So this is happening….
Which means I’m spending A LOT of time sitting in the car. You all know how I feel about sitting. You know when you’ve been in the car a long time and your butt or legs start to go numb? If you’ve never experienced this, trust me, it’s the worst. Pain, numbness, and tingling are all signs that something is awry. It’s your body’s way of getting your attention, “Hey, look over here, things are not right!”. It’s like a fire alarm going off. When you are on a road trip or just spend a lot of time driving, you can do these 2 exercises to help lessen the negative effects of excessive sitting.
SQUATS: These are a great way to stretch AND strengthen the gluts and hamstrings. As muscles contract and relax, they draw blood into the area. This increase in circulation helps decrease swelling, numbness, and pain. To do a proper squat, back up your hips as far as you can, untuck the pelvis and lift the tailbone. Keep the knees over the ankles (vertical shins) to both protect the knees and help you access your gluts and hamstrings. You can lower yourself as close to the ground as you can without letting the tailbone tuck under and the knees come forward. Holding onto a pole, tree, or another person will help your get your hips all the way back. Gradually try to use less arms and more gluts/hamstrings to hold you up.
I’m just going to put this out there. I’ve never been more grateful for my ability to squat than in the last 2,000 miles. The better you become at squatting, the easier time you will have “hovering” at those rest stop bathrooms. Let’s be honest ladies, it’s a skill we all need.
“Number 4” Stretch: You can do it seated as well, but when you’ve been sitting for the last 2,000 miles, who wants to spend another minute seated?! This is my favorite road trip stretch because it stretches your tight gluts and piriformis (one of the deep muscles of the hip) and helps restore blood flow to the gluteal area. This is also a great stretch for sciatic pain. There are a lot of great stretches for these muscles, but this one is awesome because you don’t have to sit or lay down on anything gross at the rest stop. Back your hips up like you are doing a one legged squat. Untuck the pelvis and lift the tailbone up. Cross one ankle over the opposite knee, KEEPING THE PELVIS UNTUCKED. When you get good at it, you can let go of your hands to test your balance and build strength.
Whether you are sitting all day in a car or in the office, take 5 minutes every hour to run through these 2 exercises. Hold for a minute each, then repeat. You will feel so much better at the end of the day!
Welcome to Anthology Wellness, where I will be sharing the principles of whole body alignment for optimal human function, pain relief, and all around better health. I’m glad you’re here! I’d like to start by explaining the title of this blog: Anthology Wellness . . .your body tells a story.
My husband, Matt, and I were on a road trip a few weeks ago. Somewhere between Bakersfield and Sacramento on I-5 (if you’ve been there, you know it’s the most boring stretch of freeway in the state), we were listening to the final album of our favorite band. It’s appropriately titled “Anthology.” An anthology is defined as “a collection of selected literary pieces or works of art or music.” I started thinking about this word, anthology, and how we’re all a collection of our experiences. Everything I have been through has made me who I am today. Who my parents are, where I have lived, illness I have suffered, adventures I’ve had, travels, friends, jobs, roommates, successes, failures. . . . they have all formed me in some way. We all have a story. (There is a lot of time to think while driving through the arm pit of California.) Then I started thinking about how the same is true for our bodies, though we don’t usually think of it this way. The state of your body today is the sum total of all your movement habits, injuries, accidents, surgeries, births, hobbies. . . . Believe it or not, all these things affect the alignment and health of your body today. Your body tells a story.
Some of the most common musculoskeletal ailments (osteoarthritis, plantarfaciitis, pelvic floor disorders, osteoporosis, back/neck/hip/knee pain…) have mechanical causes, and can therefore, be treated by changing our mechanics. In other words, many of the ailments you’re experiencing are a result of your movement habits and the way you have used your body over your lifetime. This isn’t meant to place blame, but rather to empower you. You can make dramatic changes in your body simply by changing the way you move! Whatever your story is, I’m excited to teach you how improving your skeletal alignment will help you restore your health and prevent future damage!
For more details on how this blog came to be, read about this blog.