By Aoife Delaney
HEALTH & WELL-BEING:
The Magic of 20
By Karen Brar
Stuck at your desk for another long day to meet an upcoming deadline? Like most, the day can get a hold of us with an endless list of “to-dos”. And if you’re anything like me, you pride yourself in getting in one last to-do before the day’s end. You’re a wizard at meeting deadlines, exceeding client expectations and anticipating problems to be solved. All the while, you’ve missed another day at the gym, telling yourself "I'll get up early tomorrow for that run!". But when the alarm goes off…. Just another 5 minutes…
Sound familiar? This is the reality we’re all living in, and it’s endless. And that’s just the workday – then squeeze in time with family/friends and personal commitments – the parts of our lives that keep us sane from the craziness of the day. But you’re a planner, and miraculously make it all work. Except something has to give…. And for most of us, that becomes ourselves. But what good are we when we aren’t good to ourselves?
We’ve all been told that movement does wonders not only for our waistline, but for stress management and overall well-being. This can mean any number of things from a walk, run, full-on gym session, or your favorite group class (spin, yoga, Pilates, barre, Zumba, etc.). But if you can’t find that hour to step away from the office, or squeeze it in pre- or post-work, then surely you can find 20 minutes!
20-mintues is that magic number, which has been proven to give your mind and body the break it needs through the day. It has been proven to be beneficial to release tension and gain more focus, thus making you more productive and energized throughout the day. Some great options for adding movement in 20-minute spurts can include taking a walk in between meetings (or take the meeting on the go); stretching at your desk; or even starting a plank competition between colleagues.
Here are a few Work Break Yoga poses you can do in any small space (designed for your desk, on the plane, or even a small hotel room):
High Altar Pose: Inhale and lift your arms; clasp your hands and invert your palms. Lean to your left. Hold for 5-8 breaths, then switch sides.
Wrist / Finger Stretches: Straighten out your left arm, shoulder height and bend the wrist inward then outward, counter stretching with your other hand. Hold each side for 5-8 breaths, then switch sides.
Twist: Turn to your left. Use your left hand on the back of the chair to deepen the twist. Hold for 5-8 breaths, then twist to the other side.
Cow Face Arms: Bring your left arm behind your back and right arm behind your head. Clasp fingers if you can. Hold for 5-8 breath, then switch side.
Ankle to Knee: Place your left foot on your right knee, letting left knee drop open. Keep your back straight; lean forward to stretch deeper. After 5-8 breaths, switch sides.
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