Are You Sitting Down?

Stop when you get to the end of the next sentence.

When you get to the end of this sentence, stop for ten seconds and think about your tummy. Good. When you thought about your stomach did you focus on hunger/fullness or on muscle/flab?

(Now that I’ve asked you to think about your stomach, it’s hard not to focus your attention there, isn’t it? Once again – good. That’s what today’s fitness post is all about: core awareness.)

Whether your first thoughts were about your breakfast or about your six-pack, it’s all about being aware of the state of your stomach.

If you focused on hunger and fullness – and are right now fighting the desire to get up and snack — there are a couple of things you can do to serve the urge. Go ahead. Get up. You need a break from your computer anyway (because your ribs were probably resting on your hip bones – more about that below). And when you get up, either stretch up tall, arms over your head, feeling your torso len-g-th-en out as you do, or head for that snack.

If you make it to the kitchen, stop and think before you get to that piece of muffin you saved from the bottom of your purse on your Starbucks dash. Instead, take another ten seconds and decide whether you’re hungry or bored. If you agree with Winnie the Pooh that it’s time for a “little bit of something,” think about fruit or protein. Strawberries and blueberries are in season; stone fruits are coming in; bananas are always like a little vacation! If it’s midday or mid afternoon give yourself a longer energy boost with a dish of plain yogurt, a hardboiled egg or a handful of edamame. If you’re just needing a break, well then, you’ve just had it. Come back to the computer and we’ll talk about that midsection you’ve got all smooshed up.

If you focused on flab and muscle then feel that feeling again. If your ribs are indeed sitting on your hip bones then your lungs are pressed into your spine, your poor heart smashed into your diminished chest cavity, your head is sitting like a bowling ball on a stick way out over your desk. GROAN.

We know that we need to work out at least an hour a day. We know that it can be broken down in manageable pieces and still count towards our daily dozen times five. But did you ever consider how much you can gain from passive exercise? There is much evidence that shows why fidgety people are leaner than those without some amount of ADHD. Tap your feet, roll your shoulders, flap your elbows, do a few toe raises with your feet flat.   You can get the same body benefit as a natural fidget.

Even better, really do become aware of your posture and your core. Sit correctly and relax your face. You will have more energy for the task at hand, and when your special someone walks through the room you’ll seem to have taken years off your age! Set your email reminder to play a different chime. Retrain your ears to ignore the e-mail and lift your abs up and in for five seconds every time you hear it!

Stop when you get to the end of this sentence. Raise your right arm so your upper arm is next to your ear. Bend your elbow and place your hand flat as far down your spine as you can reach. (It’s okay to help it along by pushing down on your right elbow with your left hand). Now… Give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back!

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2 responses to “Are You Sitting Down?

  1. Oh yah!! Great way of putting it. We do have the slump to our sit most of the day! These are some great tips and reminders as to why we need to consciously work at changing little habits to make great changes! Driving is another excuse for poor posture!

    • Oh, right! I’m stumped there there. What can one suggest for passive exercise while driving?
      (Although — can I say this here? — Red lights can be a great reminder for getting in your kegels.)

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