We know it’s not easy to find time for exercise. When you combine mounting “to-do’s” and finding the general will, 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! Got a few stretches of floor you can clear off? You can start there! The time is now. Get up and get going!
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 working station and move around. Whether that be to the park or within your space, take time out of your day to be sure you’re moving around.
Your calves hang on to a lot of tension. 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:
Extend both arms upward and slowly drop them to your sides.
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.
Front seated, straighten your spine and interlace your fingers behind your back. Hold for 3 deep breaths. Release and repeat as needed.
Although squats may seem intimidating, this exercise is both easy and effective. From wherever you are seated, 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.