Thursday, December 27, 2012

Once a day is not enough

If an ideal world, I would tell you I do my yoga routine once a day. Truth is, I'm doing well if I do it four times a week--as with a lot of other things such as writing, life gets in the way. What with Christmas and family and cooking and excitement, I didn't do any workout Sunday through Tuesday. Yesterday, Wednesday, when I did my routine I could feel how tight my muscles were and how good it felt to stretch and twist and loosen things up. My yoga routine was designed for me by my teacher--she knows what I'm capable of and what I shouldn't try. I can't, for instance, ever do a full plank because my old feet just won't bend that way; but I can do a half plank and do mini-push-ups in that position. And I can do some poses I'm pretty proud to have accomplished. Just can't remember the name of anything but boat. Elizabeth, who is tenant, friend, and yoga teacher, always pushes me to go farther: if I can hold boat for a count of twenty, I should begin to hold it for a count of thirty. Is she kidding? One thing I cannot do is sit and clasp the bottom of one foot with that leg flat on the floor--too many years (my entire professional life) spent at a desk have irreversibly shortened my hamstrings or whatever those muscles are. I've been doing yoga four years, more or less, and I still can't come close to straightening either leg. When I sit with legs flat on the floor, I can reach maybe mid-calf, and that hurts.
No matter, until today I felt quite righteous about my physical routine.Then I read an article on Facebook about recent research entitled "Don't Just Sit There." (see it here: A research study has suggested that if you sit at a desk all day and then get up to exercise in the evening, you're still not getting the benefits of movement--.and you'll find it hard to lose weight. (Amen! I can testify!) It suggests getting up at least twice an hour to move about and taking phone calls standing up instead of sitting.
I thought about my daily routine and because, as I said, life gets in the way, I don't really sit at a desk all day. That's another ideal world that, for me, doesn't exist. I always have errands to run; there's the dog to care for, play with, let in and out; there are meals out with friends; and then there's my daily trip to the elementary school, and believe me, when Jacob's in the house, I don't sit still: I'm up getting snacks, homework supplies, etc. I'd get more written if I did sit at a desk all day. And I suspect during those rare times when I am at my desk for two or three hours, I get up once or twice an hour--a trip to the bathroom or hungry or thirsty or check the laundry.
How about you? Are you sedentary for hours? Maybe at a desk? Reading a book? Watching TV?

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