Loosen Up Your Stiff Hips
By Tracy Dye
Want to get rid of those stiff hips or a crick in your neck? Get moving.
They say that sitting is the new smoking, with Americans sitting for an average of 11 hours a day. A sedentary lifestyle can lead to several health issues (statistically, a whopping 300,000 deaths occur in the United States each year as a result of inactivity coupled with poor dietary habits), staying seated can be a serious pain.
People who sit for extended periods of time may experience stiffness and pain in different areas, gain weight and even develop anxiety or depression.
Unfortunately for those who work in office settings, sitting is a requirement, not a choice. However, the increased risks of sitting for eight or more hours a day can be offset by one hour of light exercise each day.
If you don’t want to sweat it out at the gym, these light activities can include things like yoga.
According to The Mayo Clinic, yoga can help reduce the effects of the body’s stress response, which leads to lowered heart rate, improved digestion and an overall sense of wellbeing.
“The benefits of yoga come from more than postures and movement,” said Heather Thamer, a certified yoga instructor who teaches Yoga Basics at Haven on the Lake.
The focus on connecting the mind and body during yoga classes is great for opening the hips, and which can alleviate current issues and prevent others from occurring, Thamer said.
“No matter what type of class you take, you’re going to see benefits in your hips, pelvis and other areas of your body,” she said.
Along with yoga, there are several other healing mind body movements that you can practice daily. These practices include things like Pilates, TRXⓇ, aqua-based exercises, QiGong, tai chi, and barre and dance classes. Finding time to take a mind body class (or several) will help you perfect your form and discover a practice that best meets your personal goals.