Trainer Teaches Pre-Sleep Stretch For Anyone Who Works At A Desk For Hours
With lockdown in place, many of us are working from home and going out less. It's important to not stay seated for extended periods of time, and when we do, to stretch our bodies after to keep our muscles flexible, strong, and healthy. Here is a stretch you can do just before bedtime after a whole day of sitting down.
Sitting at a desk all day wreaks havoc with our health. Bending toward a screen strains our neck and upper back and fluid build up in our limbs thanks to lack of movement. And constant sitting makes our hip flexors tighten up, and tight hip flexors lead to lack of sleep. This stretch will help to rectify all that and help you sleep better, too.
- Find a wall and a large book or block you can use. Lie on your back, support your pelvis on the book, and press your left foot against the wall.
- Fold your right knee and draw in toward your chest. Hold and stretch for 1 minute.
- Switch and repeat on the left side.
So why does this stretch help our sleep? First, it relieves the kind of tension that generally makes us feel stressed, restless, and uncomfortable. More importantly, your deep hip flexors are connected to your lower backbone and – this one’s key – your diaphragm.
So a short and tight hip flexor affects your ability to breathe deeply, which, in turn, affects your sleep. So a stretched hip flexor means deep breathing, and deep breathing means great sleep. According to Spinal Care, proper posture and mobilization can go a long way to keeping your hip flexors and low back healthy. Try to avoid prolonged sitting, and if you must sit for longer than half an hour at a time, set a timer for every 15-20 minutes to get up and stretch.
Let us know in the comment if this stretch works for you! Pass this along to your loved ones, especially those who are desk-bound all-day.