Thursday, July 12, 2012

why the stability ball?

The stability ball has so many wonderful uses. I mention just about every day in my I "did its" that I sit on one for a certain amount of time whilst working at my desk. It's a challenge I set for myself to make me sit straighter.

See last summer, I was approaching my 40th birthday. We were hosting a couple of soccer coaches from Ireland and Serbia. A couple of young healthy lads that remind you how to think young. A little too young, in my case. Last year was my big reminder that I'm no longer 18.

We took them to the hippie hole for a swim and some sightseeing. The hippie hole is a blue hole swimming spot about 5 miles from out house. More info is available at Blue Holes to Infinity falls article on the web, scroll down to Little River Falls for the one featured here. There's some beautiful cliffs that you can jump from. I went to the highest one. It's about 2-3 stories from the water above where my boy jumped from here (actually hidden in the trees):

Too bad we didn't get photo or video evidence of me. Because, yeah, I won't be doing that again. I guess I was just having an "I'm not old, watch this," moment. I made 2 very rookie mistakes. Firstly, I was wearing swim shoes, the impact of this could really do some damage to your feet or ankles (luckily not my problem this time). Secondly, I just jumped. No form, no thought. FYI, if you're not an experienced jumper or diver, the safest way is to jump is like a pencil. Straight body, legs a feet together, barefeet. I, however, did not know this at the time.

I landed in the water where the majority of the impact was absorbed by my bum. Yes, my bum. I can laugh about it now. I thought I broke my tailbone. That's how much it hurt. After several days, I realized I had only bruised my tailbone. BUT, I could ...Not...Sit... for months. Very painful. Indeed.

At least not how I used to sit. I made myself a makeshift standing workstation. Ignore the mess, it's much neater now. Not really, but I can pretend on the internet, right? 

yes, that's a pillow on the chair. Really couldn't take the chair during this time period though.

But I work for 8 hours a day so that got to be too much too. I found I had to sit perfectly straight with tight abs and lower back to sit at all. I couldn't do this for very long either. I also spent some of my time working while sitting on a stability ball. Still had to sit perfectly straight. 

During this time (about 4-5 months), I was uber-aware how weak my core was/is as well as how bad my sitting habits were. Since then, I invested in a new office chair with much better lumbar support and I'm still trying to spend a portion of my day on a stability ball. I still catch myself slumping forward or find my shoulders creeping to my ears. But I'm aware now and fix it throughout the day.

So that is why I try to sit on a stability ball whilst working at my desk. Along with all the other common sense things to get my body stronger: exercise, healthy eating, yoga, etc.

Now, where is that ball?!  I should be sitting on that. 


I did it:
~Wednesday morning trail workout. 3 miles at 4mph, with walking lunges, pushups, crunches, stepups, etc. It's a led class by Sheila and she really knows how to kick it in high gear.
~96+ ozs water
~1 hour on stability ball while working
~Ate well (still trying to "up" my calorie intake. This is harder than I thought)

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