Hello up there! Can you hear me? I’m right here. No, I’m not an underfoot pet or dust bunny. I’m your carpeted, interlocked, parqueted, tiled, or linoleumed floor.
I’m the household guy who watches you working hour-after-hour. I hear your muttering, profanities, and hopeful musings. From some angles I can even watch portions of your Zoom meetings. Man, it’s easy to see that you need to get floored! Like, right now.
Okay, at this point you’re wondering what my being your floor has to do with your work day. Think about your new penchant for being more fit. That’s right! I’m gonna clue you in on how I’m one of your best workout, aka Wakeout, partners.
Gaze at My Square Feet
Hey silly, don’t look for my feet! Let’s talk instead about all of the space down here for physical activity breaks. Alright, already, you’re thinking you have to be on your feet to get all revved up. Yawn, snore, that’s kind of linear, boring thinking. Dang, I expected more expansive savvy of you and your brain wizardry.
Silly, this is all about being brave and brawny. Let’s be clear…floors aren’t just for kids, pets, rugs, plant stands, and other non-human adornments. No way! They’re for grown-up humans too. There are so many ways to get floored. And I’m not just talking about taking a nap down here with your favorite blanket and pillow. Let's get real and get into physical activity breaks that'll help you soothe and strengthen your good old, often worn-out back.
Floor-Bound Physical Activity Benefits
Look at it this way: The floor beneath your feet is a super place to practice workplace wellbeing. Yep, you’ve seen floor-based activities in magazines, on TV, and even in some group fitness classes. It’s a great way to tone your legs - especially your quads and hamstrings. Why, you can even tighten your butt and beef up that six-pack while you're at it. You got it, the ladies like theirs toned and tightly curved too! Tanned, toned, and ready for the beach!
It’s time to introduce you to floor-based activities that’ll deepen your breathing, connect you to your inner child (oh please, not that!) and, better yet, connect you with your wild side. Now we’re talkin’! Here’s a spicey set of ways to get the most out of floor time.
7 Ways To Get Floored
You got it. Time to hit the deck! It’s a cool way to start work - any morning activity is in fact. You can wrap up your day with a combo of these and others for a calming before- bed wind down.
You know the self-care drill! If you have joint trouble or your strength could be better, go slow. If you’re in the care of a physical therapist, ask for advice about floor routines for your physical activity breaks.
1. Lie on your back
This is a simple way to begin your floor time. Take some abdominal breaths, noticing if you have any aches and pains. This helps you select your next floor activity. This form of breathing is a super stress-buster for when your brain is in over-drive!
2. Single Leg Lifts
These strengthen your core. Go slow, beginning with just a few. A neato way to do this is to sit on the floor with your back propped against a couch or wall. Bend one leg so it’s several inches from your butt. Slowly lift the other leg about five inches. Hold for a count of five, repeating five times. Now move to the other leg and repeat.
Go slow with this, repeating this pace for several days before increasing the lift to 10 on each side with a repeat. After doing these leg lifts for a while, your quads strengthen and your knees may feel a sense of renewal. What a relief when it's time to climb stairs!
3. Pelvic Tilts
Sounds sexy. Okay, hold that thought while you get ready to tone your back. Yup, it helps to get blood moving in your lower back and belly. As in, it kneads your muscles while you tilt. Focus on your breathing as you do this gentle physical activity.
Ready, set! Take a couple of abdominal breaths, pressing your lower back against the floor to a count of five. Release. Repeat several more times, noticing how this action rotates your pelvis. Gradually increase the hold to at least ten seconds.
All that pelvis and belly action relieves back aches and aids with elimination. That's a double plus! Be on the lookout for other ways these tilts promote your wellness and energy level. (Wink-Wink!)
4. Simple Lotus Introduction
The various moves associated with the lotus position are intended to release pelvic and leg tension while supporting core and back strength. Doing so supports flexibility and balance. Think of the next time you're on the slopes or the court. Yup, the lovely lotus effects are there, boosting your game with added agility!
This intro invites you to begin slowly. First, while sitting on the floor, bend your right leg toward your chest. Slowly let your leg fall to the right. Don’t push on your knee to touch the floor. If it does, super! If not, take focused breaths and only go as far as comfort allows. Now do the same with your left leg, gradually bringing the soles of your feet as close together as possible. Hold for a few breaths and return to your original position. If you wish, hold your arms upright with your hands together above your head. Doing so expands the chest, enhancing each breath.
5. Basic Knee Pullins
These are designed to loosen lower back tension while working abs, quads, and hamstrings. Avoid overreach with these as flexibility gradually increases when doing these routinely. These promote lower back comfort and increase thigh strength while reducing muscle tension.
Bend your right leg, slowly bringing it toward your chest by grasping with both hands. Hold and gradually release. Repeat with your left leg, then alternating legs several times, moving slowly to promote gentle stretching.
6. The Plank
This introduction to the plank benefits in more ways than building arm muscles! It’s good for promoting concentration and a sense of calm, plus upper body and core strength.
Ready?! Get down on the floor on your hands and knees with your feet shoulder's width apart. Contract your ankles and get up on your toes as you straighten your back, using your arms for support with your hands beneath your shoulders. Keep your body nice and straight from feet to shoulders. Hold for a few seconds and release slowly to the floor. Gradually increase the duration of your plank pose, limiting it to 10-30 seconds. Repetitions do more for you than longer duration of a single plank.
7. Acro Yoga: Plank
(Back in the day, your parents called it Flying Angel!)
Let’s close this session with fun and some company. Call in the kids, the cutie in the next room, or your big old teddy bear!
You’re lying on your back. Hold your arms up and link hands with your cutie. Carefully place the soles of your unshod feet on their hips. Yup, at this point your legs are bent. Next, ever so slowly straighten your legs as your flying angel slowly glides up off the floor. Keep your arms extended as your partner holds an up-in-the-air flying plank pose. If the two of you wish, you can gently sway your partner. Slowly return your angel to earth…oops, the floor!
Look at all that strengthening and balancing going on for both of you. Plus all that love!!
Here's a little guarantee: Once getting floored becomes part of your workday, you're sure to want more! How's that? Remember these key points:
* It's a clear winner for practicing diaphragmatic breathing.
* Wow, it sure helps with back aches!
* Your spine is in better alignment than when seated.
* Floor exercise options work many of your large and small muscles.
* It's a novel way to fit physical activity breaks into your day.