Updated: Jan 28
With lockdown restrictions preventing many of us from returning to our established health and fitness routines, the hunt is on for simple, effective workouts that fit in with our newly established ways of life.
It was only this week I noticed an interesting article from Tim Wallace in the Telegraph, suggesting as many of a quarter of us will end up working from home for good!
“By and large, this massive forced experiment in home-working has been very successful. Sectors have been able to maintain quite a high degree of effectiveness operating from home,” said Ian Stewart, chief economist at Deloitte.”
With WFH set to continue and no immediate return to ‘normal’ in sight, health and fitness perhaps understandably has slipped down our list of priorities, with longer working hours replacing what would previously have been our commuting ‘down’ time.
Effective, Efficient Fitness Programmes
Long hours and hybrid working is nothing new to the Finance industry, of course. A Global Banking and Finance article suggests employees in financial services will put in ‘an average of 22 extra days of work’ between March 2020 and March 2021 using the time ‘saved’ on commuting. That’s over a full month!
We’re working longer and we’re moving less. In conditions like these our bodies seize up and the hard work of fitness programmes gone by is lost.
A balance must be struck. We’ve all seen the pictures of The City and Canary Wharf’s empty streets. Gyms in the area are exactly the same.
Whilst we may have left our offices behind - but it’s vital we don’t leave behind our health and fitness, too. The importance of identifying and implementing effective, time-efficient fitness programmes has never been more important.
As we get older, a lack of physical activity caused by restriction of movement can cause a whole host of issues, particularly lower back pain, Piriformis syndrome and Sciatica.
Let's kick off the new year and encourage you to take regular steps to restructure your health and wellbeing. Always consult your GP/physician before beginning any exercise program. The following information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. If you experience any pain or difficulty with exercise, stop immediately and consult your healthcare provider. Here are your six powerful ‘work from home’ stretches tailored for busy finance professionals.
Four Powerful Stretches To Add to Your Daily Routine
How to do it:
In a standing position, cross one foot in front and beside the other.
Slowly fold at the hips forward.
Use the desk, or grab onto your legs to steady yourself, while holding for 15-20 seconds.
Slowly raise back up and switch legs.
How to do it:
Adapted from the yoga pose on the floor - Standing at your desk, or a similar raised surface (eg back of the sofa), lift your leg up and lay the lower part across in front of you.
Ensure that you are standing upright and if possible allow the bent knee to lower itself down. Use a hand to steady it if tight or too intense.
After carefully holding for 15-20 seconds, gently step back from the desk allowing the leg to slowly ease off. Switch sides and repeat on the other leg.
Simple calf stretches
How to do it:
Easily the stretch most people could improve on in one quick second! Begin by leaning against a solid surface, like a wall or doorframe with both hands outstretched in front of you.
In a staggered stance, with one foot in front of the other, imagine your feet are on narrow train tracks. This is the part most people miss, so make sure you turn your toes in slightly to maximise the stretch.
To swap, make sure you drag the front foot back to be in line with the rear first. Then bring the rear foot forward. You’ll performt the stretch the same distance apart at the feet.
Neck tension release
How to do it:
Ideal for anyone that’s been at a desk all day. Ensure you’re sitting upright when performing this.
Look straight ahead
Using your left arm raised above and over your head, grab your right ear.
Using this hand tilt your head towards your left shoulder.
Use your right hand to point to the floor and feel the stretch in the right side of the neck.
Holding for 15-20 seconds without trying to pull too hard, then switch.
A safe Upper & Lower Back Chair Stretch
How to do it:
With your feet flat on the ground in your chair, adjust yourself so you’re sitting upright and against the back of the chair.
Bring both hands up behind your head and interlock your fingers.
Then collapse forward starting at the chin and then rolling your spine down, so your head is heading for your knees. (Might be a good idea to push your chair away from the desk first, you don’t want to headbutt it!)
Take a deep breath in, and then an even breath out (preferably though the nose). As you exhale, come up.
When you’re at the starting position, see if you can continue back in the chair with your hands at the back of your head still but leaning back so you’re looking at the ceiling. TO do this safely, keep your lower and as much of your back against the chair as possible.
Train with me
To kick off the year, I’m offering every finance professional who has read this article a 30-day trial. It’s the most popular way for us to begin working together.
Whether you’re a Financial Controller, an Accountant or a Chief Financial Officer in the City of London, I'll conduct a full health and fitness screening to understand your number one biggest challenge and we'll work together to make sure you reach your goals.
My programme is tailored for busy finance professionals - with workouts appropriate for your hectic lifestyle. I understand your industry and I’ll craft a fitness regime to suit.
In a previous life, I spent many hours tied to a desk so I can emphasise with the problems you now face. Let’s work together to combine my health and fitness expertise with your drive and determination and we’ll ensure you come out of lockdown stronger than when you went in.
Your 30 day trial will give you full exposure to my complete programme, with one full month of twice weekly online training sessions plus nutritional advice and support.
To take advantage of this 30 day trial, get in touch here and we'll get started.
Make sure January 2021 is the month you lead with your health and fitness.
Until next time,