Thursday, January 3, 2013

Does Exercise Help Your Sewing?

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

After completing another marathon quilt top I made a decision to start "exercising" this year. I love to sew and I don't stress about the seams but after about an hour at the machine my shoulders and back tense up and when I am rushing to finish a project I push through the pain and keep on sewing. 
So I have been doing some research on stretching and here's the plan I've come up with.

1. Find simple stretches that I can easily memorize and do without looking at directions.
Enter Pinterest! I'm loving this site and I started a special board with my ideas.

2. My focus seems to be on two areas. My shoulders and lower back. Both get fatigued after long hours at the machine and ironing board. (I guess I'm not used to sitting up straight.)

3. My Goal is to spend 15 to 30 minutes every morning doing some stretches and see if it improves my sewing endurance. I want to strengthen what I have, not gain muscles or get ripped. (ripped means lots of defined muscles, right?) 

I'm nervous about this since insulin is best absorbed in fatty tissue and needles hurt less going into fat than into muscle. It's because of this that I've had an aversion to exercising for years. But I want to be strong and not be a sewing hunchback by the time I'm 30 so I've decided to start small and see if it has any effect.

So how about you? Do you exercise regularly? Do you have any secrets for beating sewing fatigue? 

PS. My favorite stretch for relieving cramped shoulder muscles after a long time at the machine was best described in this video here.

2 comments:

madeonthecouch said...

This may sound nuts, but I bought a fitball (like the one in your picture) to use as my sewing chair. I'm studying physiotherapy at uni, so posture is a big thing for me (if I hurt my back, there goes my job!) and I needed a way to make sure I was ok when I was at my desk for hours and hours at a time. Rather than getting another chair I could slouch back in, or hunch forward in, I bought a fit ball! It's pretty awesome, and I can cut, sew and sit at my computer with it! Only one downside- you have to be careful with pins... This way, when you've been at the machine or computer for a while, when I need a moment, I lie back across the ball and stretch out my spine, and boy it feels amazing. That's my excessively long comment done!

EmSewCrazy said...

Thanks for the reply! I had heard of using an exercise ball and wondered if it really works. Now I know! Thanks for the tip!