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so you don’t have to crane your neck up or down to look at it. When using your phone or another handheld device, hold it up in front of you to avoid looking down, which puts pressure on your neck. Yes, No, Up, Down Head Nod To help release tension that builds up in the neck, try this simple series of neck releases: Start by slowly tilting your head forward and hold for a second, then tilt it backward and hold for a second. Return your head to neutral. Next, slowly look to your right, then to your left. Repeat this series of head motions for one minute and make it a part of your daily routine. Shrug It Off We tend to hold tension in our shoulders, too, so doing daily shoulder exercises can help to ease it. First is the shoulder shrug: Sitting or standing tall, shrug your shoulders up as high as you can, hold for a couple of seconds, then relax. Do this five times. Next, try shoulder rolls: Roll your shoulders back in a slow, exaggerated motion, engaging your shoulder blades to help you draw your shoulders back. Hold for a few seconds and repeat five times. Flex It Out Our hip flexors are another muscle group affected by sitting, which can lead to tight muscles and pain when walking or running. Lengthen these muscles with a simple stretch: Step one foot out in front of the other and bend both knees so you are in a lunge position. Rest your back leg on the ground if it is more comfortable. Keep your back
straight, and shift your body weight forward. “I tell patients to think of an X on the front of the hip of the back leg. Imagine pushing this X forward while not letting your back arch,” says physical therapist Dr. Erin Policelli. Foot Release Sitting a lot can shorten some of the muscles in your feet, too, which are crucial for good balance. Help ease foot tension with this stretch: Kneel on the floor, arranging your legs under you so your shins and the tops of your feet are on the floor and your glutes are resting on the bottoms of your feet. Maintain an upright posture. Raise yourself slightly, pick up your heels, and tuck your toes under. Slowly ease your weight back over your feet so that your glutes are resting on your heels and your toes are stretched. Hold for 30 seconds. Bring these exercises into your daily routine to release the tension that builds when you sit. And of course, this is just the beginning — use the improvements in the way you feel as motivation to get up and move more throughout your day!
F eel B ad A bout T hrowing A way P hotos ? 4 R ules for G uilt -F ree P hoto D ownsizing
If you’ve reached a point in your life where you’ve started to downsize, then you’ve likely grappled with the difficult task of getting rid of photos. After decades of life, how are you supposed to choose which memories are important enough to keep and which aren’t? These four rules can help make this daunting task easier. Rule No. 1: Cut Scenic Views You don’t need dozens of photos of that campsite you went to on vacation one summer. If a location was really meaningful, like the
beach at your honeymoon, then keep a few, but pictures of the places you’ve been to are far less special than pictures of the people you love.
Rule No. 2: Tell a Story When you look at a photo, does it make you want to tell a story about the people or places in the image? Could you share plenty of stories about riding around in Dad’s old truck or about how funny your best friend from college was? Keep those photos. Pictures of people whose names you can’t remember or blurry photos you can’t make out can all go. Rule No. 3: Edit Well If you have a lot of photos from a specific event or part of your life, think about how long each “chapter” of your life story would be. How much time would you spend writing about your cousin’s wedding or high school prom? If a certain event didn’t have that much meaning in your life, why dedicate pages and pages of a photo album to it? Rule No. 4: Throw Photos Away If a photo isn’t important enough to put in an album or frame on the wall, then it doesn’t need to stick around. Don’t put them in a box you’ll have to sort through later. Let the rejects go.
After all that hard work, treat yourself to a photo album shopping spree so you can start organizing the meaningful photos you have left.
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