5 Simple Yet Effective Exercises You Can Do At Your Desk
When it comes to work, most of us have a routine right? Checking emails, attending meetings, and let's not forget the 100th coffee required to get through the day. However, we have come to realize that, continuously sitting for 8 hours each day is not good for your mind, body, and soul. The World Health Organization has recognized physical inactivity as the fourth largest reason for deaths in today's world.
Research indicates that sedentary lifestyles can adversely influence bone health and also result in a higher risk of Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular illnesses.
In simple terms, don’t be a desk potato!
We need regular exercise in order to remain fit and healthy but it may not be easy or feasible, especially when your job demands you to sit for better parts of the day.
To break up the sedentary marathon in your office chair, incorporate exercises into your workday, right at your office desk and this will feed your body bursts of energy. The benefits of this you ask?
Well, it stimulates the metabolism, causes blood to circulate, promotes concentration, and floods the body and mind with energy and sensational endorphins. Research also indicates that work-day exercise enhances mood, productivity, time management, and tolerance of tasks.
We handpicked 5 exercises that you can do right at your desk to help you be more active during your 9-5!
Standing Leg Curls
This basic exercise is a wonderful addition to squats and lunges since it works against the quads: hamstrings and glutes. All you have to do is, stand upright and hold your knees in line, with proper posture. Then, as your knee bends down on one side, squeeze up your glutes and pull your heel back towards your butt.
The muscles in the back of your thigh (hamstrings) should feel the contract.
Complete 12-15 reps on one leg and then switch sides.
You can hold on to the sides of your table for better balance.
This exercise helps with engaging your core and if you want to level up, then hover your hands over your desk rather than holding on.
Arm Pulses helps with stretching out your shoulders and works on your triceps. For this exercise, you will have to stand up at your desk with arms by your sides and palms facing behind. For 20 reps pulse the arm backward and then forwards. Remember to keep your arms straight as long as possible.
For effective leg straighteners, you will have to sit slightly away from the backrest of your chair and raise a leg from the ground about 3 inches.
Once you lift your leg, tighten your leg muscles and hold for 5-10 seconds.
Relax and repeat the same on the other leg.
This exercise works on your quadriceps which works on increasing blood circulation along with knee and hip stability.
Seated Quad Squeezes
If you suffer from knee pain then this is a good alternative for squats or lunges. For this exercise, you will simply have to sit up straight at the edge of your chair (Don’t fall please!) and place your hands on the chair on the sides of your thighs. Your focus here should be on contracting your quads to then straighten your legs by lifting your feet and shins ensuring it is parallel to the ground.
Stay in this position for 2-3 counts and then lower by bending your knees. You can do 10-15 reps on each leg. Seems too easy? You can always increase the intensity by throwing on a pair of ankle weights and increase your number of reps.
A simple yet very effective exercise particularly meant for individuals who use computers throughout the day (Exhibit A!). Nevertheless, these wrist stretches help with eliminating or relieving wrist pain and other harmful conditions in the future.
For this exercise, you have to stretch your arms, fist your palms and circle them clockwise and then anticlockwise.
Repeat this for 15-20 reps.
Few other quick ideas are shaking your hands to get rid of any tension or you can also use water bottles as weights for some advanced wrist curls.
Time to spread the word of movement!
Life might get in the way of our exercises and health objectives. However, by being aware of what you do and deliberately setting aside time to change things up throughout your working day, you'll start to notice an improvement over time.
A few other innovative ways to avoid sitting for 8 hours straight is to invest in a standing desk that encourages a healthier working environment. You can also purchase an ergonomic workstation or a treadmill desk where you can walk and work simultaneously.
You can always replace your work chair with an exercise ball if a standing desk is not practical.
Following any one of these ideas regularly can help keep your back mobile, improves posture, and helps boost energy levels. Strategically put aside time to shake things up throughout your day.
Remember- not to be a desk potato!
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