Health

7 Mini Workouts to Try at Work

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Regular exercise takes a fair amount of discipline and dedication. The most common excuse we tell ourselves is that we are busy working and lack time to really get the blood pumping. Putting in a full day at the office undoubtedly makes it hard to find the time to exercise. However, there are times when there is a moment between tasks so why not take advantage of a few spare minutes in the office, to get some physical activity in? No promises of an extensive work out, but you can get enough exercise so that when you miss a day or two of a more vigorous activity, it won’t be that bad.

Spend 30 seconds on each of the following moves, and try to do the mini workout several times a day. Although these exercises are no replacement for a real workout, you can avoid some of the discomfort such as sore wrists and stiffness from sitting at a desk for too long.

1. The Chair Dip

While seated, place each hand firmly in the centre of the armrests. Lift your feet a few inches off the ground and engage your stomach muscles. Then press down with your hands to raise your body up off the chair, until your arms are straight. Hold for one count, and then lower into the chair. Keep in mind though that this exercise should only be done if your chair has sturdy armrests that can support your body weight! (Only one real way to tell, though.)

2. The Desk Pushup

Stand up and face your desk. Place your hands shoulder-width apart against the edge, and then step back so you’re about three feet away from the desk. Make sure that you keep your back and legs in a straight line, and then do push-ups against the desk. Lower down until your chest almost touches the edge, and then push yourself back up. Repeat.

3. The Seated Reverse Crunch

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Scoot forward so that you’re closer to the edge of your seat than to the back, and place your hands on the armrests. Put your knees together and slowly pull them up off the ground as close to your chest as you can get them. Hold for a beat, then slowly lower down. Try keeping your back straight, rather than rocking back and forth.

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4. The Wall Sit

Wall sits are great for building strength and endurance. Standing with your back against the wall, bend the knees and slide your back down the wall until the thighs are parallel to the floor. Sit and hold for 30-60 second. For some extra burn, try crossing the right ankle over the left knee, hold for 15 seconds, then switch!

5. The Stair Master

Take the stairs. If you need a harder workout, try taking them two at a time — you’ll get a chance to stretch your legs more than you would otherwise. It’s not Workjust healthy, but sometimes it’s actually faster to take the stairs, especially during peak times when elevators take a long time to arrive at your floor.

6. The Silent Seat Squeeze

Some “deskercises” can be kept under wraps, and this isometric glutes exercise is one of them. To start toning, simply squeeze the buttocks, hold for 5-10 seconds, and release. Repeat until the glutes tire. The results will be uplifting in more ways than one.

7. The Namaste

Seated upright with feet flat on the floor, bring your palms together in front of the chest and push both hands together powerfully until you feel the arm muscles contract. Hold the hands pushed together for 20 seconds. Release and repeat the sequence.

If you attempt to follow some of the routines above, chances are that you will notice a difference in your attitude and the way you view work. The hours you put in at the office may no longer seem so lengthy and you might even start looking forward to opportunities that will let you work out. If you keep forgetting to do your deskercises at work, then set a reminder or put up sticky notes on your desk. Or if working out at the office makes you feel slightly uncomfortable, seek out an empty conference room on a lunch break. These workouts are effective enough to keep you going ’til it’s time to clock out!

Source: The Expat Magazine June 2014

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