by Lexi Petronis, Glamour
Most of us spend a good portion of our day sitting--at a desk, in class, you know the drill. And there's lots of research showing that the more time we log sitting on our bums, the worse off we are--like the study that found women who sit for more than six hours a day are 37 percent more likely to die early than women who sit only for three (thanks to increased risk of cardiovascular disease).
And, uh, early death aside (eek!), sitting all day comes with some other problems, like decreased energy levels and the very real possibility of weight gain. Sitting for too long can also just make your body feel so sore.
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Ideally, you want to pick your butt off that chair and move it as often as you can during the course of your day (standing up every 20 minutes can make a big difference--and hey, you can even exercise while still sitting!), but sometimes that's just not possible. So the next time you're at the end of a long day of sitting--like maybe at the end of today--try these exercises to get your body feeling better.
Crab Hip Hold
According to Jeremy Frisch, U.S.A.W., owner and director of Achieve Performance Training, this move is perfect for zeroing in on all the muscles that don't see any action when you're sitting all day: hamstrings, glutes, lower back, and shoulders. All you need is the floor (yay, got one!) and a low bench (a couch, ottoman, or low chair would work, too). Take a look at a how-to video at menshealth.com.
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Rows with Resistance
Sitting all day over a computer or a stack of books can make your shoulders slump forward and your back hunch--yep, bad posture. To strengthen and stretch the muscles, try some rows. The move squeezes your shoulder blades together and opens up your chest.
Half Frog Stretch
This yoga pose (photos at fitsugar.com) gets the fronts of your thighs, your shoulders, and upper back, which are all apt to get tight after doing a whole lot of nothing.
And sitting down to write this post has officially made me need to go wander around for a bit. Be right back!
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