It’s that time of year again…and no this is not just another blog post about New Year’s Resolutions. It’s about that big, giant, yellow book that is going to be on your doorstep in a few days. That’s right, your phone book is coming! It’s true, they still send us phone books in the age of Google. Want to know what you can do with it instead of directly tossing it into the recycling bin?
Use it as a way to lengthen your hamstrings!
You know you have them. We spend too much time sitting in chairs and not enough time sitting on the floor and touching our toes. Perhaps this is resulting in back pain for you, it’s a common cause. Wondering what yellow pages have to do with leg muscles? Read on.
1. Sit on the floor, any style will work, legs out in front cross-legged, what have you.
2. Feel your low back. Is it rounding away from your belly or towards it? If it is rounding away, tight hamstrings are holding you back. Can you sit up tall and make a nice lumbar curve, but it’s a lot of work, the hamstrings are still holding you back.
3. Sit on the phone book, just the book under your butt but not the thighs. This creates more of an obtuse angle rather than 90 degrees at the hips. Feel the curve in your back now, if it’s curving toward your belly, not away, this is good. If not ask your neighbor if they need their phone book, which they of course will willingly hand over, and add it to your phone book chair.
4. Everyday spend some time on your phone book, sitting comfortably. Watch tv, read a magazine, pet the dog, whatever. An hour of this is great, but even 5 minutes will be worth it.
5. At the end of hanging out on the phonebook(s) rip out one page. This will result just a smidge steeper of an angle each day. It will be imperceptible perhaps, but you WILL get closer to the floor, in due time you will be sitting at a 90 degree angle at your hips and not feel a stretch at all…and I bet you can even touch your toes with ease.
Of course you can skip a few pages…if you get the phone book and you find that you are sitting quite pretty up there, rip them out 3-5 pages at a time until you get to a slightly back rounding or hamstring stretching height.
…by the way, you could use this as your resolution and end up a superstar in 365 days because you A) found a use for a seemingly waste of paper B)lengthened you hamstrings and C) started a healthy habit.