I’m keeping it brief and focussing on the body again this week, specifically the hips. Hopefully you’ll have your own hips for your entire lifetime so healthy hip tips are coming up!
I teach hatha yoga a couple of times a week at Breeze and Virgin Active. So you’d think I’d know better than to sit for long periods of time. But sometimes when I’m feeling less than inspired, writing a blog can take me a bit of time and boy do I pay for it! When I stand up my hips can feel really stiff.
There’s no question about it, sitting for too long is bad for our health.
When we sit for long periods of time our hip flexor muscles are not working against resistance, they’re in a relaxed position. As gravity does its job and our upper body becomes heavier this weight then bears down heavily into the pelvic floor. Because our legs aren’t moving, our circulation and sometimes even nerve responses can be adversely affected because our legs are so inactive.
To keep the pelvic region healthy, move it!
If you work from home and are spending long periods of time at your desk, try sitting on a big exercise ball for some of the time, that way you’re engaging your core and moving around in order to stay balanced.
The Stresshacker’s Healthy Happy Hip Tips
- Get up and move around a minimum of once an hour if not more frequently (set the alarm on your phone if need be).
- Go for a short walk, perhaps up and down the stairs a few of times.
- Stand with feet hip width apart and come up onto tip toes then down again in a balance, do this about ten times and focus on good breathing.
It’s also important to keep our hips mobile and since they are a ball and socket joint, they like to be gently rotated. If we only stand up and sit down, we tend to use them more like a hinge joint and this can make them stiff and tight. (unless you’re a kick boxer or salsa dancer!)
- Stand feet hip width apart and circle your hips in both directions. Next gently move your hips in a figure of 8 about ten times then back in the opposite direction.
At home in the morning and before bed:
Lay on the floor put a small cushion underneath your head, bend your knees to your chest and with one hand on each knee take the knees wide apart. Gently circle them in one direction 10 times then the other. Aim to keep your lower back (sacrum) relaxed to the floor.