Thursday, April 14, 2011

Stay Awake and Limber: Tips from a Pro

We've all been there: cramped in a chair for hours on end, getting information we know is valuable and important. But when we get up, our bodies protest, and with good reason--we weren't made to sit for hours on end.

We all know what this feels like. Read on to see how to make it better.

No one knows this better than Norma Jean Frumento, a former dancer with The Philadelphia Dance Company and one of The Hub's talented sales staff. We asked her to come up with some tips from her considerable store of experience on staying limber during long meeting days.
Norma Jean still teaches ballet in New Jersey, where she lives with her two teenage daughters and her husband, and she's active in Pilates, yoga, and Zumba. So trust her. We do!
  • Since we all hold tension in our shoulders and neck, the traditional head roll is a keeper. Drop your head down in front and roll slowly to the left and right and back.
  • For shoulder and upper back: Interlock your fingers, turn your palms outward in front of you, and stretch your arms out as you round your upper back. Move gently from right to left. You can do this standing or sitting.
  • While sitting, extend your legs in front of you till straight. Now flex your toes up to the ceiling. This is a great stretch for calves and hamstrings! For an extra stretch, lean your upper body forward. (Be careful not to fall off the chair!)
  • If no one’s looking, touch your toes, knees, or whatever you can reach with relaxed knees (don't lock your knees, and don't bounce). Just use the weight of your upper body to get the max stretch.
Meeting planners, it's a good idea to work in a stretch period, or a break where folks can take part in some gentle stretches like the ones above. They'll help to keep meeting and conference attendees from falling asleep, and that's a good thing for all of us.

What are your best tips for staying awake and limber during meetings?