We know it’s not easy to find time for exercise. With mounting “to-do’s” and growing lists of responsibilities, weaving more activity into your life can be a definite challenge. But don’t be discouraged! Start small to grow big and watch the little victories compound! You can start right from your desk! The time is now. Get up and get going!
1.Take a stand!
We love to sit. Be it at your desk or on your couch, the average Canadian spends an average of 9.5 hours a day sitting. In fact, the odds are you’re sitting right now! And we know if you’re sitting, it’s safe to say you aren’t moving. Though sitting is good for giving your limbs a break, being sedentary for too long isn’t good for your heart or joints. Sitting too long encourages muscle stiffness and pain and has been linked to heart disease and diabetes. Stand up and get your blood moving! Take intermittent breaks throughout the day to leave your work station and move around. Whether that be to the park or to the breakroom, take time out of your day to be sure you’re moving around.
2. Calf raises
Your calves hang on to a lot of tension, particularly if your shoes have high arches. Calf raises build the gastrocnemius muscle which can help improve stability, balance and strength in the leg. In fact, this exercise is very popular for many athletes, strength trainers and even those in rehabilitation for those reasons. But how simple are they, you ask? Stand behind your chair and slowly raise yourself off the floor with your heels floating 1-2” off the ground. Slowly lower yourself back to the ground. Perform 4 sets of 12 repetitions.
Sitting still for long periods of time can leave you a little less limber than to taste. Try any of these stretches for an instant energy boost:
- Sun salutation – extend both arms up and slowly drop them to your sides.
- Shoulder shrugs –raise your shoulders up to your ears and hold for 3 seconds. If you feel a crick on one side, roll your shoulders outward to release tension.
- Chest opener – front seated, straighten your spine and interlace your fingers behind your back. Hold for 3 deep breaths. Release and repeat as needed.
4. Sit squats
Although squats may seem intimidating, this exercise is both easy and effective. From your desk, sofa or anywhere you may be sitting right now, plant your feet shoulder width apart and spring up quickly through your knees, lower slowly back into your chair. Keeping proper form is important here to make sure your muscles are getting the bend and bounce needed to give them a boost. The benefit? You’ll be giving your lower body, such as your quadriceps, hamstrings and calves a good workout. Squats are also good for overall core strength and can help improve your range of motion. Plus, we’d be lying if we said doing a few sets of these wouldn’t get your heart beating a tad faster.
Have any workouts you like to do on the go? Share them in the comments below!Sources:
- Boldt, E. (2017, July). Boost Your Metabolism at Work! Retrieved from https://draxe.com/exercise-to-do-at-your-desk/
- Corliss, J. (2015, January). Too much sitting linked to heart disease, diabetes, premature death. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/much-sitting-linked-heart-disease-diabetes-premature-death-201501227618