Remember when exercise and physically fit coincided with manual labor. No, you probably don’t.
There’s something to be said for manual labor-you can make a living and get your exercise all at the same time. So, what does this mean for the rest of us who are chained to a desk all day. Luckily, short bouts of aerobics, strength exercises, and stretching in between phone calls, meetings and reports can help improve your fitness level and overall health.
Try these exercises you can do at or near your desk; you probably won’t get six-pack abs, but you will burn more calories and improve strength.
· Fidget – Lift your feet off the floor and make circles with your feet – circle right and circle left, drop feet back on the floor and repeat. See if you can do this through an entire phone call.
· The soccer move – Stand in front of a small trash can and lift your leg and tap your toes on the top edge of the trash can. Repeat.
· Stairmaster – Don’t take the elevator. Take the stairs. You can start off slow one stair at a time; as you develop strength, take two stairs at a time. Feel the burn!
Take a walk. Instead of sending lazy emails to your co-worker two doors down, walk as quickly as you can to their office and put in some face-time.
Holding up the wall – Standing with your back against the wall, bend the knees and slide your back down the wall until the thighs are parallel to the floor. Sit and hold for 30-60 seconds. Try crossing the right ankle over the left knee, hold for 15 seconds, then switch!
Reach for the stars – Reach above your head and stretch your arms straight up reaching for the ceiling for at least 10 seconds. Next, stretch your right arm higher, then the left.
Pedal your Bicycle – Work out those abs. While seated, scoot to the edge of your chair. Hold onto the arm rests and start bringing each knee up to your chest, pretending to be riding a bicycle. Focus on smooth pedaling at a steady pace.
Circle the Globe – this is a good exercise to do during your break. Find an empty conference room or an area with some space. Moving your arms back and forth vigorously enough can raise your heart rate as well as, running does. It also strengthens and works your shoulder blade muscles. Hold both of your arms up and out, extended away from your body and facing outward to your left and right. Bring your arms up and start making big circles to the left and right of your body, above the head and down to the knees.
Movement is an essential element for staying fit. Start today to work movement into every part of your day. This can be as simple as choosing the furthest parking spot away from the door; taking the stairs instead of the elevator; standing up and moving away from your desk throughout the day. Do everything as energetically as you can and don’t be embarrassed if someone catches you holding up the wall.