Sitting incorrectly, especially without moving, for long periods of time is not good for you. Most of us do it all day long at work and then again when we get home. A lot of people will then experience hip and/or lower back pains develop overtime from sitting. As you sit, the gluteus maximus goes to sleep causing the gluteus medius to take most of the weight. With this muscle now enlarged and throbbing, it starts to swell and pinch nerves like sciatica. In order for us to relieve this pain, we must move and exercise in order to bring balance back to those muscles.
While sitting, the lower back can also start to stick out creating bulging or even herniated discs in the lower back. This can be extremely painful and can cause chronic pains if left unattended. These issues, amongst many others, is what happens when our bodies are exposed to extended sitting, which we are not built to do. Bad posture while sitting only further inflates these issues by reducing spinal support.
In order for us to relieve this tension and create a more stable hip area without pain, we must rehabilitate these muscles and ligaments to support our spines. Reinforcing or strengthening those muscles will help to reduce the stress and inflammation which will help with your bodies natural healing process. We do this by strengthening those asleep muscles through exercises like squats, hip raises, and others that target all areas of your legs and hips. These exercises must be done multiple times a week in order to establish that muscle growth to support the overworked areas.
Stretching is another key component to releasing these knotted areas. Targeted stretching towards these body parts can help release the tension built up in the fibers. Stretching 30 to 45 seconds and doing so 3 to 4 times at least once to twice a week will increase the length of your muscle fibers long term. Short stretching will only bring about momentary relief and then you will experience the pain later. Repeating these stretches with long holds will allow your muscle to relax and permanently lengthen those fibers and tendons helping reduce the tension.
With proper posture, strengthening, stretching, and reducing the amount you sit; these pains can start to reduce and eventually completely go away. It is important to stay consistent and not stop once it starts to get better otherwise the pains and issues will only return. It is important to establish a foundation of stretching and exercising into your routing in order to keep these issues from resurfacing. While we live each day, we can become more aware of how we sit, walk, and laydown so we can better care for our bodies. Until our bodies find this new posture to be the normal, it may be difficult to establish but even more important to get done.
Establishing these routines has much more of a positive effect than just relieving your pain. Strength training can increase your metabolism up to 72 hours after exercising allowing your body to burn fat naturally while you sleep. This can also increase your metabolism helping your digestion and overall health. An increased metabolism can fight off and prevent infections easier. On top of helping reduce damage from impacts and helping support your skeletal frame, your strength helps reduce deterioration against old age keeping your body healthier and younger as times goes on.
Stretching creates longer muscle fibers and tendons allowing for better blood flow. This increases the amount of blood that can get to an area increasing performance but also quickening heal time from injuries. Lengthened muscle fibers have a higher resistance to snapping and tearing because they are already lose. Think of a tight rubber band, it doesn’t take much for it to snap; while a loose one can be lengthened three times it’s size easily without snapping. The same concept can be applied to your tendons and muscles in resisting damage as you move and as you age.
Creating this self care routine not only reduces pain but also improves overall life quality. What we sacrifice in an hour or two a day in self care can lengthen our healthy years much further into the future than we thought. If you are already experiencing pains, it is never too late to start caring for your body and bring it back to a state of ease.
We will be releasing more content focused on creating these routines. Including what stretches, exercises, and other things we must focus on in order to establish this way of life. If you are interested to learn more about how to care for your mind, body, and spirit make sure to reach out to us. We offer classes, seminars, and retreats to help people achieve their goals. Creating these strong foundations for a healthy lifestyle can be difficult. If you seek guidance or help, please reach out!