My job right now, involves many sitting hours spent at my desk as I research, write, translate and edit photos. Since I am not a ‘couch potato’ type, and never been, it is extremely hard for me to cope with it. It is for this reason that I tend to have cramps in the neck and tense upper back. Not to mention the fact that my cardiovascular system also doesn’t like to be so lazy! My current lifestyle, however, is a great motivation to do sports. In addition, I strive for regular breaks and do these simple neck and shoulders exercises. See them in detail below.
Sedentary way of living has become our lifestyle disease. We are used to it so much, that we don’t even realise that it’s not normal. It’s our every day life at work and then at home. By nature humans are meant to move and commute using their own bodies. Whereas many of us don’t event walk the stairs any more. The average of eight hours spent on sitting daily combined with the lack of exercise and outdoor activities, contribute to many physical and mental diseases.
I recommend you these simple exercises to work off the stiffness and to relax the stressed muscles of the neck and shoulders. Although it seem easier to do them at home, you can introduce a healthy routine at the office or during lunch break in the park.
These four sets of exercises are for the shoulders and for the wrists.
Entangle your fingers and move your palms in circles.
Shake both hands afterwards. Then straighten your arm and place some resistance on the folded palm as well as on the hand that pushes the palm slightly.
Now do the same with your palm folded downwards. Then switch the arms.
In this exercise you work with resistance put on both arms. Switch the sides afterwards.
Entangle your fingers and stretch them all the way up. Feel the length in your body, but keep your shoulders away from your ears.
The other five sets are done with weights. Mine are 3 kg each. Adjust weight to your possibilities. Start with three repetitions and increase them to ten as you progress. It is not about strength training, rather about working off the stiffness in the muscles and joints.
Remember to do a short break in between the sets. I do a forward bend, remain in it for about 3 seconds and then lift the weights gently, bending my knees slightly at the same time.
Lift the weights up, then slowly lay your arms all the way down.
Relax your body.
This position is great for the neck and the shoulders as it removes all the weight. Keep it for 30 to 60 seconds.
Aren’t you feeling new born now? I am! :-)