Have you ever taken a long road trip, and when you finally get there, you can’t move because your body is so stiff that you can hardly get out of the car?
Like, it almost refuses to straighten up all the way and let you walk like a normal human being?
Your hips and back feel soooo locked up … and you end up shuffling painfully across the parking lot before you can move freely again?
The same thing can happen if you sit all day at work. Except not only do your hips and back feel locked, but also your shoulders and neck.
If this is something that happens on a regular basis, it can land you in a no-win cycle of aches and pains and maybe even injury.
It goes something like this. You get aches and pains because your muscles are tight from not moving. So you end up moving even less, because you have aches and pains.
You can see how over time, this can put some real limits on your lifestyle and even your health.
I am a certified Pilates instructor and the main things I teach in my classes are to lengthen, strengthen and create more flexibility in our bodies. It’s an easy way to prevent aging in the body; we have many joints and muscles that become stiff if they’re not moved. “Move it or lose it” I love to say. It’s so true; if we don’t move our bodies they become stiff, things don’t move as well as they should, then inflammation sets in and inflammation leads to disease. So this is why movement is so important for us not only now, but to promote a healthy future.
The good news is that there are some simple things you can do to break the cycle (and even avoid it in the first place).
Here are a few quick ways to get the job done:
- Move! Every hour stand up and move around for a few minutes. Set a timer to make this happen. If you’re on a road trip, take a little walk during rest stops. If you’re working, take a break to fill up your water bottle, go to the washroom and do a few stretches.
- Roll. Use a foam roller to loosen up tight spots. Gently roll any trouble spots to help break up knots and tension.
- Stretch. Your hip flexors can get super tight when you sit a lot, or your shoulders become rounded from a ‘tech neck’. This can cause a chain reaction in your other muscles, making them get tighter or weaker. Keeping them flexible now can help you avoid injury in the future. Check out this “deskercise” routine that’s filled with stretches you can do while sitting: https://www.healthline.com/health/deskercise.
- Be more active. When you’re not sitting, find ways to incorporate movement into your daily routine. Exercise, take regular walks, take the stairs, park farther away and find excuses to move. Not only will this give those tight muscles a break, it will help keep things moving.
Try doing these four things every day for one week and you’ll be amazed at how much better you feel.
Written by Lorraine Crowe
Licensed Holistic Health & Nutrition Practitioner
Natural Skincare Formulator
Owner of Rain Natural Skincare