President Trump’s impeachment trial in the Senate got underway at a tough time for people trying to keep their fitness resolutions in 2020. The days are very long when each side gets (and takes) 24 hours for opening statements.
Let’s take, for example, Dry January. Who among us can stick to that goal after a day of impeachment? The only thing I really wanted after a day of sitting for several hours listening to the House managers was a glass of Cabernet. Just one! I gave up on that resolution on the first day. Oh, well. There’s always next year!
And then there is the sitting. And the sitting and the sitting. Sitting is the new smoking, haven’t you heard? While we have been sitting and listening – and we are listening, we promise! – our posture is compromised and our legs are going numb. It is like we are on a non-stop flight around the world. And the entertainment system stopped working after the first hour.
I asked my fitness trainer what he suggested I do during these long days in a chair. Aside from getting a workout in the morning and some yoga or Pilates after work, here are his suggestions:
Blood flow and circulation
At least once an hour, do some ankle rolls, point and flex your feet, and extend your leg from your knee. Do some neck rolls to keep your shoulders and upper back from getting too tight. Just like being on a long flight.
Higher-intensity squats. “Every time you stand up and sit down counts.” (Note: this is a bit hard to do sitting next to my colleagues and being on camera, but I get his point).
Keep everything moving that you can. Simple neck rolls, arm circles, chest stretch with hands clasped behind your back, standing hip flexor and quad stretch, Figure Four stretch, waiters bow ... you get the idea.
Release muscle tension and deal with boredom or frustration when you can’t move (he knows me ... and impeachment ... well).
Progressive relaxation (focus on each body part starting at the feet and working your way up and spend a few seconds getting it to relax. By the time you get to your head, you should feel calmer for a while).
Box breathing (imagine a box – then breathe in for four counts, hold for four counts, breathe out for four counts, and hold again for another four counts before starting the cycle again). This can also help with falling asleep.
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Drink 8 ounces every two hours or less (more reason to leave and use the restroom, which means standing and walking).
Small snacks, like collagen bars, don’t have too much sugar ... but allow you to consume enough energy to stay awake!
Finally, I asked about the wine. “Oh, definitely. You can have wine.”
He’s the best.
I’ve managed to do most of these things during the first week of impeachment – wish me luck for the second week!