Why Body Breaks Matter to Your Health

[ 0 ] August 12, 2011 |

If you work in an office all day, maintaining an active, healthy lifestyle is no easy feat. When you park yourself at your desk from 9 to 5, endure long meetings or seminars, and drive to or from the office, you end up spending the majority of the day off your feet and hardly moving.

All that sitting works against you.

It’s a road that leads to backaches, tight muscles, and mental fatigue – not to mention eye strain if you sit in front of a computer for hours.

That’s why Aspen Yoga Society founder Gina Murdock developed the “body break,” a 3-to 5-minute routine combining breath and movement, like a condensed yoga class, to renew your energy and stave off the sedentary lifestyle. At the 2011 Aspen Ideas Festival, where the nation’s brightest gather for a week of discussions, Gina rallied an entire auditorium to take a “body break.” She recalls, “I couldn’t believe how many people came up to me after the ‘body break’ saying how much they really needed it and how good it felt … It really is amazing how something so simple and so short can have such a profound effect.” Gina also offered full yoga classes to festival attendees in the morning and afternoons. Watch her explain further on genConnect:

***Enjoy a Body Break With Gina Murdock at AREDAY, August 17- 21, 2011. ***

Study after study continue to show the benefits of getting up from that office chair every so often. A 2011 study published in the European Heart Journal revealed those who take frequent breaks from inactivity tend to have smaller waistlines and better cardiovascular health.

Breaks from sitting do your body and mind good. For a few minutes out of every hour you spend at your desk, take the time to move, stretch, and meditate. Replenish your energy levels by spritzing physical activity throughout your day:

•    Take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever possible
•    Stand up to take phone calls
•    Do a few leg lifts before answering your phone
•    Stand and march in place, back straight and knees high

•    Extend your right arm out and pull across your body with your left hand. Hold for 10 breaths, and switch sides.
•    Squeeze your shoulder blades together and hold for 10 breaths
•    Extend both arms above your head, clasp your fingertips, and lengthen. Hold for 10 breaths, and relax.
•    Stand up with your back straight. Keeping your back flat, bend forward from the waist until your spine is parallel to the floor. Hold for 10 breaths.

•    Close your eyes, relax your facial muscles, and take 10 deep breaths
•    Stand up with your back straight. Bring your palms together at your chest. Clear your mind.

Physical activity, even in small amounts, benefits every organ of the body. Remember to give yourself a break now and then and you’ll find yourself in better shape physically, emotionally, and mentally.

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Reported by Michelle A. Labbé

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Exercise, Health, Mind Body Connections

Profile photo of Gina Murdock

About Gina Murdock: Gina Michele Murdock is the founder and director of the Aspen Yoga Society , a certified yoga teacher, massage therapist, world traveler and intrepid explorer, as well as a journalist, environmentalist and avid cyclist, swimmer, [...]
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