Working from home woes

During this time many people are finding themselves working from home. This includes those who have never done it before to this extent. It is important to take breaks from long term standing or long-term sitting! Please move and stretch!

Review this past post for ideas on Working out while at work.

Read this article from NPR regarding chronic pain, exercise and movement.

NPR- Exercise Can Help Reduce Chronic Pain, Researchers Say

My personal story… My blog posts are not normally about my personal experiences. It is true I have played sports all my life, however I’m not a hard-core athlete. We’re talking recreational soccer and basketball in middle and high school. In my 20s-40s, rec ice hockey. It is true I was a personal trainer for sometime, and spent a lot of time in the gym. I love the gym and the way it makes me feel, however again not hard-core. It was never my objective to lift the heaviest of weights. It was more about doing everything safely, being there for my longevity and vitality. Yet here I am with my story. Not knowing then, what I know now. Be aware that it is important!

When I took on more of a desk job, in my mid-30s, I looked at it as giving my arthritic feet a break because they hurt from all the standing I had done as a teacher, photo assistant, and photographer. I reveled in being able to sit for long periods of time. “Oh so nice! My feet no longer hurt,” I naively thought. I still got exercise outside of the office, so I saw nothing wrong with sitting.

I began to feel something in my lower right back and hip area: stiffness, slight pain would cause me to get up. I knew I had some vertebrae in my back that weren’t quite in alignment, and a lot of people complain about lower back pain, so I didn’t think too much of it other than I needed to get up and walk once in a while.

True not everyone is going to have the trouble and pain I did. However, heed this; spine health is extremely important. It’s the core of your body, and the muscles that surround it to keep it aligned need to stay strong. If they weaken things can shift. Makes sense right!?

Fast forward to my early 40s, I took on a front desk type position. There it was very clear I could not sit for long periods of time because that pain was stronger and more frequent. I would stand up once in a while, and decided after a couple of months I needed a job where I would stand again most of the time.

The next position I was in, had me standing in one place majority of the time. This was very different from teaching, personal training, being a photo assistant, or a photographer. In any of those roles I was walking around and moving. I didn’t think of this difference at the time, until the low back and hip pain were to a point where I would feel some numbness down into my right foot. Further, trying to go out with people and sitting to be social, that area would stiffen.

As it became progressively worse, I left the job and went on to teaching once more where I was walking around and sitting in a nice combination. The low back still acted up periodically, however troubles with the hip reduced and certainly no more numbness in the foot. I jumped into stronger chiropractic care multiple times a week for about a month leading into this, and then moved into once a week once every other week. Then, moved on to once a month for maintenance. This was a great combination of keeping my back healthy, having a job where I was sitting standing and moving. Plus, I was doing strength and core workouts 5 days a week. I felt no more trouble with my back, which was a-m-a-z-ing. Made me feel I had some proof that if my core is strong, the back will stay pretty well in place.

After two years of that, I went back to studying which would be on the computer, sitting, while my exercise dwindled. I also purchased a standing desk. I continued to exercise lightly, not like I used to. I began to think I needed to stretch periodically. Doing squats with light weights in my house is pretty daily, not that many but some. Core body work and mat Pilates happen too. To be honest with you, I’m lax about it and do not do it methodically often enough.

The hip some days it’s worse than ever. I would say sitting in a certain position for more than five minutes will start the stiffness. I will feel pain into my upper thigh and the low back. Going to sleep at night can be a little challenging. There were some days when I got on the ice, and that leg was not reliable to skate confidently. The season is canceled for now so that’s not an issue.

My guess is at this point I did some tendon damage with stretching, or it’s my lumbosacral area that needs adjusting. A lot of adjusting to get back to where it needs to be! In addition to routine core strengthening exercises more seriously again. Now it seems I need some serious fixing and I can go back to maintenance.

Unfortunately with COVID-19 pandemic, my Lupus and respiratory troubles make me one of those who are considered immuno-compromised. I am afraid of how the Coronavirus would affect me!! I only know what it’s like to go to sleep at night feeling like I can’t take full breaths, not being able to get full breath in other situations with my asthma, and having to go grab my inhaler. I cannot imagine the fear and feeling people have with COVID-19, and lungs that cannot give them the oxygen they need.

I suppose overall this blog post is reminding everyone to take care of themselves, do that little bit of extra to keep yourself healthy. Now that I’m thinking about it, how ironic this is. We talk a lot about staying mentally healthy now. I love that mental health awareness has become so much more in the forefront for people, those of us with depression and anxiety are being heard more than before. It really has been and is a breakthrough for society to be acknowledging the troubles many suffer. And here I am reminding again to not forget about your physical health in combination. It’s all connected!! If your physical health goes down you get more depressed. When your physical health is up, in addition to being physically active, it fights depression and makes you feel better.

There are definitely no revelations in this blog post. No new news that is smacking me in the face of what to do, more what I could’ve done. This post is about me. It is also about you.

You need to stretch and move. Please. There is more to it than making sure you are doing both sitting and standing in one spot at your desk. That is the moral to this lengthy post!!

Fighting that Low Back Pain

My own personal experience is that my low back Pain goes away when I am back on top of doing many of these exercises on a regular basis.  

[…Tight hip flexors also make it harder for your pelvis to rotate properly—inhibited mobility in this area can cause compression and pain in the lower back]

Link to more explanation on these Everyday exercises

  • deadbug
  • glute bridges (start here, then move into single leg as you’re stronger)
  • goblet squats (I use a dumbell at the house)
  • kettlebell deadlifts (dumbells are fine)
  • planks
  • bent over rows (concentrate and do each side separately)

 

This link was in that article and gave more ideas.   

GLUTEAL AMNESIA – DEAD BUTT SYNDROME

[….One key to keep in mind for all glute work: Focus on driving from your heels (not the ball of the foot), which helps fully activate your maximus, the biggest and strongest part of the butt…]

[…glute bridges are a super simple and effective way to reactivate your rear, which you can level up with one-legged bridges or by placing a resistance band around your thighs. In addition to bridges, she suggests working on glute-targeting moves such as bird dogs, clamshells, donkey kicks, and planks after every cardio workout.…]

[…Incorporate lower-body exercises like deadlifts, squats, and lunges into your strength training routine, too, Stokes says. Just remember her signature tip to help target your glutes even more effectively: “Squeeze your butt like you’re holding a million-dollar check between your cheeks—you wouldn’t want to drop that!”…]

A Little Help for the Longevity

“Gentlemen, we can rebuild him.  We have the technology…”

I strive to help people live healthier with overall wellness.  My coaching includes discussions on flexibility, exercise, diet, and mental well-being.  We talk about longevity often, and how people today will live far longer than in the past.  Our bodies will wear out.  Your organs wear out.  Then comes the question, “To what extent would you be willing to replace and rebuild to stay around longer?”  Interesting thought, huh?

Extending Longevity of Body Parts

@thebox – Crossfit Style

A word about Crossfit from my point of view.  I love it!  Admittedly, I was timid and shied away from trying this out for myself.  As a trainer, foremost in my Corrective Exercise studied mind was form.  I had heard rumors that form didn’t matter and people get hurt, and it’s all about speed.  No!!

I joined the most awesome box, Crossfit South Aurora.  This is the end of four weeks of going 6x/wk.  What I learned was the speed comes with technique, and the injuries come with too heavy of weight too soon and improper… form!  I picked a great spot to start and had the flexibility to be there for smaller class sizes in the mornings.  This allowed me good one-on-one time with the coach, and a watchful eye that participants are correctly performing.  If not, he takes time with us outside of the Workout Of the Day, to get the proper technique down.  I’m finding out through this, I’m learning Olympic lifting.  Sweet 🙂  I also discovered how weak I’d become over the past several years.

Life is about choices!  I could choose to be upset and wallow in the fact that I’ve lost muscle and strength.  Where will that get me?  Nowhere but down and weaker.  I choose to do something about it.  Outside of something I cannot control, I will get stronger again.  Becoming a skinny mess without muscle, would take away my independence, has taken away the ability to do some of the active things I love.  Gaining strength and muscle, will give me back my life again.  My life, my inner strength… I am strong!

Flexibility

Ever notice how a cat, a dog, even a horse for the example of animals, all stretch often or shake it out?  What are we doing sitting still for so long in a chair, or standing in one place?  Sure you may have spent the day walking around and on the move, but did you take time to stretch.  I’ve posted ideas before of stretching at the office.

Today I wanted to share this book with you that one of my clients shared with me some time ago.  Bob Anderson’s Stretching.  I keep the pocket version in the30thTPBhomepg[1] family room to remind me to take a little time to stretch.

Additionally, there is this resource which has many methods to help you with increasing mobility and maintaining your body.  Good for fitness pros, PTs, athletes, coaches, or someone wanting to live more freely and have less restrictions from the body.  It is a resource shared with me from other trainers.  This one is called, Becoming a Supple Leopard.     Screen shot 2017-04-05 at 7.18.21 AM

Anything I write, or contents I link with, are merely suggestions.  Exercising has its risks and it is up to you to know your limits.  My blogging isn’t a prescription or a plan for everyone.  I, nor Sandi Productions, is NOT responsible for any injury or troubles that may occur from your consulting or utilizing my content in your life.

Benefits of Exercise

Have you had the pleasure of feeling uplifted after exercise?  I’ve had those days where I might be feeling sluggish or down.  Getting a little physical or a lot, even taking time to stretch, makes a difference.

Benefits of Exercise
In addition to the physical benefits, exercise has been shown to improve psychological functioning, decrease emotional stress, and to elevate mood.

 

 

The Death of Digital Photography as We Know It

I’m attaching a link to an article I was reading today about the advancements in digital cameras.  Are the new features needed, desired, or adding enough value that the pros will continue to upgrade?  The newest innovations aren’t leaps and bounds over what we have in our hands already.  Thus, possibly slowing down the purchase and creating a decline.  It’s not that manufacturers are shouting out that sales are dropping, however it sounds like more of some stagnation occurring on coming up with real whoppers of new equipment.

Screen shot 2017-04-05 at 6.33.48 AMAt the same time, one should ask then, what is it that would be leaps and bounds to push the purchase of new equipment?  Our cameras do so much now, and they have limits with size of the camera body, and ability to mix all features into one unit.  If you’re dealing with shooting video using a RED Cinema camera vs. shooting video on your still Canon SLR, you’re not comparing apples to apples, and it seems a far reach for the development of an item like that.  If a manufacturer is offering up working on an all in one combining a Leica Sofort instant camera, mixed in with a digital SLR, now that would be something!

https://petapixel.com/2017/04/04/death-digital-photography-know/

“In February, Nikon—the world’s second-biggest camera manufacturer by market share—published a notice of “recognition of extraordinary loss.” The statement admitted that, over the last nine months of 2016, the company had lost $260m,” shared by petapixel.com.