We all know that our bodies were not made for sitting all day in an office, but with the development of technology, many of us are tied to a desk or table now more than ever. Sure technology has allowed us to be mobile with the use of an iPad or laptop, but I don’t think there are many people out there who have perfected the art of running and calculating budgets on a laptop. If you have, please share, because we would all love to know how!
To help you combat the sitting phenomenon, here are 5 quick and easy office exercises you can do periodically throughout the day. No, these activities will not make you sweaty, but they will ease the tension from your shoulders and neck, relieve the stiffness you may be feeling in your back and get the blood pumping back into your legs. Try to work yourself up to doing them at least once an hour. Once you do, this will make a big difference in how you feel by the end of the day.
1. Walking in Place – Simple and easy. Get out of your chair and start walking in place and swinging those arms. Try this for 3 minutes or more. And for those of you with a fitness counter, this is an easy way to increase your steps.
2. Plie Squats – Take a wide stance with feet, legs and toes pointed outward. Slowly bending your knees in the direction of your toes, but remember to not let your knees go past your toes. Slowly come up. Do two sets of 10 squats.
3. Chair/Table Arm (Tricep) Dips – Only complete this exercise on a stable chair. If you have on heels (like I do in the picture), then use your desk or a very sturdy table. Sit on the edge of a chair with hands on the seat or place your hands on the table behind you (seen in picture). Place feet, with knees bent and hip – width apart. Slowly move your body off the chair so only your hands and feet are supporting your weight (as seen in the picture). Slowly bend your elbows, lowering body towards the floor to a comfortable position and then slowly raise back up. Do this exercise 8 – 10 times. Then move your body back onto the chair or stand up. Rest for a few seconds and repeat. Retain a straight back during exercise.
4. Elevated/Modified Pushup – Use the wall or a sturdy table. Place hands on wall or table with arms straight. Walk feet behind you to a comfortable position, placing feet hip-width apart. Lower yourself toward wall or table bending at the elbows. Straighten arms, bending at elbows and pushup to original stance. Do this move 10 times, rest and repeat for another set of 10.
5. Overhead Arm Press – If you have a can of soup or several bottles of unopened water, this will add more weight. If not, just use your fists. Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent and arms by your sides. Bend your arms and raise your arms overhead to full arm extension, rotating palms to face forward. Then lower your arms back down. Raise your arms up and down again for 10 presses. Complete two sets of 10 reps.
You can certainly add more exercises to your routine or mix up your exercises throughout the day if you’d like. But once you finish, take a few moments to stretch some areas of your body that you did not focus on, such as your neck and wrists.
To stretch those stiff neck muscles, tilt your head to one side (ear to shoulder) and hold for 10 seconds and then slowly switch to the other side. Next, slowly bring your chin to your chest, and hold for 10 seconds and then slowly tilt your head back looking to the sky/ceiling and hold for another 10 seconds. (PS: These are great to do if you are participating in a conference call. Love these!)
Finally, loosen those wrists muscles by bending both hands and fingers down, hold for 10 seconds, and then pull them up and hold for 10 seconds. Try this move 3 times.
Like what you read? Try doing some of the exercises this week and let me know how it went. Remember to give your body a break by getting up and moving around at least once an hour or more. Your body AND your mind will LOVE you for it.