In the article from earlier this year, Exercise Right At Your Desk, we found ways to make slight adjustments each day to benefit our well-being. Let’s continue to make a conscious effort to be active, even for a few minutes throughout the day. Although many American workers follow a fitness routine of hitting the gym before or after work, too many others are only exercising on weekends and often not at all.
You may feel pressure to get to the office early in order to get things done before phone calls, emails and meetings overtake your day. By the time the workday is over, even when you are lucky enough to leave on time, you are often too tired to even think about stopping to work out before going home. Then, when you get home, the last thing you want to do is turn right around and go back out.
Research has shown a few short years of inactivity can add up to 50 pounds to your frame. So, here are some additional quick exercises you can do right at the office and some while sitting at your desk! Try these out along with the exercises we shared in the previous article.
- Neck - Stretch your neck by tilting your head (slowly) forward, backward, and side-to-side, holding it in each position for a count of 10. Do this 5 times.
- Arms & Shoulders - Take your left arm across your chest and use your left hand to pull against your right shoulder. Repeat this step using your right arm and left shoulder. Do this 5 times.
- Back & Legs - Lean forward at your waist while standing to bring your chest as close to your thighs as you can. (Be careful not to fall over). Keep your legs as straight as possible to stretch your hamstrings at the same time. Do this 5 times.
- Thighs - While standing beside your desk, and holding yourself up by leaning your right hand on the desk, grab your left ankle and pull it upward toward your buttocks. Hold it there for 20 seconds. Now, turn the other way and repeat by leaning on your left hand and grabbing your right ankle.
Now, before proceeding to office exercises, take few minutes and just walk around the office. Go to the lobby area, get some coffee or water, visit the printer/copier, etc., just to get the blood flowing.
- Legs - Standing in front of your chair, sit down and stand up 10 times. Do this 3 times during the course of the day.
- Shoulders - Raise your shoulders as high as you can up toward your cheeks and then roll them forward 10 times and backward 10 times. Do this 3 times during the day.
- Curls - Purchase a 2-lb or a 5-lb dumbbell from your local sporting goods store and keep it at your desk. When on a long phone call, grab the dumbbell with your free arm and do 20 curls. Be sure to straighten your arm all the way down, and bring the curl all the way up to your shoulder. Try and get this in 3 times a day with each arm.
- Dips - Push your chair back and place your hands on the edge of your desk. Now, lower yourself by bending your legs so your buttocks goes about six inches below the seat of your chair. Use your legs and arms to pull yourself back up. Do this 10 times.
- Push-Ups - Again, placing your hands on the edge of your desk, step back about 2 feet so you are actually leaning against the desk. Now, using your arms, lower yourself toward the desk edge, and then use your arms to push yourself back up. Do this 10 times.
We often miss easy opportunities to simply take a few extra steps each day by parking in the closest parking spot we can find, or always taking the elevator instead of the stairs. Here are a few “extra step” ideas.
- Walk to Work / Lunch - If you live close to your office and weather permits, walk to work a couple of days a week. If you frequent a lunch venue near your office and weather permits, walk to lunch and back as a part of your lunch hour.
- Bus Stops - If you take the bus to work, get off at the bus stop prior to yours and walk the rest of the way. After work, walk back to that same bus stop to catch the bus home.
- Parking - Park in the parking spot furthest from your door and walk a little further to get inside.
- Walking Meetings - When meeting with a colleague or team, suggest everyone make it a walking meeting and discuss business while walking around the building or block.
- Take the Stairs - Use the stairs to get to or from your floor instead of the elevator. If you really want a workout, take the steps two-at-a-time.
- Interoffice Visits - If you need to talk with a co-worker, walk over to see them instead of using a phone call or an email.
Purchase a pedometer you can clip onto your clothing or wear on your wrist and use it to monitor how many steps you are taking each day. It may sound like a lot, but physicians recommend 10,000 steps each day for good cardio health. Drink water all day. Watch your calorie intake. Remember to check with a doctor before starting any exercise regimen.