Most jobs require us to sit at a desk all day, but new studies are proving how detrimental this can be to our health. Working a full day and getting a workout in is a challenge for most people. After putting in an eight-hour day, who has the time or energy to go to the gym? There has to be a solution, though. The excuse of being too busy or too tired is no longer acceptable when heart disease and obesity continues to be a problem in our society.
Here are some simple exercises that you can do right at your desk:
1. Calf raises. Stand in front of a desk or other piece of furniture you can hold on to for balance. Raise your heels of the floor and slowly lower them.
2. Leg extensions. While sitting in your chair, extend your right leg until it is level with your hip. Hold as long as you are comfortable and then relax it. Alternate sides.
3. Chair squats. Lift your rear end off of your seat and hold for a few seconds.
4. Gluteal Squeeze. Tense up the muscles of your rear end and hold for a count of 10.
5. Chair dips. Place the palms of your hands on your chair and your feet on the floor. Move your rear end off of the edge of your seat. Bend your elbows and lower your body. Straighten your arms to return to the starting position.
6. Arm pump. Pump both of your arms over your head for 30 seconds.
7. Hip flexions. While sitting in your chair, lift your right foot a few inches off of the floor. Keep your knee bent at a 90 degree angle and hold the position as long as you are comfortable.
8. Water bottle weights. Use a full water bottle as weight to increase the difficulty of your work out. You can do front raises, overhead presses and bicep curls with a water bottle.
9. Abdominal stretch. Sit on the edge of your chair and stretch your arms out in front of you. While keeping your back straight, contract your abdominal muscles. Relax and repeat.
10. Curls. Cross your arms over your chest and sit up straight. Tense your abdominal muscles and curl your shoulders towards your hips. Hold for a few seconds.
You can make other small changes in your workday by taking the stairs instead of taking the elevator, bringing athletic shoes to take a walk outside your building at lunch, or just parking further from the building to have a brisk walk into the office. It’s those short bursts of energy that make the difference, so say goodbye to inactivity and engage and strengthen your muscles. It will improve your posture, energy and overall health!