Sunday, February 10, 2013

Stretch Your Muscles plus Recipe of the Week

I sit at a desk 8 hours 5 days a week. My biggest complaint is the stiffness and pain I have in my shoulders and neck from poor posture when I am sitting. Sitting at a desk, we tend to roll our shoulders forward, lean our heads forward and slouch. What happens over time is that our muscles tend to get overused, fatigued and tight due to the same poor posture day in and day out. Our muscle fibers stick together due to these repetitive positions and create trigger points causing pain. These manifest as actual nodules you can feel under your skin. The muscles also shorten decreasing flexibility.

Stretching is important whether you exercise or not, but many times we tend to focus our time and energy on the exercising to get our results and don't leave time for stretching. Stretching can increase your range of motion, increase blood flow to your muscles and elongate your muscles to prevent risk of injury from tearing.  the increase of blood flow can actually help your energy levels as well. It improves posture, helps with mental relaxation and increases endurance so you can exercise for longer periods of time.It is also thought stretching can help improve your sleep, so stretching right before bed can be beneficial. I

When you stretch, it is best thought to not stretch cold muscles for risk of injury. But as long as you take your time, stretch with a fluid, soft motion rather than bouncing you should be okay. Try to do each stretch for 20-30 seconds before moving to the next stretch. Focus on your major muscle groups and where you notice tension.

It is so good for your body to stretch almost daily if you can, even if it is for only 5 minutes. Your muscles need this tension release so you can feel better over all. You can find a ton of free stretching and/or yoga videos online. But I found a few that are particularly good for your neck and shoulders after sitting at a desk all day.


Both of these are really good for releasing the tension in your neck and shoulder muscles. I am going to try to incorporate some of these into my daily routine.

And this article I found a long time ago with a few pictures and descriptions of neck/shoulder stretches. These are really great. I have done these a lot:
Sore Neck Stretches


This weeks recipe is simple but good and I think perfect for Mardi Gras for it is cajun. From Allrecipes.com:
Cajun Shrimp:
Quick, easy and a little spicy. We paired this with a nice Cesar salad and and some gluten free french bread.

Have a great rest of your Sunday. I am having my parents over for dinner then watching The Walking Dead tonight. Oh and today I have had 2,000 page views of my blog! :)

Stay Active!
~Mandi

true, true.