Janita: How important is it that we stay mobile and active while working from home?
Working from home sounds wonderful, right? And it is! No commuter traffic, no work wardrobe to maintain or gossipy coworkers to get along with AND best of all we are our OWN bosses! (except for our partners and kids) That being said, it’s so easy to snack at will from our pantries and fridges, stay in PJ’s all day until it’s time to go to bed again and basically not have much use for strict physical routines. And that can be great-but only to a certain extent! Staying physically active and mobile while working from home is imperative to anyone’s health, but as Paper Florists and Crafters of all kinds-we need to be particularly mindful of it! There are many hours spent sitting or standing in one spot with neck and head bent down, fingers and forearms engaged in very repetitive motions like squeezing tacky glue and shaping paper petals and our shoulders get hunched over too! Did you know that hunched over shoulders closes our chest cavities and if we don’t do anything about that we’ll all potentially be a bunch of crafty hunchbacks???!! But wait-THERE IS MORE-did you know that sitting hunched over our paper petals affects our hip mobility too?? Oh yes it sure does! Now, before I’ve talked you into a new career, please know there are preventative measures you can take to avoid Paper Floristry Hunchback Syndrome! (PFHS) Even just a little bit of Physical Activity including flexibility and mobility training will go a long way towards preventing hunched shoulders and stiff hips!
Janita: How much time should ideally be dedicated to moving around?
We have all been told that it is important to engage in a fitness regime for at least 30 minutes daily, right? And that is certainly true-30 minutes minimum of a well-rounded exercise program that includes cardio and resistance training is great! HOWEVER, we are Paper Florists. To avoid self-imposed disorders such as Paper Floristry Hunchback Syndrome (PFHS) or “real” medical diagnosis such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, inflexible spines leading to disc injuries, and extremely tight hip flexors which lead to other issues, additional preventative measures need to be taken! work in those flexibility and mobility exercises for a couple of minutes at a time ALL DAY LONG! If you sit at your workspace and cut, shape and glue paper petals for 3 hours straight, 15 minutes of time within those 3 hours should be dedicated to movement and flexibility. Basically, 5 minutes out of a 60-minute time frame should be devoted to some restorative stretches and movement! Your body will thank you later. So will your bank account when you don’t have extra medical expenses!
Janita: For those that are just starting out, what would be a good place to start? (Yoga, cardio, stretching, walking, etc) and why?
What’s your jam? Pick an activity! Anything can be turned into an effective workout. Are you a beginner to regular exercise in general? Taking the time to walk is always a great suggestion to start, and so is yoga. Combining a 15-minute walk at intervals of fast and regular speeds to increase your heart rate followed by a 15-minute yoga session and you are killing it! Have you followed a program in the past but fell away from it? You aren’t the only one! Just remember that staying active pays off and you will do yourself a big service by beginning again!
Janita: What should I do in those 5 minutes out of ever 60 you recommend I move?
There are a few ways to turn those 5 minutes into active restorative sessions. You can add them in throughout the hour by:
· Take a walk break with every water or coffee break. Keep your beverage away from you so that you have to walk to it. Just remember to drink if you are going to do that-dehydrations leads to other issues!
· Set a timer for yourself to walk around the house or engage in some activity like some yoga poses, or other exercises like chair dips or air squats.
· Whenever you can, stand up and work instead of sit. Be mindful of your core and keep your posture straight!
· When engaging in phone conversations, stand up and walk around rather than sit.
· When nature calls-use the opportunity to add some exercise after the potty break like some air squats, wall pushes (or regular pushups if you can)
· Each coffee break, each nature break, snack or lunch break-raise your arms overhead a few times, twist from side to side, do some arm circles, clasp your hands behind your back, shake your head yes or no, anything to engage your shoulders and open your chest cavity back up! Your torso will thank you!
Janita: What are your absolute favorite yoga positions and what do they help with?
I have extra appreciation for yoga since I began Paper Floristry, but I”ll speak to three that I’m working on within my practice. I’ve always had very tight hip flexors, so I love, love , LOVE any exercise that stretches my hips in a big way. One is Lizard Pose which by itself is very challenging, but when done in a Vinyasa Yoga flow with modifications such as blocks is extremely restorative to me. It stretches the Hip Flexors, Hamstrings, thighs and strengthens them. I like to practice Lizard Pose with a Humble Warrior. Another Position I’m working on is Dolphin Pose because it really stretches my forearms (so Important in our line of work) and it opens up the chest (so important to avoid that PFHS) and strengthens shoulders! It stretches the backside of your legs and helps your core strength too! Third pose I’ll share is Eagle Pose. Beneficial for your shoulders, legs and it opens up the chest cavity-again, something I feel is so important to do in our line of work! It is a balance pose and I have to confess that those types of poses are most challenging to me in my practice. And with all the hours spent making flowers-anything with that arm twist has become increasingly difficult. So, I practice! ALL POSES RELIEVE ANXIETY, TENSION, AND STRESS AND AS A RESULT, CALMS THE MIND. LEADING TO OTHER PHYSIOLOGICAL BENEFITS!
Janita: What are your go to moves when you are super pressed for time?
These are great ideas for stretches and mobility movements for small spaces and extremely short time frames:
· Air Squats
· Seated Back Bends (lean back with arms stretched to sky)
· Wrist Circles
· Arm Circles
· Forward Folds
· Wall pushes (standing push ups against the wall)
· For some cardio do High Knees, Butt Kicks, Burpees, Jumping Jacks
Janita: For folks just getting in to yoga do you have any resource suggestions for learning positions?
· Check out this brochure from ACSM (The American College of Sports Medicine) which outlines many different types of Yoga. There literally is a style for everyone! Find what speaks to you the most and google videos on that style!
· Here is a FREE 30 Day Yoga Challenge.
· Check out this awesome lifestyle blogger Yoga by Candance that incorporates Yoga into many aspects of her life. She has a cool podcast too, relevant to Entrepeneurs!
Janita: Hey since this is a paper flower site, what is your favorite flower to make and why?
Yeah, paper flowers!!!! This is the hardest question of all because I love all of them! However, like my Yoga Practice, I’m evolving every single day. I really like to make flowers with interesting centers. It’s so satisfying to bust out a center that makes people go WOW. It’s worth the time! Also, I’m infatuated with Peonies and Poppies. I just love both so much. All varieties. I learned Peonies from Tiffanie Turner and Amity Beane and it’s been so fun to play, incorporate techniques from both of them and replicate whatever variety in nature I’m inspired by that week! Poppies I learned from Lia Griffith and Tiffanie Turner and staring for hours at Nectar Hollow’s centers! I just finally got the hang of the centers I think…I made my own with a little foam ball and floral tape and I was so, so proud of myself.
I could really go on and on and on but lets just stick with Peonies and Poppies as this month’s favorite.