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Since Scottie injured himself, I have really been struggling with my fitness and strength. I know I am going to find it very hard when I do get back in the saddle. However, I also struggle with self discipline. Which makes it really hard for me to make and stick to big changes in my life to help me get back to riding fitness/strength before I get back on. I have therefore been making a few smaller changes which are easier to stick to. These include; eating less chocolate, taking part in the core essentials course and more recently, buying an exercise ball.
Swapping the office chair for an exercise ball
Sitting on an exercise ball instead of a chair while working at a desk has become a new trend. The idea behind it is that since the ball is unstable, it makes you engage your core, helping you to build strength. Plus, in order to do this you have to sit in a better position, putting less strain on your body.
However, it is not a miracle cure. If you are not sitting in the right position on the ball, you will not be engaging your core and may actually be putting extra strain on your body. It is also hard to maintain this for long periods of time, meaning it probably isn’t suitable for your 8 hour shifts in the office. Instead most people recommend using it for just 20-30 mins at a time a few times throughout the day.
My Exercise Ball
I have decided to not use my ball in the office, mainly because I know how lazy I can be in my core when work is busy and I need to concentrate. So instead I have decided to try and use it while I am watching TV in the evenings or while I am playing Xbox. My logic being that while I will still be spending a reasonable amount of time sitting down, I will hopefully be using it for short enough periods to ensure I sit on it properly and don’t put more strain on myself.
How to sit on the ball
As I have already mentioned, for the ball to be of any benefit for you, you have to sit on the ball correctly. But essentially you need to:
- Have your thighs parallel to the ground.
- Have your feet out in front of you, not tucked under.
- Sit up straight with shoulders back.
- If working at a desk, you shouldn’t have to hunch or slack your shoulders for your elbows to sit on the desk.
You can also watch this quick video to show you how to sit.