Aerobic activity, like running, walking and biking, just to name a few, is an essential part of getting and staying fit. But strength and flexibility training are just as important, and I’ve found some smart (and easy!) ways to work them into your work day. You may feel awkward doing exercises at your desk. But as you sit there at your computer, you are doing one of the worst things you can do to your body—sitting still—so let’s get moving!
- Stand a few feet away from your desk or counter and place your hands about shoulder-width apart on the edge. Your body will be at an angle.
- Keeping your shoulders down and away from your ears, your glutes tight and your body in one straight line from shoulder to feet, lower your body toward the desk or counter, allowing your elbows to bend to at least a ninety-degree angle.
- Exhale and push away until your arms are straight.
One Leg Stand
- When you get up from your desk, make one leg do most of the work. Instead of just standing up like you usually do—stand up on one leg. You may need to use your desk for assistance at first, but that’s okay.
- Sit tall on the edge of your chair holding one leg straight and foot off the floor.
- Using your desk for assistance, push through the heel of the foot on the floor and stand up.
- Put both feet back on the floor and sit back down.
- Repeat on the other side.
Stretch & Relax
- Just stand up and sit down—no hands
- If you stand up and sit down (over and over)—without using your hands—it can be a challenge. Do it while you’re on the phone; no one will know.
Work Your Hands
- Clench both fists, stretching both hands out in front of you.
- Make circles in the air, first in one direction, to the count of ten.
- Then reverse the direction of the circles.
- Shake out your hands.
Wrist and Forearm Spa Treatment
- Stretch your left hand out in front of you, pointing your fingers toward the floor. Use your right hand to increase the stretch, pushing your fingers down and toward the body. Be gentle (repeat with other hand).
- Now stretch your left hand out straight in front, wrist bent, with fingers pointing skyward. Use your right hand to increase the stretch, pulling the fingers back toward your body (repeat with other hand).
Upper Body Release
- Inhale and as you exhale, turn to the right and grab the back of your chair with your right hand, while grabbing the arm of the chair with your left.
- With eyes level, use your grasp on the chair to help twist your torso around as far to the back of the room as possible. Hold the twist and let your eyes continue the stretch—see how far around the room you can look.
- Slowly come back to facing forward (repeat on the other side).