Increasingly sedentary lifestyles have been blamed for problems with health and obesity all around the world. When you spend most of your waking hours at your desk in an office, it can be hard to find the time to get in the exercises that you need to get in shape and stay healthy. Taking exercise doesn’t mean that you have to find time to get yourself to the gym every day. Sometimes all you need is a few simple activities that will get you through the day, increasing core strength and burning excess energy as you go along.
- Correct Your Posture
Didn’t think that improving your posture was exercise? Think again. Lifting your shoulders and straightening your back relies on muscles in your lower abdomen, all the way up to your shoulders and neck. Making an effort to both sit and stand strait will increase your core strength, which can allow you a healthier metabolism. Pay attention to prevent yourself from slouching. You may be surprised in the first week as to how difficult yet effective this simple change actually is.
- Stretch Often Throughout the Day
Stretching wont build muscle, and it burns very few calories, but it can help to keep muscles, joints, and ligaments healthy. Stretch from head to toe, beginning with your neck. Roll your joints in gentle circular motions, and extend your limbs and hold positions for three seconds. You will notice that joint movement also works your muscles, especially in the case of calves/ankles, and wrists/forearms.
- Get Creative with the Copier
Imagine the amount of time you spend each day watching the copier spit out page after page. Use this time to tone your legs and increase strength. Standing leg lifts build strength in the leg used for support, and tones the leg being raised. Place both hands on the copier for support, and swing your leg forward and back in controlled motions for 30 seconds. Try to reach as far towards your back as possible, without over extending if you’re not too flexible. Alternate between legs. A few minutes a day of this simple exercise can burn calories and improve muscle definition.
- Under Desk Leg Work.
You probably spend up to 90% of your day stationary at your desk, so make those minutes count. You can work abdominal and leg muscles with simple leg raises. Ensure you are sitting straight in your chair (remember that posture!) and raise one leg to be fully extended and raised to the level of your hip. Hold this in place for 15 seconds before alternating to your other leg. Repeat this exercise for up to 5 minutes at different times of the day.
- Increase Movement for Aerobic BenefitsMoving around is not usually a workout, but you can make it one. Opt to visit colleagues when possible rather than emailing them, and begin using the stairs instead of taking elevators or escalators. If you work in a high rise tower, begin by taking stairs a few floors at a time, before working up as your fitness increases. Simply increasing walking pace, and reducing the time you spend stationary at your desk will increase your total steps per day, helping to burn calories rather than gaining weight behind your desk.
Even in a busy office, there’s still time to fit in a little exercise. Office exercises won’t replace an otherwise unhealthy lifestyle, but in conjunction with healthy eating and regular walking or sports outside of work, they can help you to look and feel better than ever before.
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