I sit down all day, well most of it. Definitely not a standup desk person..

I do actually go to the gym, probably once a week but I am no good at all at training myself so I attend some gym classes when I can. I am male, 46 years old and when I started using these 3 things I was eating probably more chocolate and crisps daily than anyone of my age with a sit down job should be eating.

These 3 purchases kick started my journey back to good nutrition, more gym visits and better care for myself, and they are sat in the corner of my office, used daily.

Let’s start with the most important one, the one that has totally strengthen my core and lower back (I did have a weak lower back before buying this, not anymore though, nothing - not a twitch in any situation).

The Ab Roller.

Now, this cost me like £9.99 from Amazon. The return on investment for this evil little wonder has been nothing short of magnificent. Here is how I use it:

When I am working for an hour or two I’ll remind myself to pop up, grab the ab roller and get on my knees, back straight, I’ll stretch out first just to open up my back and get it warm, not doing any rolls as such, just a nice stretch, like this:

A Quick Child’s Pose Stretch Child's Pose with Ab Roller

Then Cat Stretch back up like this ![Cat Stretch with Ab Roller] (https://thepracticaldev.s3.amazonaws.com/i/2k6onrp34iwh1o4r5zvn.jpg)

You’ll feel a few satisfying crack and pops (I hyper extend a little bit so my head is lower than my hands).

I do that 2 or 3 times, then I begin ab rolling. Now it is important to realise that ab rolling is a journey, a highly transformative one. It is really worth the effort if you do nothing else.

When I started I think the maximum I could do was 3 - 4 and the next day my core hurt, so I left it for a day, went back the day after and did another round, this time I went up a bit maybe 5 - 7. My goal was to reach 10 in one innings. Again the day after I was in some pain, left it for a day, started again the day after, maxed out at 7 - 9. Within a week I was doing 10 in one innings but probably every 3 days to help with recovery.

Remember this isn’t about a six pack, to do that you need great nutrition and cardio - I just eat a well balanced diet and do some Les Mills classes in the week. It is about having a solid core under whatever your mid rift looks like, doesn’t matter if it’s a bit flabby, you’ll feel the core muscle under that beginning to build.

I continued over a 3 month period, small increments, gaps in days to recover, kept doing it as I could feel my abs beginning to tighten up which gave me more motivation. After 3 months, I was doing 50 per innings, which I can now do twice a day, each round takes no more that 10 minutes and it has strengthened my core and lower back x100, for £9.99! I have joined gyms, spent money on all sorts of stuff to try and achieve what I have done for £9.99! I even take it on the road with me, hotel stay? I’ll be packing my ab roller, it takes 10 minutes, brilliant!

When doing ab rolls, I do them from my knees like this:

Starting Position Starting Position

Stretch Out Stretch Out Position

Ending Position Ending Position

Some people have progressed to do these from a stand up position. Either way, start small, progress at your own pace and it will pay off.

The Pso-Right.

Okay this is a weird one, I suggest you read this and then come back to me.

[Why is your Psoas may be the most important muscle in your body] (https://www.drnorthrup.com/psoas-muscle-vital-muscle-body)

Hello, welcome back. Interesting read right? The Psoas, when stretched has been known to release all sorts of feelings of stress, anxiety and past trauma, if you do Yoga - you’ll know it gets a good stretch out during a class, if you don’t do much stretching this the Pso-Right maybe for you, as it works great for me.

How I use it:

Took me a week to settling into this, but slowly I got used to actually lying face down on it so it wrapped itself around my core abdomen, to the point where I could almost lie flat with just a touch of support from my elbows. I probably did this twice a day for a minute or so.

Like this: Pso-rite initial position

Once I conditioned to it, and I won’t lie - it does feel uncomfortable at first but stick with it, it feels fine after a week or so, I was ready to start some Psoas stretching.

The best way to demonstrate how to ‘Release the Psoas’ is by watching this intro video:

How to Release the Psoas

Psoas release

I have been using this now for about a year, I using it during audio calls mostly or when I just take a break from my computer, maybe before some ab rolls. I even take it on the road with me whenever I am away from home I pack my ab roller, and my Pso-rite.

Last Item = My Meditation Cushion

Again I use this mostly during audio calls on during breaks away from my computer. Another thing I find invaluable for like £30. I usually use it for 5-10 mins at most, I position myself crossed legged just like this (back totally straight):

meditation cushion

I start by stretching my neck with slow head extensions up and down, then from there, I just tune into my presence for 5 mins or so, intently listening to what is going on around me, listen to my breathing, tune into the sensation of heat throughout my body, my heart beating, try and bring in the consciousness behind the thinker, not consciously labelling anything I hear of feel or see.

I do these routines and a few others one after another.You don’t need a quiet place and once you get the hang of it, it is totally energising. I do it before calls, or any situation where I need to prepare myself mentally, I’ll do it during calls where I am not really going to be talking, just listening, and during breaks away from my computer.

Once I am done, I’ll take a nice long stretch forwards towards my toes and after that, I am ready to take on anything all over again.

That’s it - happy working :D

This post is also available on DEV.