Prolong sitting is what happens to us in life. It is something that cannot be prevented as we go about trying to earn a living. Except, God forbid, we become bed ridden, prolong sitting can happen practically everywhere all the time.
However we can mitigate the damage of prolong sitting by taking breaks from sitting in situations where it becomes unavoidable to sit for very long periods at a stretch. For instance, indulging in your favourite TV series on weekends or having to sit through a meeting in the office are just two instances where we need breaks from sitting.
However, the effects of prolong sitting accumulates over a lifetime. It is the cumulative effects of the little damages over a lifetime that damages our back, spine and waist.
The effect is most noticeably later in life when we have to start dealing with constant back aches, waist pains and an annoying inability to walk as erect as we used to do. Cue the walking stick.
There are several ways of easing these pains and aches, but sitting for long periods, especially sitting badly, would always happen. The prevention-is-better-than-cure mantra is what these exercises are all about. Now is the time to start doing them to prevent unimaginable pains and aches to our back, waist and spine later in life.
Can Prolong Sitting be Avoided
The short simple answer is no. What can be avoided is not doing it when we don’t have to. Like I said earlier, watching TV the whole day can be avoided.
In the work place, a packed lecture room, or a badly planned wedding reception hall where you are sitting right in the middle of the packed hall, you just have to sit it out. One has no choice there.
Let’s hope you don’t read this and tell yourself you’d do the exercises later. It’s best you do at least one as you read along. Good luck.
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From a lying position on the floor, draw your knees up while your feet are still planted firmly on the floor.
Then simply lift your butt and hips off the floor until your torso forms a straight line with your thighs. Hold the position for two seconds, then lower your body to the floor.
That is one rep. Repeat it like four times. You can add a little weight on your thighs to make it more intense. That is, to make it more difficult and effective.
This exercise is also beneficial to your abs and hips.
Put one leg on the floor. The other leg should be resting on the back of the couch with the knee resting at the Junction where the back and the seat of the couch meet.
Tense your butt and abs and slowly raise your torso as far as you can go without removing your leg from the couch. This should take you to a standing position.
Remain in that position for as long as possible. Three minutes at least. Then switch legs.
To make it more difficult. Move the leg on the floor to rest on the seat of the couch. Then raise your torso as in the previous method.
Three reps of this exercise daily would go a long way in repairing the damage caused by a lifetime of prolong sitting.
Get into the squatting stance. Your back should be straight and rigid. Throughout the exercise, that is how your back must be. Then gently lower yourself as far as possible.
As far as possible means until your butt is almost touching the floor if you can manage it. You should feel effect of the squat press on your back, thighs, legs, groin and butt.
This looks playful to the uninitiated. But it is also good in repairing the damage caused by prolong sitting.
One hand should be holding on to something for support and to maintain balance while doing the exercise. Then start swinging the legs as far as possible in any direction while balancing on one leg.
You can vary the direction of the swing as you wish. That is, you can swing from front to back or left to right. Do it at least 20 times for each leg; then switch legs. Five reps for each leg daily is adequate.
To start, squat on all fours. Then slowly raise one leg as far as possible while keeping it bent at the knees. Hold that postion for a few seconds then slowly lower the leg. That is one rep.
Do five reps for each leg.
Okay, any one of these exercises is good enough to undo the damage caused by prolong sitting. For best results though, it is best you mix them up. Preferably, with other low impact exercises. And never forget to always take a walk.