“Each life is a whole world. No one has ever read the books you have read exactly the way you have read them. No one has really heard the music as you heard it, nor even seen the sky as you see it. No one knows all that you know or even a small part. No one has loved as you have, or suffered either. So who is the most important person in your world? You. Who runs your world (though you may wonder at times)? You do. You are both government and boss.” From the book, Myotherapy: Bonnie Prudden’s Complete Guide to Pain-free Living.
Stress, the Thief of Desire
STRESS IS EVERY DAY and so must be your exercise program if you wish to feel good at the end of the day. Muscles respond to physical activity by relaxing. If you work them intermittently throughout the day you keep them sufficiently relaxed to prevent the spasm-pain-spasm cycle from getting under way in the first place. Exercises used conscientiously for a full week will become a habit. Exercise helps fine-tune the body into a wonderful instrument. When you possess a wonderful instrument you are more apt to use it and take more pleasure in its use.
Tension is one of the disastrous by-products of modern living which we have unwittingly brought on ourselves. It is rarely lethal in its pure form. Daily work is usually the culprit especially if that work entails constant repetitious movement, awkward positions, constant sitting or standing.
Sign Here for a New Lease on Life
Choose four or five exercises that can be done wherever you are and which will counteract the tasks that you do all day long. Select exercises that are directed at several different areas of the body. The exercises can be as simple as shoulder shrugs, toe rises, knee bends and waist twists. Now tie each one in with a task. After each phone call do 4 shoulder rotations. After each trip to the rest room do 4 toe rises.
Deep knee bends are important since the leg muscle is an auxiliary pump for the heart. Do one each time you get up from your desk or go into the kitchen.
If you do a lot of driving, turn the music on and incorporate pelvic tilts and arm and shoulder rotations into your waiting period at each red light. You’ll be rewarded for your efforts with a tighter seat and tummy, a more relaxed neck and upper back and better posture. Not only that, music is very powerful. It lifts your spirits, changes your mood, improves your rhythm and coordination and helps make your exercise program more enjoyable.
Follow these routines FAITHFULLY for a week and you will notice that not only are you more relaxed, you are also stronger and much less tired at the end of each day. Follow through for a month and you will be amazed at the person you have become.
To help you get started, here are some exercises that you can do in your home, office or just about anywhere.
Anywhere Stress Release
The neck, shoulders, arms, upper and lower back and legs are at risk if the work entails sitting at a desk. Waiting until the end of the shift or day or task to do some exercise is the wrong way to go. The exercise must be as constant as work. Tie this series into habits that will be repeated often enough to assure you of continuing well-spaced treatment: after each phone call, each client, or after each trip to another part of the office.
- Round the shoulders forward. Press the shoulders back.
- Press the shoulders down. Pull the shoulders up.
- Look left. Look right.
- Look up. Look down.
Do three sets every hour.
Shoulder Rotations Forward
Stretch your right arm straight forward and rotate it counter clockwise until your thumb points at the ceiling. Then rotate the hand clockwise until your thumb points to the wall.
Do six with each arm.
Lower Back Stretch
Before you leave your chair, lean over and let your upper body hang downward in short, gentle bounces. If you are well stretched, open your knees for a better stretch.
Deep Knee Bends
Hold onto the side of your desk. Start with three deep knee bends and gradually work up to ten.
(Stretch for Chest, Groin, and Gastrocs)
Stand away from your desk and keep your heels flat on the floor and your knees straight. Do five “let-downs” against your desk. If you can push up and down, do so. Start with five and increase to twenty-five.
(for Back and Hamstring Flexibility)
Start with feet wide apart, hands behind back and head up. Bounce the upper body gently downward eight times. Then allow the upper body to fall forward with arms and head loose. Do three sets.
For more information about Bonnie Prudden®, Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy®, workshops, books, self-help tools, DVDs, educational videos, and blogs, visit www.bonnieprudden.com. Or call 520-529-3979 if you have questions or need help.
Enid Whittaker, Managing Director, Bonnie Prudden Myotherapy®