, shift your weight to the balls of your feet and drop your head heavily. This is an excellent way to increase blood flow to the brain and relieve compression and stagnation caused by prolonged sitting “Rice explains.
# 3 Downward Dog
“Press into your hands and feet, shoulders-width, hips-width,” says Molly Rice, a Y7 Studio yoga instructor. “Lift your hips and bend your knees. Lengthen your tailbone and lower your crown of your head. After a long day of sitting, this helps your spine to lengthen and your vertebrae to decompress.”
# 4 Spinal Twists
“Sit tall with your feet hip-width apart on the floor, lift through the spine, and rotate while keeping your core tight,” says Reed. “Chair arms can be used to help with the twisting. Hold for 5 seconds before switching sides. Rep five times more.”
# 5 Half-Kneel Stretch
“Begin in a half-kneeling position, posterior tilting your pelvis (flattening your low back) and inhaling. As you exhale, shift your weight forward. I advise my patients to imagine an X on the front of their back leg’s hip. Consider moving this X forward without arching your back “According to Policelli.
The information in this article is provided solely for educational and informational purposes and is not intended to be used as medical or health advice. If you have any questions about a medical condition or your health goals, you should always consult a physician or another qualified health provider.