Most of us experience stiffness and lack of circulation after sitting for long periods of time. Whether the source of your stiffness comes from sitting at a desk all day, spending time in countless meetings at work, or just watching television, exercise is the most natural way to combat these ills and avoid that inevitable slump. Seated exercises help turn sedentary behavior into active behavior so the next time you find yourself sitting in a long meeting or stuck at your desk all day try this simple exercise. It’s a great way to combat stiffness and increase circulation.
1. Cross the legs at the knees.
2. Lift the toes of the lower leg (calf stretch)
3. Hold 2 – 3 seconds and repeat several times.
4. Keep the toes lifted and move them side-to-side (working the shin muscles)
5. Repeat the side-to-side movement, like windshield wipers, multiple times
6. Next, lift the heel, resting on the toes and ball of the foot (a wake-up call for calf muscles)
7. Repeat multiple times.
8. Roll across the toes from the big toe to the pinky moving side to side (working proprioceptors in the foot)
9. Circle the ankle of top leg.
Change legs and repeat on the other side.
Do as many repetitions as is comfortable for each exercise. These exercises can be done with the legs uncrossed if the crossed leg position is uncomfortable.
Take advantage of every opportunity to exercise! Even if you are stuck in a meeting you can be working your body. These little efforts will pay off with marked improvement in how you feel.