NCTV Episode 48
Continuing with the series of bitesize health tip videos which can be found here on my YouTube Channel, this episode, includes:-
- Reasons why to do these
- Warmup ideas
- 10 exceedingly excellent exercises
- When and how to perform these
- Illustrations and demonstrations to refer back to
If you’d prefer to read the content within, rather than watch the video, then feel free to read the transcript, as follows:-
Hello and welcome to NCTV Episode 48 on the topic of Workplace Exercise. It’s something I get asked about on a regular basis, what with more people working from home currently in Covid Lockdown Version 3, in the UK that is. However, even if you’re not working, there are generally more people sat at their desks at home, whether it’s for jobhunting, generally surfing the net, online gaming, even doing jigsaw puzzles or because it’s still just about winter and they’ve not come out of hibernation mode yet. Either way, it doesn’t take long for your body to fatigue and posture related aches and pains to kick in highlighting the need for some easy exercise you can do at or around your desk or in your workplace.
In a moment I’m going to provide you with 10 great exercises you can do. But before we start, the focus of these are to avoid pain and spasm by lengthening tight and shortened muscles that may have occurred from sitting in one position for too long. Remember that moving your body and changing your posture regularly through the day is also key to help prevent pain and spam.
One thing to note is that is that it’s important to ensure the stretches are performed with good technique and control so be sure to refer back to the pictures shown for guidance and feel free to pause the video as required when performing these. And remember, make sure to repeat the same number of exercises on both sides of the body to keep it even.
One final point, if it’s practical, it’s good to warm up a bit before the exercises, to get the circulation flowing to your muscles. This could be a quick walk around the office, garden, or up and down a flight of stairs.
So without further ado, let us begin:-
First of all is a Deep Breathing Technique which you can do seated and either before or after your warm up. The purpose of this is to combat the shallow breathing state you may have found yourself in at the desk, helping to increase your oxygen intake and reduce an acidic carbon dioxide state, helping to energise you and nourish your brain & body. So sitting upright with good posture. Place one hand on your stomach. Take a deep breath in, and push your belly (and your hand) outwards and let go of the breath to exhale. Try and keep the movement of your chest to a minimum, so that you concentrate on the deep breathing. Relax your neck and shoulders as you breathe and continue the process for 30 breaths. This will help you to use your diaphragm, the main inspiratory muscle.
Next we move onto Shoulder Rolls as a good general loosener. Standing with good posture, and your arms by your side, shrug your shoulders up, retract backward, squeeze the shoulder blades together and continue the rolling movement, down, forwards and back up in a circular movement, keeping your arms by your side and continuing with circular motion for 30 seconds.
The third exercise is Neck Semi-Circles. Circle your neck to one side, and then to the other side moving your neck in a semi-circle direction. Don’t worry if you get some crunching in the neck, this is normal and it will help to increase the mobility of your neck. Repeat 10 times to both sides.
Now onto Neck Side Flexion. Ensuring your nose is pointing forwards, bend your neck as if you were taking your left ear towards your left shoulder. Use your hand to gently pull your head a little further, creating a stretch on the opposite side of your neck and now repeat to the right and this will help improve mobility to your neck. Repeat three times each side and hold for 10 seconds each time.
Exercise number 5 is Neck Retraction. Pull your head back as far as comfortable and down slightly to make a double chin. You’ll feel some gentle tension at the front and back of your neck and this exercise will help your neck and upper back posture. Repeat 3 times and hold for 10 seconds.
Now we have Shoulder Elevations. Raise both arms above your head and hold on to one of your wrist as you stretch and pull gently upwards. Keep your neck straight and avoid tilting your head downwards. Repeat three times each side and hold for 10 seconds each time.
The next exercise is Sitting Rotation. Sit upright on a chair, with your feet flat on the floor. Cross your arms over your shoulders and twist to one side keeping your head and hips still then repeat to the opposite side, continuing this process for 30 seconds to help mobilize the spine.
Next is the Standing Hamstring and Calf Stretch. To do this, place your foot on a chair or Swiss ball. Keep your leg straight and pull your toes and ankle towards you. You should feel a stretch behind your knee and your calf muscle and into the back of your thigh. To make the stretch stronger, push your leg downwards into the ball or chair, or rest your foot on something higher. Repeat this three times each side and hold for 10 seconds each time.
Onto number 9 and the Hip Flexor and Quad Stretch. Standing up with good posture, bend your knee so that your foot goes towards your buttock and extend your hip behind you to create a stretch to the front and top of your thigh. You may need to hold on to a table for support. This exercise will help to stretch your hip flexor and quadricep muscle groups Repeat this three times each side and hold for 10 seconds each time.
And finally we have Side Flexion Standing. Stand up straight, and bend to the side by running your hand down the outside of your leg and use an arm above your head to create more leverage. Hold this stretch for 10 seconds, and then repeat to the other side ensuring you do a total of three each way. This is a good mobility exercise for both your lower and upper back.
And there we have, feel free to do these throughout the day whenever you feel necessary but if you are deskbound all day then it’s a good idea to do these at least once in the morning and again in the afternoon to keep the aches and pains at bay.
That’s it for this week’s bitesize bit to help your health flourish. See you next time and bye for now.