Corporate life can be demanding on your body. Long plane journeys, early meetings, stressful deadlines and long hours in front of your computer. If this sounds familiar then perhaps you could consider taking Pilates classes.
“Having an office job means that you are spending hours sitting in front of a computer. The problem is that we are not designed for long periods of sitting.”
Think about our cavemen and women ancestors, they spent their time walking the land looking for food. They didn’t spend their time slumping over their computers. This has its effects on our bodies from top to bottom:
Strained neck and shoulders – from leaning forward to your computer.
Stiff spine – spines that don’t move lose flexibility making them vulnerable to injuries from simple things such as reaching for a mug or bending to get your pen from the floor
Muscle degeneration – mushy abs, tight hips and jelly glutes (not the good jelly that Beyoncé goes on about).
That doesn’t sound sexy at all!
The beauty of Pilates is that it provides a total body workout and gets you to move in all directions, flexing, extending and rotating. It gets you to isolate muscle groups and use your own body weight to do a resistance form of exercise making it great for muscle tone and strength. For a little Pilates flavor try the ‘spine twist’ outlined below – you can practice it sitting on your chair or cross-legged on the floor.
Stressing has a negative affect on the body, and some days at the office really test our limits. When we stress we tend to take short shallow breaths using our shoulders and sending the air to our chest. Breathing like this can actually prolong the feeling of stress and anxiety. Pilates puts a lot of emphasis on the breath. You need to do ‘lateral breathing’ (fancy word for sending your breath into the back and sides of your ribs while engaging your core). This gets you to slow down and pay attention on your breath. Slowing down your breath increases the feeling of calmness and wellbeing reducing the stress hormones in your body.
So next time you’re feeling the stress of the office go and attend a Pilates class. You will walk out feeling calm, worked out, lengthened, charged up and ready to tackle your action items.
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