Sit and Snack or Lengthen and Strengthen?

by (Osteopath & Exercise Scientist)

That culprit in the middle of the day! Most commonly referred to as the lunchtime hour. This 60 minutes gives you ample time to unwind, replenish your energy stores in the way of food and gear up for a siesta immediately after. Most professions involve sitting at a desk or in the car for long continuous periods of the day, so why should we sit down during our lunch break? Participating in yoga or Pilates during that hour is a much better way to fill your lunch break.

Most people will acknowledge they have bad posture however aren’t overly proactive about fixing it. With wireless printing and office intranet, we now have no reason to get up from our desks, unless nature calls! Due to this sedentary style of work, incidence of back pain, headaches and neck pain continue to rise.

As the day progresses we get fatigued and slide further into our chairs. Our back muscles get lazy and sore from holding us up and our posture continues to worsen. This makes sense, as our paraspinal muscles are not conditioned to hold us in perfect or poor posture for 8 hours straight. It is far better for the mind and body, to step away from the desk for an hour and participate in Pilates or yoga, which will encourage flexibility, strength and conditioning.

The most common reason for lack of regular physical activity is the lack of time in the day and although a valid reason, this option of exercising during your lunch hour maximizes effectiveness and promotes efficiency in your day.

So, what is Pilates?

Pilates is defined as ‘An exercise system that is focused on building strength without bulk, improving flexibility and agility and helping to prevent injury.’
The main focus of Pilates is the awareness of the spine, which in turn engages your abdominal muscles and starts to promote the idea that the abdominals serve more than an aesthetic purpose. Our stomach muscles are designed to support our spine so that when we are in a static position our abdominals and spinal muscles can be used in conjunction with one another.

So, what is Yoga?

Yoga is defined as: ‘the physical, mental and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India with a view to attain a state of permanent peace.’ There are many different styles of Yoga offered now, all of which promote the idea of centering the mind and body while improving your strength and flexibility.

Pilates and yoga are both excellent for resetting your body in readiness for the back end of the day. The focus of your work out will be to encourage engagement of your core muscles while your strength and flexibility are challenged. It is more about the execution of the movement as opposed to number of repetitions. Pilates and yoga are both fantastic for any ailments or injury concerns you may have, as they’re both low impact activities. The instructor is there to aid in specific exercise prescription and correcting your technique to avoid injury.

At Stay Tuned Corporate Health, we offer a lunchtime Pilates and Yoga class as part of our wellness services. We challenge you to give it a go and see how effective you are at work after incorporating physical activity into your lunch hour.

by (Osteopath & Exercise Scientist) on 25th October 2013 |

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