These easy exercises will do your body wonders!
The idea of exercising at your desk may seem a bit over the top. But in reality, it is vital to your long-term health. Thankfully, we aren’t talking about high-intensity exercises that will leave you in a pool of sweat. No, all that is necessary to improve your productivity, mood, and overall health prospects are simple, easy exercises you can do at your desk. The truth is humans were not meant to sit at a desk all day.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a sedentary lifestyle can largely be to blame for obesity, high cholesterol levels, high blood sugar and excess fat. These may not sound like death knells but they are all antecedents to more serious health problems. It may seem like an exaggeration, but the truth is these simple exercises you can do at your desk could be the difference between a healthy, fit and active life and one that is wrought with health complications.
The Cornerstone: Squats
Squats are a simple and easy way to exercise some of the biggest muscles in your body. Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and sit in an imaginary chair while keeping your back straight. Squatting is great for your lumbar spine, lower back, hips, legs, and thighs. Back pain is commonly associated with desk jobs. Thirty squats a day is one of the best ways to ease the tension in your back and stretch out your spine. Not to mention, you’ll be building that booty, which can’t hurt anyone!
Old Faithful: Push-ups
If the idea of getting on the floor at work is untenable, fear not; push-ups can also be done at your desk. Merely place your hands at the edge of your desk, angle your body and do a push-up as if your desk was the floor. It may not be as effective as a horizontal push up but desk exercises aren’t meant to get you into fighting shape. These desk exercises are meant to fight off the consequences of hours of sitting.
Easy Peasy: Calf Raises
Calf raises are the simplest exercise on this list. Stand behind your chair for support and go up on your toes. Hold that position for a second and put your heels back to the floor. That’s it. Do 3 sets of 10 and you’re all set. Calf raises are a great way to stretch your legs without doing laps around your office.
Squats Part Deux: Lunges
Lunges are essentially squats but done one leg at a time. Standing feet together, simply step forward and drop the back knee to the floor. Let that knee lightly touch the ground before standing up and bringing both feet back together. Repeat with opposite leg. The motion is similar to proposing, just 10 times on each leg.
Up The Intensity: Wall-Sits
This exercise is a bit more intense than the previous few, depending on the duration. Wall sits are simple. Find a wall, press your back against it, slide down to sit in an imaginary chair and hold that position. Soon you will feel the burn in your legs. This is a great desk exercise to combat all the damage done to your back while sitting for hours on end. We recommend 10-30 seconds per wall sit.
Curls for Girls or Guys: Bicep Curls
This may seem like a desk exercise that requires some equipment. Not so fast. If you’d like to work on your gun show, place your hand flat under your desk. Then, with your elbow at a 90-degree angle, exert an upward force against your desk for six to 10 seconds. You can adjust which part your arm your exercising by changing the height of your chair. With consistency, you’ll be ready for tank tops on casual Friday in no time!
Gun Show Part 2: Dips
Bicep curls are for the front of your upper arm; dips complete the gun show by working your triceps. Stand with your desk or stationary chair behind you and hold the edge with both hands. Let your arms take your weight and sit until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Then push yourself back up using your arms. Do three sets of 10 and watch as your arms build definition in no time.
Get Your Childishness on: Chair Swivels
This particular exercise you can do at your desk may be your boss’s least favorite but it is likely to be yours. Sitting in your chair, grab your desk edge with only your fingers and thumbs. Then, swivel back and forth 15 times with your feet off the floor. You’ll be working your core while going back to your days spinning in circles as a kid. Core muscles are one of the most important for those working desk jobs as strong abs will keep back pain at bay.
You Might Look a Little Crazy: Jogging in Place
This exercise is pretty self-explanatory. It is also the best exercise on this list for getting your heart rate going. Elevating your heart rate for short period is the most healthy exercise you can do. Your heart obviously is what keeps everything running smoothly so having it in good shape greatly behooves any person. Unfortunately, you may look slightly manic jogging in place. However, when you are in 80’s and still in fighting shape, you’ll be glad you did it.
Easy Legs: Chair Leg Lifts
Another easy lower body exercise you can do at your desk is leg lifts. Sit on the edge of your chair, back straight and raise one leg until it is straight and hold for two seconds. Then repeat 15 times for each leg. Many people don’t realize that generally back pain is caused by leg issues. After all, everything is connected. By having strong, fit legs you’ll be doing your back an amazing service.
86% of workers in the United States have desk jobs. And the fact of the matter is, sitting for extended period of time is egregiously bad for your health. Yet, that doesn’t mean you need to join a gym or hire a personal trainer. 20-30 minutes of exercise a day, like doing these exercises you can do at your desk, goes a long way in fighting the effects of a sedentary lifestyle. If you just make a conscious effort to stand up and walk around every 40 minutes or so, you’ll be doing your long-term health a giant favor.