Most of us work at least eight hours a day, and many of us work ten-to-twelve hours a day when you add in things like overtime, our daily commute, and the many times we work through lunch and breaks. If you are lucky enough to get eight hours of sleep at night, that only leaves four-to-six hours a day to do anything for yourself. Sometimes, after a long day, exercise may be on your mind, but can be the farthest thing from your reality.
Even if you cannot find or make the time to exercise in the traditional sense, there are things you can do to keep your muscles stretched and active, even while you are at work.
Simple Stretching –
- While sitting at your desk, simply stretch your hands up toward the ceiling, extending your arms as far as they will reach. Do this 5-10 times. This will help your shoulders and back as well.
- Stretch your leg muscles by straightening your legs, one at a time, under your desk. Do this 5-10 times for each leg.
- Stand behind and hold onto the back of your chair. Now, go up on your tip-toes. Do this 5-10 times. Afterwards, bend your knee and try to touch your heel to the back of your thigh. Do this 5-10 times also, for each leg.
- Find a sturdy wall and stand with your back against it. Bend your knees and slide down the wall until you are in a sitting position. Hold there for about a minute, and then slowly slide yourself back up. Do this 5-10 times. Just be sure you are not up against a dry-erase board!
Take More Steps –
- Park a little farther away from the office door. A few extra steps each morning and afternoon would not hurt! If you park in a garage, move up a couple of floors and take the stairs instead of the elevator. Helps you be healthier and leaves space open for your customers/clients. Win win for all.
- Take 15 minutes each morning and each afternoon to get up from your chair and just walk around the floor. Go around the outermost part of the office and work your way inward.
- If you are on a call, have a wireless headset, and do not need to be at your desk, walk around your office while you talk. Be sure, however, you are not disturbing your office mates.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever possible. You will not believe how quickly the extra steps will add up.
- Doctors recommend you take approximately 10,000 steps each day to stay in good cardio health. It sounds like a lot, but you will be surprised how quickly you can reach this goal. If you do not own a Fitbit®, buy a simple pedometer to clip on your clothing.
Just Stand Up –
- Research shows that standing actually burns calories. Also, to stand and balance requires the use of almost every muscle in the body. Exercise without actually having to move! What could be better than that? Some people even have desks that can convert to a “standing desk”, so they can change positions during the day if they choose.
Work Those Arms –
- Purchase a simple, two-pound weight from your local sports store. When you are on the phone, watching a webinar, or taking a training course, do a few arm curls with the weight. Try for 5-10 reps per arm, several times during the day.
- Go back to that same sturdy wall as before, but facing it from about two feet away. Now lean over and press your palms against the wall. Try a few “standing pushups”. Most people should be able to do 5-10 easily.
Other Important Stuff –
- Maintaining good posture is key to keeping your muscles from aching, and it requires the use of your muscles to keep good posture. (You just sat up straighter didn’t you? Great start !!) We are all guilty of either slouching in our chair, or rolling our shoulders forward while hunching over the computer screen. Adjust your chair height and back to keep your arms, feet, and hips at 90-degree angles to the floor. (Go ahead, adjust yours now)
- Watch your calories during the day. Exercise is great, but you should also watch what you eat and drink as well. There are FREE great apps to help you track this.
- Drink lots and lots of water. Recommended to drink ½ of your body weight in ounces. (so for a person weighing 200 pounds, drink 100 oz/day, or shoot for that goal once you are drinking at the least 64 oz a day) Coffee is good, but the caffeine can make you dehydrated. This is a good reason to switch to decaf. Your muscles need water to function and to keep from cramping up, so be sure you always have some with you.
Make it your goal to start making changes, one healthy habit at the time. You will love where you are in no time.
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