10 easy exercises to do at the office
When added up, the amount of time you spend sitting at your office desk, on your commute to and from work and in front of the TV, then you have a recipe for disaster. To help you move more, we’ve put together 10 simple (and fun!) exercises to do at the office to get your pulse racing.
Sitting for long periods of time is extremely unhealthy for your body and has been compared to other damaging habits like smoking and a bad diet. Spending too much time on your tush has been linked to weakened muscles, severe backache, bad posture, depression and anxiety and even heart disease. Exercise is the most effective way to avoid these nasty ailments.
If you’re thinking ‘where will I get time to exercise at work?’ then worry no more. Battle the adverse effects of too much sitting with these 10 exercises that you can do every day while replying to emails or even on your lunch break:
1. Take the stairs!
Walking past the elevator and opting to use the stairs will give you a good cardio and muscle workout.
If your office is on the ground level, take the stairs elsewhere like at your local grocery store. Once your daily route isn’t as challenging anymore, take five minutes every hour to run down the stairs and back up again. That’ll get your heart racing in no time.
2. Walk more by changing small habits
While you’re at it, why not also tweak other daily routines so you’ll walk more. Park your car at the farthest end of the shopping centre or walk down every aisle while you’re grocery shopping so you’ll get those extra steps in. These small tweaks will soon help you feeling and looking better!
3. Do the bum squeeze
Next time you’re stuck in a boring meeting, squeeze your glutes as hard as you can. Hold for 5-10 counts and release.
Do these until your meeting is over or when you’re tired. By activating and releasing these muscles, it’s almost as if you’re doing a light version of weight training. Who knows, after six months of meetings you’ll get a more defined rear end.
4. Prayer press and release
Start by putting your hands together palm to palm in front of your chest, almost as if you would while praying.
Then push your arms together with great pressure until you feel your arm (and even your chest muscles) contract. Push your hands together for 20 counts and release.
Repeat the sequence two to three times daily, or more if it becomes too easy, and say goodbye to flabby arms.
5. Under the desk leg lifts
If you’re able to (and if you have enough desk space without kicking Dave from accounting that’s sitting across from you) do leg lifts!
Simply sit up straight and keep one foot on the floor while lifting the other. You’ll feel your leg and core muscles working together with this one.
Either keep the one leg lifted for 20 counts, or for a more intense workout, do 20 tiny lifts by lowering your leg until your heel touches the ground, then lifting it again. When you’re done, alternate and do this as many time as you’re able to.
6. Stand-up meetings
If you’re able to, stand during meetings. Standing might not count as exercise but it sure is much better than sitting!
7. Ab fab squeezes
Another top deskercise is squeezing your abs and releasing. Keep your back straight, take a deep breath and as you exhale, squeeze your abdominal muscles together as hard as possible. Hold this for 5-10 counts and release. Repeat throughout the day.
8. Lunch break lunges
Instead of sitting and enjoying your lunch, why not do lunges in between bites?
Simply hold your sandwich (this isn’t part of the exercise, we just love a good sandwich) and take one step forward while keeping your upper body straight. After stepping forward, lower one leg and your hips until both knees are bent at 90-degrees. Then lift your leg up and repeat with the other leg.
Yes, these are exactly the same lunges that you’ll see at the gym, only it’s done during your lunch break, and after every lunge reward yourself with a bite of your delicious sandwich.
9. The coin squeeze
This one may seem easy at first, but can be brutal. While sitting in a meeting or at your desk, take a coin from your purse or wallet and place it between your knees.
Keep your feet hip distance apart and hold the coin there until the meeting is over or you’re done replying to your boss’s email. If this doesn’t pose too much of a challenge for you, then squeeze the coin even harder!
10. Light stretching
Light stretching throughout the day is very important and can help ease tense muscles and even relieve stress and anxiety.
Stretch your back muscles by simply tilting your head to the front and then side to side. You’re doing it now, right? Remember to breathe!
Stretch your arm muscles by holding your arm straight, and then use your other arm to pull your fingers backwards and forwards with your arm still extended.
Don’t forget your legs! While sitting (or standing) flex and release your foot. You’ll feel a light stretch down your calves into your thighs.
So, without further ado, let’s all do a few leg lifts or bum squeezes while we carry on surfing the net. I’m doing one now!