After a long day at work, the thought of exercising can seem out of the question. For the days you can’t get to the gym, try incorporating simple workout moves at your desk. All you need is a few minutes, and maybe the support of an officemate, to give these five desk-friendly exercises a try.
1. Chair Stand
For this exercise, you’ll need a steady desk chair. If your chair has wheels, keep them locked in place. Begin sitting in your chair with your knees stacked over ankles. Slowly stand up, using only the muscles in your hips and thighs, then lower yourself back into the chair. You may need to keep your arms out in front for balance. Repeat for a total of 10 times.
2. Calf Raises
Simply stand behind your chair and hold on for support. Balancing on one foot, begin to slowly lift your heel bringing all your weight onto your toes. Lower the heel back down. Repeat for a total of 20 lifts before switching to the other foot.
3. Bicep Curls
Keeping small hand weights at your desk is a great way to incorporate arm exercises throughout the day. Begin with your hands near your hips, palms facing forward. On an exhale, slowly curl the weight up toward your bicep, releasing your arm back to your side on an inhale. Repeat for a total of 10 times on each arm.
4. Desk Planks
This modified plank position will strengthen your core without doing a single crunch. Place your forearms on your desk and walk your feet back until your body creates a straight line. Come to your toes and straighten your arms; you’re now in a plank position. Remain in this position, building up to 30-second intervals. Rest before repeating four more times.
5. Open Chest Stretch
Sitting at a desk all day can affect your posture and cause you to hunch forward. Reverse this closing with an open chest stretch. Interlace your fingers behind your back, drawing your hands toward your tailbone. Begin to slowly lean forward, as you begin to feel the stretch across your chest. Hold for 10-15 breaths, letting your shoulders fall away from your ears with each exhale. Bring your hands back to your sides when you’re finished.
Finding time throughout the week to exercise is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. In addition to regular exercise, regular checkups with your primary care physician are a great way to stay on top of your health. If it’s been awhile since your last checkup, schedule an appointment with a Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group doctor.
American Heart Association | How to Be More Active at Work
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