Please The Palate Pick of the Week: Deskercising with Mika Leah of the Goomi Group

Sitting at a desk all day can be a pain in the back, literally. We sit and sit and sit and sit. So, when I was invited to participate in a virtual networking event with women from my alma mater UC Santa Barbara that included deskercising, I was in! And that is why Deskercising with Mika Leah of the Goomi Group is the Please The Palate pick of the week.

Mika Leah is a UCSB graduate and the Founder and CEO of Goomi Group. Mika has always been a fitness fanatic. While studying Psychology at UCSB, she worked out regularly and ate healthy. She did not smoke or take drugs. She is a certified Yoga instructor and was a Spin teacher. Mika even ran a 1/2 marathon two months after her daughter was born. But at the age of 33, while on a hike, she felt a pain down her arm. She went to a cardiologist who said she was fine but she demanded a stress test. Within 8 minutes into a run, she was at a pain level of 8 out of 10. Three weeks after her 33rd birthday, Mika had emergency heart surgery and found out that her left main artery was 98% blocked (what is often known as the “widowmaker”). Mika has since survived 5 heart stents and 3 invasive heart procedures, all before she turned 36.

Mika is a young heart disease survivor. It was Mika listening to her body and advocating for herself that she is here today. She left the corporate environment where she had worked in marketing and advertising and started her corporate wellness company Goomi Group. With more than 350 fitness instructors nationwide, Goomi Group helps companies develop wellness in the workplace.

Even if we do not work for a company that institutes wellness in the workplace, it is something we can all do ourselves. As someone who has worked from home for almost a decade, it is easy to get stuck at my desk all day and forget to stand up and stretch. But Mika offered some great tips of what we can do while sitting at our desks all day (this also applies if you sit in a car for long drives).

Here are a few simple stretches you can do while you are typing an email or talking on the phone!

While sitting, do the Cat/Cow stretch (the same one you normally do when on all four on the floor).

White sitting, stretch your psoas muscle by crossing one leg over the other, in a figure four, and then lean forward from the waist.

Stretch your shoulders and back using the back of your chair or your desk.

Cross one arm across your chest and then loop the opposite arm around it and hold.

Stand up and raise your arms up in the air and then lower your arms like a football goal post. Then raise your arms straight up in the air and slowly roll down and touch your toes (bend your knees) and then slowly roll up.

Heart disease is the #1 killer of women in the United State. 1 in 3 women will be affected by heart disease in their lifetime. 1 woman dies every 80 seconds from a heart attack. Only 65% of women will actually call 911 when they feel something is wrong. Our heart health is of the utmost importance. We all need to remain flexible and healthy! And Mika offers “wellness made simple”. Listen to your body and make sure to stretch!

If you want to learn more, check out Goomi Group. They are currently offering FREE classes every Thursday at 9:30am PST (12:30pm EST).