Sitting is the enemy, it shortens muscles in front, and detunes the back line. This in turn restricts posture and movement, consequently affecting gait, and neural and muscular response in the limbs.
If this process progresses, it is not unusual to develop neuropathy, and often chronic pain. This is often accompanied by inflamation, due to reduced circulation,and reduced mood due to changes in the production of essential chemicals, in particular cortisol and dopamine.
The antidote to all this is increased frequency of low impact activity. More frequent periods of low level activity such as qigong, or gentle tai chi chuan are better than a heavy workout once or twice a week, as it helps to balance the muscle activity.
Fifteen minutes of gentle Qigong, is enought to stimulate the release of endorphins which help to elevate mood and reduce the sensations of pain, whilst at the same time boosting circulation and helping posture.
For most people establishing a new habit of movement takes a little time, and effort, but its ok to feed things in gradually.
To help boost the circulation to the joints in particular, simply make circles, wrists, elbows, shoulders. ankles, knees hips; all benefit from gently circling in each direction . build up from 10 to 40 circles several times a day,
With the neck, pay attention to feeling your way around, staying well within your comfort range to begin with. In class, we breathe in, at the central position, exhale as we turn away from the centre. This helps to control and pace the movement, and brings additional benefits.
We recommend baduanjin as a daily practice for beginners, our level one is easy enough for most people here is a link:
but shorter, and therefore easier to introduce is our coffee break qigong series.:
Coffee Break Qgong 1
Coffee Break Qigong 2
Just get in to the habit of moving more, even gently, its really beneficial.
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