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EASY STRETCHES THAT INCREASE YOUR FITNESS LEVEL, SUSTAIN YOUR HEALTH AND IMPROVE YOUR FEELING OF WELL BEING
COMPILED BY DEAN AMORY
ALSO AVAILABLE FOR FREE DOWNLOAD AT http://www.lulu.com/Spotlight/Jaimelavie
Elementary Workout Schedules for Office- and Home Workers
Copyright © 2012, Dean Amory. All rights reserved. ISBN 978-1-300-54375-6 All information contained in this book was found on the internet, where it is freely available to anybody. My conclusion, therefore, is that it is in the public domain. If anyone has conclusive information to the contrary, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org Published by Lulu.com For more copies of this book, please email: email@example.com Acknowledgement These workout guidelines do not constitute expert medical advice. If you have back, neck, spine, or other health problems, please consult with your physician before beginning any exercise routine. Although every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this book, the publisher and author assume no
responsibility for errors or omissions. Neither is any liability assumed for damages resulting from the use of this information contained herein.
INDEX What to expect from this document? ............................................................................................... 4 General Recommendations .............................................................................................................. 5 Four tips to receive more motivation for working out at home. ...................................................... 6 Four basic exercises that can be done anywhere! ............................................................................ 7 Desk exercises you can do at work or at home without even leaving your chair. ......................... 8 Do you have one of those rolling chairs?......................................................................................... 9 More Easy Stretches to Do at Work............................................................................................... 10 Desk Fitness: A Series of 11 Simple Stretches .............................................................................. 12 STRETCHES ALL DESK WORKERS SHOULD DO TODAY ................................................. 15 The Most Important Stretches if you spend your day at a desk ..................................................... 17 WORK IT OUT : Stretching in Your Workspace.......................................................................... 23 10 Simple Exercises for the Office ................................................................................................ 24 Working out at work ...................................................................................................................... 26 DESK EXERCISES TO INCREASE FLEXIBILITY................................................................... 27 Shaping Up at Home ...................................................................................................................... 30 TOP TEN HOME WORKOUT EXERCISES............................................................................... 32 The Total Body Workout in just 10 exercises............................................................................... 36 The Anywhere Workout................................................................................................................. 40 Work Out Of The Week #FitLife................................................................................................... 41 How To Work Out At The Office & At Home .............................................................................. 42 The Ultimate Bootcamp ................................................................................................................. 48 The ultimate Bootcamp - Alternative schedule: ............................................................................ 51 Easy desk stretches you can do any time, any place...................................................................... 53 MORE EASY EXERCISES .......................................................................................................... 54 Easy Desk Stretches ....................................................................................................................... 56 More Easy Computer and Desk Stretches...................................................................................... 57 Sitting is killing you....................................................................................................................... 58 How bad exactly is sitting? ............................................................................................................ 64 WHAT SITTING FOR LONG PERIODS DOES TO YOU (ARTICLE FROM BBC NEWS)... 65
What to expect from this document?
In case you did not know yet : SITTING IS KILLING YOU! Take a look at the information from MEDICAL BILLING AND CODING ORG, THE GUARDIAN and BBC NEWS at the end of this document.
I selected for you a series of workouts that you can easily do at the office or at home, a lot of them even while you are working or talking on the phone. The variety of schedules published here after, allows you to pick a different schedule every day and skip any exercises which you might not like or feel are unable to do at any given time. The intention is not that you should read this manual as a book, nor that you should execute complete lists of training exercises one after the other, but rather that you should single out a couple of exercises every day and actually do them. It might be a good idea to mark the exercises as you make your way through the manual, and indicate which exercises you find helpful at home or/and in the office. During work or/and during your personal pauses. REMEMBER: AT ANY GIVEN TIME, ALMOST ANY MOVEMENT IS BETTER THAN NO MOVEMENT!
If you work in an office or at home, you may find yourself living a very sedentary life, in which you are generally stuck at your desk all day in front of a computer screen. In such circumstances, it is essential for your health, fitness level en feeling of wellbeing to find some fitness exercises that you can do in the office or at home safely and without compromising your work requirements. Here are some general suggestions to start with. 1. Get out of your seat whenever possible! Don’t send that mail to your colleague who is working on the same floor: go over and tell them what you have to say. Stand up when answering the phone. 2. When to exercise? The best time is: NOW. Why not dedicate 5-10 minutes in the morning to do a few star-jumps or simple aerobics, then do some desk exercises a couple of times later in the day. Don’t do all your exercises at once. Build a daily routine and include exercises that you can repeat whenever you have a spare minute. 2. Have a wander – Don’t sit during your entire lunch break: in your lunch hour, why not walk down and get some fresh air. Just make sure you’re back in time! 3. Take the stairs – As many companies will be working above the ground floor, resist the temptation of the elevator and race up the stairs. 4. Walk/cycle to work – A simple one, but therein lies the beauty. Obviously if you are living too far away from your work, this is not feasible. Just consider it – if you think you can make it on a bike, try it! Read more: How to Exercise in the Office | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_4551899_exercise-office.html#ixzz2F82Mg700
Four tips to receive more motivation for working out at home.
1. Set your own rules When you go to gym, fitness clubs or outside places to work out, you have to follow their strict rules like dress code, behavior code, time limits, etc. This all does not bother you at home. You can choose your own rules or simply you can follow no rules to make it interesting. 2. Play some music Doing exercise while you are listening to some music makes you feel better. You can play some peppy number, instrumental or anything else that can give you energy without getting bored. Remember you can’t play music in most of fitness clubs, so avail the facility at home. 3. KISS (Keep it simple & short) Kiss is the best theory to make anything interesting. While you are doing exercise at home, keep it easy as much as possible and do alternate exercises to not to get bored. You can pick easy fitness exercises or you can replace them with other alternatives like jogging. You can include aerobics, meditation or yoga to avail more benefits in less time, if interested. 4. Set up a routine Exercising at home requires strict discipline else it is not going to be regular. However it offers you ultimate flexibility to choose appropriate time schedule as per your convenience, so grab the opportunity. But be disciplined and regular; make it a routine to attain full benefits. 5) Don’t know what to do? Dance! Besides being lots of fun, dancing has many great health benefits. You will gain flexibility, strength, endurance and a sense of well being just by throwing on your favorite tunes and getting your dance on! Source: idiva.com
Four basic exercises that can be done anywhere!
Source: Hellobeautiful.com People tend to think you need a lot of time, money and a fancy gym to exercise. This is not always true! Here are four basic exercises that can be done from your office, home or where ever you are! 1) Walking If you have stairs in your home, go up and down them a few times. Instead of waiting for the elevator, take the stairs. If you take a bus or train, get off a few stops earlier and walk the rest of the way. Whenever possible, just walk! It’s a great way to help tone up your legs.
2) Jumping Jacks
This calisthenic exercise works out your shoulders, back, thighs and calves. Start in a standing position with your feet together and your arms relaxed by your side. When you jump, move your feet apart until they are wider than your shoulders, while at the same time raising your arms over your head. Then jump back into starting position.
3) Leg lifts This exercise can also be done from sitting on a chair at your desk. Sit upright in the chair while lifting your legs until they are at a straight angle towards your hips. Lower your legs slowly and stop about 3 inches off of the floor. Hold your legs steady for about 2 seconds and then repeat.
4) Squats Knowing how to do squats properly can firm up your butt and legs rapidly. Stand with your legs evenly apart while keeping your toes, hips and knees in a straight line. Slowly lower your body as if you were going to sit in a chair, bending the knees. Hold the position for 2 seconds and then return to starting position. Then repeat 10-15 times for an intense work out.
Desk exercises you can do at work or at home without even leaving your chair.
An office job is no longer an excuse for skipping your workout. If you're feeling tense, take a five minute break and try a few of these exercises to help you relax. You can also do desk exercise on your lunch break. Remember, any amount of exercise keeps you moving and is beneficial to your health. 1. Lift one leg off the floor while sitting in your chair. Extend the leg straight out and hold for two seconds. Lower the foot but stop a few inches before you reach the floor. Hold for five seconds, and then switch to the opposite side. Perform this desk exercise 15 times on each side. 2. Place both hands on the arms of your chair. Slowly lift your bottom a few inches off of the chair. Hold for a few seconds and then return to the sitting position. Repeat this desk exercise 15 times to work the upper body. 3. Sit up straight in your chair. Stretch both arms up and over your head. Hold for 10 seconds, then reach both hands up as high as you can go, reaching from your spine. Hold for several seconds and then slowly bring your arms back down. Repeat the desk exercise as many times as comfortable to stretch the back muscles and relieve tension. 4. Shrug your shoulders. Lift shoulders up toward your ears. Hold for several seconds, then release and drop the shoulders down. Repeat this desk exercise at least three times to work the neck and upper back muscles. 5. Tighten your buttocks. Hold for five seconds. Release, and then repeat at least 15 times. This is a very unobtrusive under desk exercise and can be executed when others are in the room. 6. Do belly rolls when you are not typing! Move your belly in and out and until you are either out of breath or you can feel your stomach getting a work out. You will be surprised by how much of a work out this really is. Your stomach muscles will start to get sore but it will burn a little calories while your sitting down reading emails, articles or browsing the internet. 7. Shake your knees and feet. You can do this step even if you are typing. This will help with your circulation as well as keeping your body moving. Leg stretches are also recommended while working on the computer for long hours at a time. Move your legs in and out until you feel that the leg exercises are working. 8. Do head and neck exercises when you can. Moving your head in circles every once in a while will help you stay awake and motivated. You can also do shoulder exercises by moving your shoulders in circles. 9. Exercise your buns. While sitting on the desk chair, tighten and release your buttocks several times. This is recommended for those of you who work in a private or home office. If you are a customer service representative, wait until there is nobody around or you will get weird looks. 10. Exercise your wrists. When you are not typing on the keyboard, do circular wrist exercises. This will help you if you have temporary wrist pain or carpal tunnel syndrome. 11. Your desk is your bench – You can stay at your desk and still exercise – you could squat, or do triceps dips, or even use it balance yourself when you stretch for exercise.
Do you have one of those rolling chairs?
THEN DO A COUPLE OF THE FOLLOWING: 12. Place your hands on the edge of the desk and push yourself away from the desk and pull yourself back 10 times. Do 5 reps of this if possible. Make sure your feet are off the ground during this exercise. 13. Place your hands on the edge of the desk and twist your chair to the right all the way and hold for 10 long seconds (feet off the ground). Do the same to the left and hold 10 long seconds. Do four reps of each side. 14. While sitting on your chair, face your chair to a empty area and lift BOTH feet (until legs are parallel to the floor) and hold for 5 seconds. Clench your abs at the same time. You can use your chair arms for support. Do 10 reps. 15. While sitting in your chair, bicycle our legs in the air for 20 seconds. Do 10 reps. Read more: How to Exercise While Sitting at Your Desk | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_5777600_exercise-sitting-desk.html#ixzz2F84jrsOq How to Do Desk Exercise at Work | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_4784281_deskexercise-work.html#ixzz2F844yLcC How to Exercise in the Office | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_4551899_exerciseoffice.html#ixzz2F82Mg700
More Easy Stretches to Do at Work
By: Jeff Csatari; Photographs by: Beth Bischoff 1. Chest Elevation Sit in a chair with your arms at your sides and your feet flat on the floor. Gently raise your chest toward the ceiling, but don’t look up. Keep your chin level with the floor. Hold this position for 10 seconds, then relax, and repeat 5 to 10 times.
2. Scapular Retraction Get into the position for the chest elevation stretch while sitting, but this time place your hands on your hips. Squeeze your shoulder blades together, feeling the stretch in your chest. Hold for 10 seconds, then relax, and repeat the sequence 5 to 10 times.
3. Chin Tuck A/ Assume the chest elevation position while sitting. Keeping your chin level with the floor, pull your chin, head, and neck inward (not down). B/ To loosen stiff neck and shoulder muscles, drop your chin to your chest and stretch. You may also roll your head from side to side to stretch the side of your neck and the backs of your shoulders. Tip: Placing your finger on your upper lip may help guide your head through the proper range of motion and correct any mistakes. Hold for 10 seconds, then relax and repeat
4. Upper Cervical Spine Flex From the chest elevation position while seated, dip your head forward slightly as if you were nodding “yes.” Feel the stretch in the neck at the base of the head. Pause for 10 seconds, then relax and repeat 5 to 10 times.
5. Upper Back and Neck Scapular Strengthening
To strengthen the rhomboids, try this version of the scapular retraction. Stand upright. Clasp your hands behind your head. Flex your elbows back while pinching your shoulder blades together. Hold for 10 seconds, then relax, and repeat 5 to 10 times.
6. Rhomboid Range of Motion Stand upright. Clasp your hands behind you at the small of your back. Pinch your shoulder blades together. Hold for 10 seconds, then relax, and repeat 5 to 10 times.
7. Corner Chest Stretch Stand facing the corner of a room. Raise your hands to shoulder height, and place your forearms, elbows, and hands against each wall. Lean inward to stretch your chest muscles. Hold for 15 seconds (or until you feel loose). Tip: By raising or lowering the position of your arms, you can alter the stretch to focus on different parts of the pectorals.
Desk Fitness: A Series of 11 Simple Stretches
(Melanie Brooks) I spend an ungodly amount of time at my desk, staring at my large screen iMac. My body gets stiff, and sometimes numb. To help my muscles out, I frequently stretch at my desk. It not only makes my body feel better, but it gives my mind a break. If you’re like me your shoulders creep up to your earlobes with stress during the day. I hold all of my stress in my upper back and neck. And while I prefer a massage, I can’t get one every day. But this series of simple stretches help, and I can do them in the comfort of my own office chair. Why not give them a try yourself? 1. Chin Tuck To loosen stiff neck and shoulder muscles, drop your chin to your chest and stretch. I also like to roll my head from side to side to stretch the side of my neck and the backs of my shoulders. Take some time to relax and do this stretch—it feels so good.
2. Side Neck Stretch You can also stretch your neck muscles by simply turning your head from side to side. It might sound simple (and it is) but if you think about how much of our day is spent facing straight forward at our computer screens, turning your head from side to side every so often doesn’t sound so weird. You can also stretch your neck by tilting your head from side to side from a face-forward starting position. Do your ears touch your shoulders?
3. Shoulder Stretch This is another good shoulder stretch for you to try. You’re going to place one hand on the elbow of your other arm and pull it across the front of your body. Keep your back straight and face forward. Hopefully this will loosen your muscles and make your arms feel longer. Sometimes I feel myself slouching at my desk. My legs are crossed and it feels like my chest has caved in on itself. Gotta stretch that, too!
4. Chest Stretch Put your hands behind your head and point your elbows to the side. Feel a stretch by pushing your elbows as far behind you as possible, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Maybe you hold your stress in your lower back instead of your shoulders. A good office chair with lumbar support can help, but if you don’t have one (or it’s not enough) try stretching.
5. Lower Back Stretch All you have to do is sit forward in your chair and bring one of your knees towards your chest at a time. Use your hands to grab the back of your knee and pull towards you. Be sure to keep your back straight.
6. Back and Side Stretch
You can do this one standing up or sitting down. Interlace your fingers and lift your arms straight up over your head. Slowly bend side to side, feeling the stretch.
7. Seated Spinal Twist Sit sideways in your chair for this one. Put both feet flat on the floor and, while holding the back of the chair, twist. Turn the chair around to repeat. If you hear cracking in your back, congratulations! If not, that’s ok too. Not everyone’s bones and joints need to make noise. If you type as much as I do you either have carpal tunnel syndrome or strong arm muscles. Sometimes I don’t even realize how tight my forearms get during the day.
8. Forearm Stretch Stretch your arm out in front of you with your hand turned down, fingers pointed towards the floor. Use your other hand to gently pull the fingers towards your body. And if you sit as much as I do during the day, your hips probably feel cramped and closed up.
9. Seated Hip Stretch I love this stretch because it’s so simple yet makes such a difference. While sitting, cross one ankle over the knee on the other leg. Sit up tall and gently lean forward. You should feel a stretch in your glute and hip. Want a deeper stretch? Push down on the hanging knee. Oh yeaaaaaah.
10. Cat-Cow Stretch Put both feet flat on the floor and put your hands on your knees. On your inhale, arch your back and look at the ceiling. On the exhale, round your spine and let your head drop forward, your chin to your chest. Repeat until you are satisfied.
11. Seated Forward Bend This is a nice rush of blood to the head. Push your chair away from your desk to avoid giving yourself a concussion. Put both feet flat on the floor, interlace your fingers behind your back and straighten out your arms while folding at the waist. Bring the hands over your back and stretch. Rest your chin on your thighs and release your back. Don’t forget to breathe!
(Images courtesy of Jody Lew.)
STRETCHES ALL DESK WORKERS SHOULD DO TODAY
By Katherine Schreiber- Illustration by Shannon Orcutt
We know sitting at a desk all day is bad for us. But not everyone has a company gym membership or a workweek that allows for morning and afternoon fitness classes. So here are six stretches that loosen the muscles made most stiff by sitting. No gym equipment or extended lunch hours required! 1. Neck and Shoulders. Hunching over keyboards strains the cervical spine and stiffens our shoulders. On the next bathroom break, reach your arms behind you, and interlock your fingers so that your palms face. Lift your arms so you feel a stretch in your chest and front shoulders. Draw your chin down to avoid crunching the neck. (Of course, feel free to do this at your desk. Tell anyone who gawks to follow suit.) 2. Hip Flexors & Iliopsoas. These muscle groups are at an especially high risk of tightening after long days at a desk. Here’s a morning and after-work stretch to keep ‘em lengthy. Kneel on the floor (top of the shins and feet as your base, torso straight). Pick up your left leg and place the left foot on the floor, keeping the knee directly above ankle. Keep both hips horizontally aligned as you move your torso toward the wall in front of you, gliding the knee forward. You may feel a stretch in your calf and Achilles. Place the hands on the top of the left thigh for support. Hold for 30 second. Switch sides. Repeat. 3. Abdominals. Reach your arms above you and lean slightly back so your chest and throat point towards the sky. If you have difficulty balancing, keep your gaze forward or down to the floor. Repeat on the other side. 4. Obliques. From the original hip flexor stretch (low lunge, left foot forward, right knee and shin on the floor) reach your left arm to your side and touch the fingers to the floor or stack of books for support. Curve your right arm over your head reaching the right fingertips over the left side of your body. Hold for 20 seconds. Breathe. See if you can stretch a bit further, then return to a straight spine. Switch legs and repeat on the other side. 15
5. Lower Back & Lats. Sitting for too long rounds out our spine in all the wrong places. The muscles surrounding the lumbar spine get particularly weak while the hamstrings can go slack. Lie on your stomach on the floor or on a mat. Hard version: Lift your legs off the floor. Easy version: Keep the legs on the floor. Bend your elbows and interlock your fingertips behind your neck (thumbs on either side of your neck, pointing towards your upper back). Lift your chin, look ahead. Inhale while lifting your torso as far off the floor as you can, albeit gently, by tightening the muscles along your spine. Lower down on an exhale. Repeat 10 to 15 times. Now bend your knees and sit back on your heels (tops of the feet still touching the floor). Rest your torso on your thighs and your forehead on the floor or a pillow. Reach your arms out in front of you, walk the fingertips forward and retract the shoulder blades down the back. Keep your butt on your heels as you pick up your forehead and walk your hands over to the left, then to the right to throw in a lat stretch. 6. Whole Back/Spine & Hamstrings. De-stress your spine after it’s been chair-bound all day. Lie on your back, feet on the floor, knees bent. Draw both knees into the chest and gently rock. Then extend the left leg straight on the floor as you keep the right knee hugged towards the chest. Take a few breaths here and enjoy the hamstring stretch. Then, keep your right shoulder on the floor and guide the right knee across the midline of your body, towards the floor, with your left hand. It’s okay if your knee doesn’t touch the floor. Stop if you feel any pain at all. After 30 seconds, draw that knee back to center. Switch legs and repeat on the other side. This article was approved by Greatest Experts Jeanmarie Paolillo and Linda LaRue.
The Most Important Stretches if you spend your day at a desk
By and large most of my clientele spend the majority of their day sitting at a desk. They tell me that they have few if any opportunities to get up from their desk for any length of time. And if they do, it's usually to go to a meeting where they spend anywhere from 2-4hrs sitting again. As all of you know, sitting for long periods of time has significant consequences to your body. Especially your lower back, knees and sometimes wrists (depending how much time you spend on the computer). So let's get rid of that pain and discomfort. Below I have listed the 7 most important stretches if you're a person who is stuck at a desk for most of the day. I would encourage you to do these stretches a minimum of 1x/day. They will take you approximately 15-30 minutes to do. Not much time to invest to get out of pain. Think about it for a second. You spend 4-8 hours sitting. I'm just asking for 30 minutes a day to get you out of pain, and help you decrease your stress level. Sounds like a good investment to me.
This is Stretch#1. Position your body with your right leg bent at a 45 degree angle. Straighten your back leg with the toe facing the floor. Position your upper body so that your knee is in line with your sternum (chest bone). Hips should be parallel to the floor. You should feel no pain in the knee. If you do stop immediately. This pose is also know as Pigeon. Hold position for 7 breaths.
This is Stretch #2. Begin on your knees, with your knees out wide, resting on forearms. Then straighten one leg out to the side. Be sure that the toe of the straight leg is in line with the knee of the kneeling leg. If possible, reach out to touch toe of straight leg with same side hand. Repeat movement 3 times on both sides.
This is Stretch #3. With your calves against the supporting surface take a medium to large step forward. Place one foot, shoe strings down, on the stable support surface behind you. Kneeling down bring the back leg knee to the floor. Now if you're just beginning you may need to place a pillow under your knee for cushion and to decrease the intensity of the stretch. Be sure that the front leg knee is bent at a 90 degree angle and the shin is perpendicular to the floor. 18
Hold for 5-7 breaths. Repeat on other side.
This is Stretch#4. Begin with your head, forearms, shoulder blades, and butt against the wall. Feet should be 6-8" away from wall. Make sure there is minimal space between your lower back and wall.
Ending position for Stretch #4. Extend your arms up and out into a 'Y' position. Be sure to keep forearms and hands in contact with the wall at all times. Repeat movement 7-10 times.
This is Stretch #5. Taking a lunge position halfway through a doorway, use this inverted 'V', place your hands on a door frame and gently lean forward until a stretch is felt in the shoulder, chest and/or arms. Make sure your weight is evenly balanced between the front and back leg. Hold this position for 5-7 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times.
This is Stretch #6. Stand straight and clasp your hands behind your back.
Ending position Stretch #6. Tuck hips underneath you (by flexing your butt) and tighten your stomach, move clapsed hands towards floor, while pulling shoulders back and lifting chest. This should create erect posture. Be sure not to arch lower back. Hold for 5-7 breaths. Repeat 3-5 times.
This is Stretch#7 (1/3). This stretch is often called Child's Pose. From a kneeling position, toes pointed straight back, sit backwards so that you are sitting on the heels of your shoes. Reach forward with both arms, far enough to feel a stretch in the lower back and shoulders. Hold for 7-10 seconds
Stretch #7 (2/3) Keeping your legs where they are at, engage your abs and move both arms to the right until a stretch is felt on the left side of the body. Think of making your body into a half circle. Be sure to remain seated on your heels. Hold for 7-10 seconds.
Stretch #7 (3/3). Now do the same process you did for the above picture for the left side. Hold for 7-10 seconds. Well, there you go. The 7 most important stretches for those of you who spend way too many hours seated at your desk. These quick 7 should get you out pain and help you stay that way.
WORK IT OUT : Stretching in Your Workspace
Exchange is a publication of Express Services, Inc., Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. If you can’t find time during the day for a cardio workout, at least make room for stretching while you’re at work. The benefits of stretching, especially for the desk-confined worker, are immense. It can reduce pain, strain, and stress, help posture, and increase flexibility. Here are a few stretches experts recommend incorporating into your daily routine at work. • Neck Stretch. While sitting, grab the right side of your chair with your right hand and pull gently while bending your head to the left. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side. • Shoulder Shrugs. Lift your shoulders up to your ears and squeeze them hard. Hold this for two seconds, and then roll your shoulders down into a relaxed position. Do 10 repetitions. You can do this while seated or standing. • Hip Stretch. While seated and sitting up straight, cross your right ankle over your left knee. Then, lean forward slightly, keeping your back straight, until you feel a stretch in your hip. Press your right knee gently toward the floor to increase the stretch. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds for each leg. • Low Back Stretch. Sit with your feet flat on the floor, flex your abs, and twist your torso gently to one side. Hold on to the side of the chair to increase the stretch, making sure to keep your back straight and hips square. Twist only as far as you are comfortable. Hold this for 20 seconds, and repeat on the other side. • Hand and Arm Stretch. Place one arm in front of you, turning your hand down with fingers pointing to the floor. Use your other hand to pull the fingers toward you gently. Hold for 20 seconds, repeating with the other arm. • Stand Up. For those who spend most of their work hours sitting behind a desk, simply standing up straight to complete a few tasks is a great way to stretch your leg and back muscles. Plus, it puts you into position for some other simple stretches. • Side Bends. While standing, bend to one side and hold for 10 seconds. Make sure your abs are engaged and your shoulders are down. Repeat this on the other side. Do multiple repetitions. • Forward Bend. If you’re in a discrete space, bend forward while standing to get a good hamstring stretch. Keep your legs straight without bending your knees. Hold for 10 seconds.
10 Simple Exercises for the Office
While a hard work ethic is a good thing, there’s no reason being cooped up in an office all day has to prevent you from taking proper care of your body. Here are ten great exercises you can do in the office – no sweat, no equipment – but maybe a few weird looks from your colleagues Lunges: Need to walk a memo over to someone’s office? Don’t walk there – lunge there! Make sure to take the longest step you can so your knee doesn’t come over your toes. Wall Sits: You love to sit down, clearly. Why else would you be sitting 10 hours a day? Move that chair out from underneath and make sitting down a challenge! Go for a minute first and then try to better that! Chair Squats: A great way to get in a few chair squats is instead of just sitting down in your chair, sit down, stand up, THEN sit down. Boom. Next time, stand up, sit down, stand up, sit down. Getting it? Chair Dips: Move your butt off of the chair and slide your legs forward, while keeping your hands on the chair behind you. Bend your elbows 90 degrees and lower your body and then lift yourself up. Feel those triceps burning? You will when you do as many as you can in 30 seconds! Avoid chairs with wheels. Arm Circles: Stand up and stick your arms straight out to form a big ‘t.’ Rotate your arms forward in small, concentric circles `50x and then backwards 50x. This will really get to those shoulder muscles! Walk & Talk: Take phone calls standing up or if you have a blue tooth headset, pace back and forth. Short meeting? Instead of booking the conference room, go for a walk instead, even if its just a lap or two around the office. Take the Stairs: Resist the urge of the glowing button and take the stairs. Nothing’s on fire but if you walk up enough, your leg muscles certainly will be! Heel/Toe Rolls: Stand in front of a desk or other piece of furniture you can hold on to for balance. Starting on the balls of your feet, gently rock back onto your heels, engaging your core and sense proprioception for balance. Then shift your weight onto your toes, standing up as tall as possible. Push-Ups: Drop down and give me 20! Or as many as you can. While you’re down there, enjoy a few moments in Child’s Pose and/or Downward Dog. Ergonomic Exercises: Dont become a chair. Sitting for hours can lead to a host of postural issues that can impact your health and wellbeing in many ways. Your spine may already have an uncanny resemblance to your leather executive. Furthermore, repetitive motion injuries can 24
develop from using the mouse and keyboard and eye sight can be diminished from staring at the back lit computer screen. Take frequent mobility breaks to move your extremities and every few minutes take your eyes away from the computer to focus on an object 20 feet away for a minute. Here are a few good mobility exercises. While these exercises all vary in nature, they all share one characteristic: getting out of your chair. Work in the 21 Century is predominantly seated. As a result of a prolonged seated experience, workers do their spines and circulatory systems a disservice by twisting and turning their bodies in to odd positions to find the most comfortable posture. Sitting has even been linked to shorter life span! Do yourself a favor: take a five minute break from work every 45 minutes and walk around, do some pushups or just stand up and shake out your legs.
Via: Medical Billing And Coding
Working out at work
It’s hard to find time for the gym when you’re stuck at the office from nine to five. But here’s something you can fit in: a five-minute workout you can do at your desk every two hours. 1. Ab dominators
Sit up straight and squeeze your abdominal muscles for 10-20 seconds. Repeat three times. 2. Leg lifts
Sit up straight with your hands on your lap and your feet flat on the floor. Straighten one leg in front of you and hold for two seconds. Then lift the leg as high as you can without moving the rest of your body and hold for another two seconds. Repeat 15 times per leg. 3. Arm-ups
Sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands on the arm rests and lift your body a few inches off the chair and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat five times.
This one can be done at any time, even while you’re on the phone. Just sit up straight and squeeze your butt cheeks together as tightly as possible for 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times. 5. Neck rolls
Your neck takes a lot of strain when you’re hunched at your desk all day. To end your miniworkout, sit up straight, relax your shoulders and let your chin touch your chest. Roll your head in an anticlockwise circle five times, then repeat in the other direction.
DESK EXERCISES TO INCREASE FLEXIBILITY
Sitting in front of a desk every day can wreak havoc on your body, especially since most of us don't have the best posture. Hunching the shoulders and slumping in your seat can cause back pain, headaches, tension and tightness in your back, neck and shoulders. The following stretches target the muscles of the back, neck and shoulders as well as the hips. 1. Chest Stretch Stretching the chest may be one of the best exercises you can do for your body, since most of us spend much of our time hunched forward. This example shows a chest stretch using a resistance band. You can find resistance bands at most sporting goods and department stores and they're great to keep in your desk for quick stretching or strengthening moves. There are alternatives below if you don't have a band. Do it right: In a seated or standing position, hold the band in a wide grip over the head. Take the arms back just a bit as you lower them down, stretching the chest. Hold for 10-30 seconds. Avoid this move if you have shoulder problems. 2. Shoulder Shrugs The shoulders and neck hold a lot of stress and tension from typing, clicking and scrunching. Shoulder shrugs are a great way to relax the shoulders and get a little circulation going. Do it right: Seated or standing, lift the shoulders up towards the ears, squeezing them as hard as you can. Hold for 1-2 seconds and roll them back as you relax down. Repeat for 8-10 reps. 3. Upper Back Stretch The upper back can also become tense and tight from hunched shoulders, especially if you hold the phone against your shoulder or use your mouse a lot. The shoulder rolls above may help loosen you up for this upper back stretch. Do it right: Seated or standing, stretch the arms straight out and rotate the hands so that the palms face away from each other. Cross the arms so that the palms are pressed together, contract the abs and round the back, reaching away as you relax the head. Don't collapse but instead imagine you're curving up and over an imaginary ball. Hold the stretch for 10-30 seconds. If twisting the arms doesn't feel good, simply lace the fingers together. 4. Spinal Twist Sitting for prolonged periods of time can also affect the lower back, leaving it tight and achy. This stretch will help gently work out some of that tension. Do it right: In a seated position with the feet flat on the floor, contract the abs and gently twist the torso towards the right, using your hands to help deepen the stretch. Only twist as far as you comfortably can and keep the back straight while keeping the hips square. Hold for 10-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
5. Torso Stretch Even if you pay attention to your posture, you may find yourself sinking back into a hunched position, which can make your back ache. This simple move will stretch all the muscles in your back, sides and arms. Do it right: Seated or standing, lace the fingers together and stretch them up towards the ceiling. Take a deep breath as you stretch up as high as you can, then exhale and open the arms, sweeping them back down. Repeat for 8-10 reps. 6. Forearm Stretch You may not even realize how tight your forearms can get from typing until you stretch them out. This simple move helps stretch those muscles in the forearms and wrists. Do it right: Seated or standing, stretch the right arm out and turn the hand down so that the fingers point towards the floor. Use the left hand to gently pull the fingers towards you, feeling a stretch in the forearm. Hold for 10-30 seconds and repeat on the other hand. 7. Neck Stretch Holding tension in the neck can lead to headaches and upper back tension as well. Many of us drop the head forward when working on the computer, which can put extra stress on the neck muscles. This stretch feels great on the neck and shoulders. Do it right: Sitting in your chair, reach down and grab the side of the chair with the right hand and gently pull while tilting your head to the left, feeling a stretch down the right side of the neck and shoulder. Hold for 10-30 seconds and repeat on the other side. 8. Hip Flexor Stretch The lower body also gets tight from sitting too much, especially the front of the hips. When you sit, the glutes stretch while the hip flexors get tighter. Stretching this area several times a day can help reduce that tightness. Do it right: While standing, take the right leg back as though you're going to do a lunge. Squeeze the glutes as you bend the knees, lowering down until you feel a stretch in the front of the right hip. Hold for 10-30 seconds and repeat on the other side. 9. Seated Hip Stretch This move helps open up the hips and stretch the complex series of muscles in the hips and glutes. Do it right: While seated, cross the right ankle over the left knee and sit up nice and tall. Gently lean forward, keeping the back straight and reaching out with the torso until you feel a stretch in the right glute and hip. You can also press down on the right knee to deepen the stretch. Hold for 10-30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
10. Inner Thigh Stretch This not-very-ladylike stretch feels great on the inner thighs, hips and groin and is another hipopening move that may help get rid of tension and stress in the lower body. Do it right: While seated, take the legs wide, toes out and lean forward with the elbows on the thighs. Keep the back straight and the abs contracted. Gently press forward while using the elbows to push the thighs out until you feel a stretch in the inner thighs. Hold for 10-30 seconds. 11. Desktop Pilates Seated Thoracic Spine Extension (Upper Back Stretch)
1. Sit tall at your desk, towards the front of the chair, arms out to the sides. 2. Gently draw your lower abdominals in.
3. As you breathe in, lift your breast bone up to the ceiling turning the palms of your hands upwards, lengthening through the neck. 4. As you breathe out return. 5. Repeat x 4 Make sure you do not feel any discomfort in the lower back, this means you are arching too far back.
Shaping Up at Home
While everyone wishes they had the time and money to have a daily personal trainer whipping their body into shape, the reality is that most people are too busy to log long hours in a gym. Fortunately, there are many easy exercises that can be done at home to work and tone muscles when you need to get in a quick workout. While getting sufficient exercise is the foundation of basic fitness, combining frequent workouts with good eating habits and an overall healthy lifestyle is the only way to ensure your body’s optimum performance. Not all exercise has to be as intense as bench presses and weighted lifts, though. Even doing a few bicep curls with an extra can of beans while you cook can promote health in the long run. Add one or two of these simple moves to your normal routine to burn a few extra calories, or combine them all for a full-body workout. Exercising at home has great benefits Heel Walk At home or the office, take advantage of your rolling desk chair. Sit in the rolling chair with your abs tucked and shoulders back. Move yourself forward by digging your heels into the floor. Roll yourself down the hallway and back for two minutes at a time to work lower abdominals.
Wall push ups After you pop your morning coffee in the microwave, stand facing the nearest wall and do a few pushups against it. Bend only at your elbows, and keep the rest of your body stiff as you lower yourself towards the wall and then push away, strengthening arms and shoulders.
Squats Next time you pick up your kid, or a bag of groceries, pause to do some squats. Hold the bag (or child) firmly against your chest and bend your knees. Focus on keeping your back straight, as if you were sitting back into a chair that isn’t there. Do 5-8 repetitions at a time, working leg and butt muscles.
Lunges When cleaning day rolls around, do lunges across the bedroom while picking up dirty laundry. Take a big step forward, keeping your back straight. Bend your front knee while keeping your weight on the back toes. As you reach to pick something up, drop the knee of your back leg to the floor, strengthening legs and core muscles.
Lunges with light dumbbells
Leg lifts Inevitably during the day at some point you will find yourself standing idly in a line, whether at the bank, grocery store, or the mall. When this happens, lift one foot a halfinch off of the ground and hold for 30-60 seconds, focusing on balancing on your other foot. Then switch and lift the other foot, rebalancing your body and trying to remain steady.
In-chair leg lifts Getting fit at home can be relaxing, comfortable, and fun.
TOP TEN HOME WORKOUT EXERCISES
By Aloka Mehta Gambhir Supermans A great stretch and very good for your whole body, specially your back. Lie on your stomach on a mat with your legs extended, arms extended overhead with palms facing each other. Relax your head to align it with your spine. Extend both hips a few inches off the floor while simultaneously raising both arms a few inches off the floor. Keep both legs and arms extended and avoiding any rotation in each. Hold this position briefly. Gently inhale and lower your legs and arms back towards your starting position without any movement in your low back or hips. Downward facing dog Kneel on an exercise mat or floor and bring your feet together. Place your palms flat on the mat, positioning your hands shoulder-width apart with your fingers facing forward. Get into a push-up position, shifting your hands until your shoulders are positioned directly over your hands. Shift your weight backwards by pushing your hips backwards and upwards. Move your body moves backwards and attempt to push your heels towards the floor. Continue moving until your body forms an inverted-V, keeping both arms and legs extended and a neutral (flat) spine. Push up with single leg raise Lower your body towards the floor while maintaining a rigid torso and head aligned with your spine. Do not allow your lower back to sag or your hips to hike upwards during this downward phase, contract your gluts and thigh muscles to create stability for your core. Press upwards through your arms while maintaining a rigid torso. As you press upwards, extend your left hip to lift your left foot off the floor, keeping the knee extended. Continue pressing until the arms are fully extended at the elbows and your left leg is extended off the floor. Hold this position briefly before returning to your starting position. Repeat with other leg.
Front Plank: Lie on your stomach with your elbows close to your sides and directly under your shoulders, palms down and hands facing forward. Contract your quadriceps to extend your legs (pull toes towards your shins). Contract your core and abdominal muscles to stiffen your torso. Lift your entire torso off the floor or mat, maintaining a stiff torso and legs. Continue to breath while holding this position for a specified time (20 seconds at least). While maintaining a stiff torso and extended knees, gently lower your body back towards the floor.
Side plank with bent knee: Lie on your right side on an exercise mat with your left leg lying directly over your right leg and bend your knees to a comfortable position. Raise your upper body to support yourself on your right arm, your right elbow should bend to 90 degrees and be positioned directly under your shoulder. Contract your abdominal / core muscles to stiffen your spine and lift your hips off the mat, but keeping contact with your knee, and head aligned with your spine. Return yourself to your starting position.
Stand with your feet at shoulder width, arms by your side. Shift your hips downwards and take care to not take your knees further than your toes. Continue to lower yourself till you feel your heels lifts of the floor. With a very brief pause at the bottom, explode upwards through your lower extremity. As you jump into the air, keep your feet level with each other and parallel with the floor. Attempt to land softly and quietly on the mid-foot, rolling backwards quickly towards the heels. Always push your hips backwards and drop them downwards to absorb the impacting forces associated with jumping. 33
Forward Lunge Stand with your feet together. Lift one foot off the floor, stabilizing your body on the stance (supporting) leg. Avoid any sideways tilting or swaying in your upper body and try not to move the stance. Hold this position momentarily before stepping forward. As you lunge forward, focus more on dropping your hips towards the floor rather than driving your hips forward. Continue lowering your body to a comfortable position or until your front thigh becomes parallel with the floor and your tibia (shinbone) is in a slight forward lean. Firmly push off with your front leg, activating both your quads and glutes (thighs and butt muscles) to return to your upright, starting position. Side lunge Stand with your feet parallel facing forward and hipwidth apart. Step to the right while keeping your weight over your heels and both feet facing forward. Bend at the hips, pushing them backwards while simultaneously shifting your weight towards the right foot. Continue shifting your weight over the right foot until your shinbone is vertical to the floor and your right knee is aligned directly over the second toe of your right foot. The heels of both feet should stay flat on the floor. Push off firmly with your right leg, returning your body to your starting position. Repeat the movement for the opposite side.
Side lying hip abduction Lie on your side on a mat with legs extended straight, away from your body. Hold your feet together in neutral position and your lower arm bent and positioned under your head for support, while the upper arm rests upon your upper hip. Raise the upper leg off the lower leg while keeping the knee extended and the foot in a neutral position. The hips should remain vertical to the floor and the knee of the raised leg should point straight away from you. Continue raising the leg until the hips begin to tilt upwards or until your feel tension develop in your low back or oblique muscles. Then return to starting position and switch legs.
Reverse Crunches Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor and arms spread out to your sides with your palms facing down. Then lift your feet off the floor, raising your knees directly above your hips while maintaining a 90 degree bend in the knees. Hold this position and breathe normally. Then raise your hips off the mat, rolling your spine up as if trying to bring your knees towards your head. Finally lower your spine back towards the mat in a controlled fashion, rolling out until your spine and pelvis (hips) contact the mat and your knees are positioned directly over the your hips with a 90 degree bend with your lower leg.
SQUAT EXERCISES - HOW TO PERFORM A SQUAT: 1. Stand with your feet hip width apart. 2. Tighten and pull in your abdominal muscles. 3. Keep you back in a neutral position with your knees centered over your feet and lower your body down as if you were going to sit in a chair. Keep the motion slow. 4. Stop when your legs are parallel to the floor and stay in this position for a few seconds. Make sure your knees are behind the toes. 5. Press down into your heels and slowly return to the standing position.
6. Repeat the exercise 10-15 times for 2-3 sets. Make sure to breathe in as you lower your body down and breathe out as you return to the standing position.
The Total Body Workout in just 10 exercises
Jessica Smith How to Do This Workout Want to begin working out? All you need is a sturdy chair with a high back. Follow these exercises designed for beginners by certified trainer Jessica Smith. This circuit workout includes cardio and strength-training moves to tone your whole body. Work out details: Do each exercise for the recommended number of reps, with a 45-60 second rest in between moves. Aim for one to three full rounds of this circuit. Use slow, controlled movements and pay attention to your form and how your body feels during the workout. If any move feels too tough for you right now, skip it and go to the next. Do this routine once or twice per week, alternating with 15-20 minutes of your favorite cardio activity, like walking or riding your bike. Move #1: Squat Stand Up & Reach Total Body Exercise: 10 repetitions. This first exercise doubles as your warm up, working the muscles throughout your entire body while elevating your heart rate to burn calories in the process. How to do it: Stand in front of the chair seat, feet slightly wider than hip width, elbows bent with your fists in front of your shoulders. Lower into a squat until you lightly tap the chair with your butt. [shown in photo A]. Stand back up while reaching both arms overhead, spreading your fingers wide and reaching toward the ceiling [as shown in photo B]. Bring the arms back into your original position and repeat. Move #2: Seated Jumping Jacks Cardio Move: 20 repetitions. This jumping jack variation is a great way to get your heart pumping minus the higher impact of the traditional version. How to do it: Sit tall on the edge of your chair, elbows bent in front of your body, toes lightly tapped on the floor [as shown in photo A]. Quickly open your arms and legs into a wide ‘X’ shape, flexing your feet so that only your heels lightly touch the ground [as shown in photo B]. Repeat as fast as you can.
Move #3: Walking Squats Lower Body Move: 3 repetitions to the left, 3 to the right. Squats are an excellent lower body toning move and adding a sideways walk targets the inner and outer thigh muscles and glutes even more. Plus, the extra movement helps keep your heart rate in the cardio zone. How to do it: Stand in front of your chair, feet hip width apart, arms crossed over your chest. In the squat position, [as shown in photo A], take a wide step out to the side with your right foot [as shown in photo B] and then step your left foot in towards your right, landing with your feet hip width. That’s one repetition. Do three ‘walks’ to the right, and then ‘walk’ three times back to the left.
Move #4: Modified Mountain Climbers
Cardio Move: 20 repetitions. Mountain climbers are a total body exercise that is guaranteed to get you sweating! Doing them with the help of a chair, is easier on the wrists and lighter on the joints, but doesn’t mean they won’t be challenging! How to do it: Face the chair and hold on to the seat with your hands shoulder width apart. Walk both legs out behind you until you are on your toes in the top of a push up position. Bend your left knee into the chair without touching it and quickly switch legs, [as shown]. That’s one repetition. Repeat as quickly as you can 20 times.
Move #5: Hip Extensions Lower Body Move: 20 repetitions on each leg. This bun-shaping move is easy on the joints, but tough on your rear. Think about keeping your belly button pulled in tight to your spine as you do it to work your abs, too. How to do it: Stand tall behind chair, feet together, with hands lightly on the back. Extend your right leg behind you, tapping your left foot on the floor lightly, heel lifted. Keeping good posture, lift your right leg up as high as you can behind your hip, pointing your toe [as shown]. Lower leg and lightly tap foot to repeat. Do 20 on the right and then 20 on the left.
Move #6: Modified Push-Ups Upper Body Move: 5-10 repetitions. Performing push-ups on an incline is a simple way to make them easier to do, while still targeting the muscles in your shoulders, arms, abs and chest. How to do it: Face the chair and place your hands shoulder width apart on the seat. Walk both legs out behind you until you are in the top of a push-up position on your toes (your body should make a straight line from your head to your heels) [as shown in photo A]. Slowly bend your elbows out to the sides and lower you’re your body about halfway down to the chair [as shown in photo B]. Press back up to starting position. Start with five repetitions, and as you get stronger, work your way up to a full set of 10. If this is still too challenging, try doing them with your hands placed on a wall instead.
Move #7: Seated Twist Abs Move: 20 alternating repetitions. There’s no need to get on the floor to work your abs! This move targets both the abdominal wall and the oblique muscles that line your sides for a crunchfree way to work your waist. How to do it: Start sitting on the edge of the chair, arms crossed over chest, feet hip width apart. Brace your abs into your spine (it should feel as if you are bracing for a punch), sit up as tall as you can and take a deep breath in [as shown in photo A]. As you exhale, turn your upper body to the right as you lift your right knee up -- your left elbow may touch your right knee as you rotate [as shown in photo B]. Slowly lower and return to the center, then repeat to the left, for a total of 20 repetitions. Need to make it easier? Perform the twist without adding the knee lift. Move #8: Triceps Dips Upper Body Move: 5-10 repetitions. Triceps dips help to develop the muscles in the backs of your arms, while strengthening your wrists and shoulders, too. How to do it: Start sitting on the edge of the chair, holding onto the sides of the chair. Press down with your arms and lift your hips off the chair, walking your feet two steps away from the seat. Bend elbows and lower body toward the floor, keeping back straight and close to the edge of the chair [as shown]. Extend your arms and push body back up. Try up to five repetitions in a row and gradually work your way up to 10 when you feel strong enough.
Move #9: Alternating Rear Lunges Lower Body Move: 20 alternating repetitions. Get ready to work your entire lower body, develop balance and core strength with this exercise. How to do it: Stand tall behind chair, feet together, with hands lightly on the back [as shown in photo A]. Shift your weight to your right foot and take a wide step back with your left leg with just the ball of your foot should touching the floor. Bend both knees and lower your body until your front thigh is almost parallel to the floor, maintaining good posture [as shown in photo B]. Slowly extend both legs and step your left foot back in to your right. Repeat with other leg.
Move #10: Power Knees Cardio Move: 20 repetitions on each leg. Channel your inner karate kid with this lowimpact (and fun) cardio power move that will spike your heart rate for one last cardio blast. How to do it: Stand to the left of the chair, with your right hand on the back. Take a wide step back with your left leg so that just the ball of your left foot touches the floor. Extend your left arm out in front of your shoulder, with your hand in a fist. Quickly bend your left knee, foot flexed, and pull it up in front of your hip, as your bend your left arm and pull your elbow behind your body. Lower your leg and punch your arm out in front of you, and then repeat. Imagine you are striking a board with your fist and knee as you move back and forth. Do 20 repetitions in a row and then switch sides to repeat.
The Anywhere Workout
Hi Everyone! For me, on winter break, if I don't plan something for me to do, I can get lazy. I've set a goal to do at least 30 minutes of physical activity, and also keeping myself active throughout the day. Other than some Seventeen Magazine health articles (which I love!), this Women's Health Workout caught my eye.
Do each move for 1 minute. Repeat 3 times for a total 24-minute workout! You can do it literally anywhere: home, office, even while watching TV!
Work Out Of The Week #FitLife
This young lady walked up to me and asked me for a workout routine she can do in her office or at home that requires little to no equipment. Without even thinking about it I recommended the 100 Workout. I’ve tortured a few of my clients with this workout before and they loved it!
First, lets me explain what the 100 Workout is. The 100 Workout is a full body workout, a combination of strength training and cardio which targets your legs, core, glues, arms, chest, shoulders, back and increase endurance. Perfect for those who are always on the go and don’t have much time to go to the gym everyday, yet wants to stay active and in shape. This workout requires NO equipment and can be done in 20 minutes or less. Suitable for the avid gym goer or the beginner that barely knows their way around a gym. Each workout on the list is preformed back to back with 10-25 seconds of rest between exercises and make sure you do exactly the amount of reps instructed. Jemes Sintel President/Owner of King Fitness LLC
How To Work Out At The Office & At Home
This article is brought to you by Nestl, Ashton Darnell (Endless Beauty) and Ellen Barret (Women’s Health). To know more about your wellness, take the Nestle Wellness Profiler test to find out your attitude towards health and get some tips on how to kick start your way to a better lifestyle! Here are a couple of office workouts for you to consider doing. If other people’s stares and glares don’t affect you, you can do these on your own without feeling embarrassed. Besides, you’ll be the one with the fittest body in the end! If not, get a few colleagues to do them with you. Exercises At Home or At Work In Your Chair & At Your Desk: 1. Breathing Getting a flat tummy doesn’t always have to follow a series of crunches. You can breathe your way to a flat tummy. Sit upright in your chair and put your hands on your tummy. Inhale through your nose – you will see your chest expanding. Exhale through your mouth and push your tummy and chest in toward your spine, pushing your shoulders forward. Do this as many times as you want a day. You can even do this standing up! 2. Side-Stretches This exercise can release tension off your shoulders and is a great way to invigorate your body especially after sitting in a position for too long. First, lift your hands up toward the ceiling and interlace them, lifting your ribcage along with you (try to imagine your ribcage separating itself from your waist). Then lean to the left and breathe 5 counts before leaning to the right – make sure your hips are rooted down. Lean as far as you can so you can feel a nice stretch down your sides.
3. Wrist Stretches Our wrists are probably one of the most forgotten joints in our body. We use them to type and write but we don’t relax them enough. Stretch out your right arm towards your desk or computer screen, palm facing down, then drop your hand so that your nails are pointed towards the table. Use your left hand to gently pull your hand toward you so you can feel a nice stretch in your wrist and forearm. You can hold it for as long as you’re comfortable but 5 – 10 seconds or breaths should be good enough. When you’re done with the right hand, switch to the left.
4. Calves Stretches Don’t forget your legs! They need some attention too. Just do a few calf raises by lifting up on tip toes (while seated) and down, and repeat up and down a few times. Then stretch your legs out in front of you and flex your feet towards your knees as much as you can. You’ll be able to feel your calf muscles stretching
5. Chest & Shoulder Stretches Sit up straight and place your hands behind you. If you have space, place your fingers away from you. Once in position, drop your shoulders and pull your shoulder blades toward each other. Then drop your head backwards and take deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. This exercise will loosen up your chest and shoulders which over time gets tight from all the hunching and bad posture we keep at the office desk.
6. Table Push Ups
Stand away from your table but enough so you can grab onto the edge of it. Your pose should look somewhat like a regular push-up except you’re in a more vertical slope. Slowly lower your body towards the table, inhaling, then push up slowly while you exhale. Do this a few times and you will feel your arm muscles working.
7. Lower Ab Crunch Believe it or not, you can do some lower ab crunches on your office chair! Sit toward the edge of your chair and lean backwards, holding on to the sides of the chair for support. Set your legs to a 90 degrees angle, put them together (or interlace them) and lift your legs up towards your chest and feel your abs crunching. Use your abs to focus on this exercise. This workout may be easier done on a non-wheelie chair, otherwise a wheelie chair can be used too.
Floor Exercises At Home Or At The Office Floor exercises can be done within any space in your home or at your office. Of course most of us would rather not work out on the floor of the office, but if you do have space then these exercises would suit you. 1. Plank Exercise The plank looks simple, but it really is about working out your core. For a move that looks like you aren’t doing much, you actually are channeling your core energy from the abs to sustain that pose. Get down on all fours but place your elbows and toes on the ground as the picture shows: Hold the pose for a minute or two. Take deep breaths in and out while feeling your abs working on its own. If you have difficulty sustaining the stance, you may lower your knees to the ground as in the picture below:
2. Bicycle Exercise
Also great for working out your side abs, this is a cross-ab oblique workout. You can lie on your back, raise your knees in a 90 degrees position and put your hands behind your head. Lift your body towards your knees and while you extend your right leg forward, bring your left knee in towards your chest. Bring your right elbow towards your left knee. Swap sides as you inhale and exhale to each movement. 3. Lower Ab Workout
To tone or tighten the lower abs, especially below the belly button where most of us get a little belly bulge, lay flat on your back and place your hands flat on the ground. To ensure your back does not arch while you’re crunching, move your hands (palm down) under your buttocks for support. For a start, you can bend your knees in a 90 degrees position and lower them toward the ground, then bringing them back up towards you. Do this as many times as you want to feel your lower abs responding. For a more advanced option you can straighten your legs and lift them up towards you, then lower them to the ground as many times you can.
The plough Stretches spine; relieves tight hips and pelvis Lie on your back, arms at your side. Pull your legs and torso up so they’re at a 90 degree angle to the floor. Keeping knees straight and abs strong, bring your legs overhead. Try to touch the floor with your toes. Hold for 1 minute, breathing freely. Modification: If your hamstrings are tight, stay at the 90-degree angle pose. The triangle Stand with your feet about 90cm apart and extend your arms to the side. Turn your left foot out 90 degrees and pivot your right foot slightly to the left. Keeping your knees and arms straight, bend at the waist and tilt your body to the left until your left hand rests on your shin. Look up to your right thumb and hold for five full breaths. Return to start, switch legs and repeat. Modification: If you have tight hamstrings or a sore lower back, slightly bend your front knee.
Lying-leg raises Releases hips Lie on your back and raise your right leg. Hold your right big toe with the first two fingers of your right hand and lower your leg smoothly towards your right shoulder. Go as far as you can and then hold this pose for five full breaths. Gently release and repeat with your left leg and hand. Modification: If you can’t reach your toes, use a yoga strap or folded towel hooked over your foot.
Pelvic Lifts Increase the strength of your pelvic muscles. To perform a pelvic lift, lie faceup on the floor with your legs bent and hands flat on each side of your body. Lift your pelvis in the air and hold for 10 seconds. Release and begin to slowly lower your pelvis back toward the ground, but do not let your pelvis touch the ground. Instead once you are about to touch the ground, raise your pelvis again and repeat the exercise. We recommend about 10-15 repetitions of this exercise.
Wall Squats Leg strength is just as important as arm strength when it comes to the bedroom. Not only will muscle strength increase your sexual energy, but it will increase your stamina with it comes to performing difficult moves. Begin standing flat against a wall with your palms pressed toward the wall. With your feet level, lower your body into squat position by bending your legs to a 90 degree angle, without moving your back away from the wall and hold for 15-20 seconds. Perform 10 repetitions of this exercise for best results. Broad Jump Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Dip your knees and jump forward as far as you can. Land on both feet with flexed knees. Pause, turn around, then jump back. Complete a set of 10. Variation 1: As soon as your toes touch the floor after the jump, jump again immediately. Variation 2:After each broad jump, squat slightly and quickly explode straight up, reaching both arms overhead. Land with flexed knees, then jump forward again.
The Ultimate Bootcamp
Stacey Burney (Women’s Health)
Warm-up: 5-minute warm-up jog or jump rope Circuit 1: 15 pushups Turkish Getup: 8 per side 15 squat thrusts Alternating lunges: 10 on each leg Repeat three times Circuit 2: 10 Inchworms 25 high knees on each leg 50 jumping jacks Repeat three times Circuit 3: 20 leg lifts 25 elbow-to-knee crunches 1-minute plank position Repeat three times
Get down on all fours and place your hands on the floor so that they’re slightly wider than and in line with your shoulders. Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor. Pause at the bottom, and then push yourself back to the starting position as quickly as possible. If your hips sag at any point during the exercise, your form has broken down. When this happens, consider that your last repetition and end the set.
Lie face up with your legs straight. Hold a dumbbell in your left hand with your arm straight above you. Simply stand up, while keeping your arm straight and the dumbbell above you at all times. Once standing, reverse the movement to return to the starting position. Complete 8 reps, then do the same number with your right hand holding the weight
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides. Push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body as deep as you can into a squat. Kick your legs backward, so that you’re now in a pushup position. Then quickly bring your legs back to the squat position. Stand up quickly and repeat the entire movement.
Grab a pair of dumbbells and hold them at arm's length next to your sides, your palms facing each other. Step forward with your right leg and slowly lower your body until your front knee is bent at least 90 degrees. Pause, then, raise up and bring your back foot forward so that you move forward (like you're walking) a step with every rep. Step forward with the alternate leg and repeat.
Stand tall with your legs straight and bend over and touch the floor. Keeping your legs straight, walk your hands forward. Then take tiny steps to walk your feet back to your hands. That’s one repetition.
Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart. Without changing your posture, raise your left knee as high as you can and step forward. Repeat with your right leg. Continue to alternate back and forth.
Stand with your feet together and your hands at your sides. Simultaneously raise your arms above your head and jump up just enough to spread your feet out wide. Without pausing, quickly reverse the movement and repeat.
Lie face up on the floor, and raise your upper legs until they're perpendicular to the floor. Bend your knees slightly. Without changing the arch in your lower back or the angle of your knees, brace your core and try to take 3 to 5 seconds to lower your feet as close to the floor as you can. One trick: Press your lower back toward the floor as you perform the movement. Once your feet touch the floor, raise them back to the starting position and repeat.
Lie face up with your hips and knees bent 90 degrees so that your lower legs are parallel to the floor. Place your fingers on the sides of your forehead. Lift your shoulders off the floor and hold them there. Twist your upper body to the right as you pull your right knee in as fast as you can until it touches your left elbow. Simultaneously straighten your left leg. Return to the starting position and repeat to the right.
Start to get into a pushup position, but bend your elbows and rest your weight on your forearms instead of on your hands. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. Brace your core by contracting your abs as if you were about to be punched in the gut. Hold this position for 1 minute while breathing deeply
The ultimate Bootcamp - Alternative schedule:
Warm-up 5-minute warm-up jog or jump rope Circuit 1: 25 squats 10 squat jumps 10 squat thrusts with pushup 10 side-to-side lunges per leg 10 pushup rows Repeat two times Circuit 2: 1-minute squat hold 15 inchworms Turkish Getup: 10 per side Alternating lunges: 15 per leg Repeat two times
Stand as tall as you can with your feet spread shoulder-width apart. Lower your body as far as you can by pushing your hips back and bending your knees. Pause, then slowly push yourself back to the starting position.
Place your fingers on the back of your head and pull your elbows back so that they're in line with your body. Dip your knees in preparation to leap. Explosively jump as high as you can. When you land, immediately squat down and jump again.
Squat Thrusts with Pushup
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides. Push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body as deep as you can into a squat. Kick your legs backward, so that you're now in a pushup position. Complete a pushup. Then quickly bring your legs back to the squat position. Stand up quickly and repeat the entire movement.
Stand with your feet set about twice shoulder-width apart, your feet facing straight ahead. Clasp your hands in front of your chest. Shift your weight over to your right leg as you push your hips backward and lower your body by dropping your hips and bending your knees. Your lower right leg should remain nearly perpendicular to the floor. Your left foot should remain flat on the floor. Without raising yourself back up to a standing position, reverse the movement to the left. Alternate back and forth.
Place a pair of hex dumbbells at the spot where you position your hands. Grasp the dumbbell handles and set yourself in pushup position. Lower your body to the floor, pause, then push yourself back up. Once you're back in the starting position, row the dumbbell in your right hand to the side of your chest, by pulling it upward and bending your arm. Pause, then lower the dumbbell back down, and repeat the same movement with your left arm. That's one repetition
Stand as tall as you can with your feet spread shoulder-width apart. Lower your body as far as you can by pushing your hips back and bending your knees. Hold this position for one minute, then slowly push yourself back up.
Stand tall with your legs straight and bend over and touch the floor. Keeping your legs straight, walk your hands forward. Then take tiny steps to walk your feet back to your hands. That’s one repetition.
Lie face up with your legs straight. Hold a dumbbell in your left hand with your arm straight above you. Simply stand up, while keeping your arm straight and the dumbbell above you at all times. Once standing, reverse the movement to return to the starting position. Complete 8 reps, then do the same number with your right hand holding the weight.
Grab a pair of dumbbells and hold them at arm's length next to your sides, your palms facing each other. Step forward with your right leg and slowly lower your body until your front knee is bent at least 90 degrees. Pause, then, raise up and bring your back foot forward so that you move forward (like you're walking) a step with every rep. Step forward with the alternate leg and repeat.
Easy desk stretches you can do any time, any place
MORE EASY EXERCISES
Easy Desk Stretches
More Easy Computer and Desk Stretches
Sitting is killing you
ARTICLE FROM “THE GUARDIAN”
How bad exactly is sitting?
On your feet! Evidence suggests that long hours in office chairs or sitting watching TV will shorten your life Luisa Dillner Are you sitting comfortably? Well, you had better stand up. Sitting is the latest health hazard, according to a recent study, showing that being sedentary for hours at a time increases your risk of diabetes, heart disease and premature death. The research, from the University of Leicester and published in the journal Diabetologia, combined the results of 18 studies and nearly 800,000 people. It found that prolonged sitting doubled the risk of diabetes and heart disease, and that the risk wasn't eliminated for those people who took regular exercise. Sitting is a low energy activity and it may be risky because it makes our bodies think we are in energy storage mode. This makes our bodies resistant to insulin (which mops up glucose), increasing the level of glucose in the blood and reducing levels of good cholesterols while increasing levels of bad ones. All of these changes increase the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. The authors of the Diabetologia study say that on average adults spend 50% to 70% of their time sitting down, either at work, watching television or using the computer. These activities use up a measly one MET (metabolic equivalent) of energy expenditure. If you walk you use four times as much energy as when you sit. This study confirms findings from other research. An Australian paper in the Archives of Internal Medicine of more than 200,000 people aged 45 or over found that those who sat for 11 or more hours a day had a 40% increase in risk of dying over the next three years, compared with those who sat for only four hours a day. The study took into account how healthy they were, as well as their levels of physical activity and weight. The relationship between sitting and ill health has spawned an area of study called inactivity research. Prolonged inactivity has been known for decades to contribute to back pain and obesity; now it seems we can blame it for killing people prematurely. But since most sitting occurs at work, is there anything you can do to reduce it? The solution What you can do to help will depend on your workplace. If you can, set an alarm to make sure you get up once an hour and walk briskly somewhere. Instead of emailing someone several desks away, speak to them in person. Stand up when taking a phone call – it uses more calories than sitting. Shun the lift and take the stairs. In meetings get up and walk around the room. There are even desks attached to treadmills available, that allow people to walk slowly while working at their desks. After work, try not to spend most of the evening watching television. Another Australian study, in the October issue of The British Journal of Sports Medicine, suggests that each hour of television watched after the age of 25 reduces life expectancy by 21.8 minutes. 64
WHAT SITTING FOR LONG PERIODS DOES TO YOU (ARTICLE FROM BBC NEWS)
Sitting for long periods increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease and death, researchers suggest. The scientists from Leicester and Loughborough Universities say harm is done even if people also exercise. The study, published in Diabetologia, analysed 18 existing studies involving almost 800,000 people. Diabetes UK said anyone who spent a lot of time sitting or lying down would "obviously benefit" from moving more. The researchers say the opportunities for sedentary behaviour in modern society such as watching TV, sitting in a car or using a computer are "ubiquitous". Of course, in modern society many people head to the gym for a burst of exercise to redress the balance. But the research team, led by Dr Emma Wilmot from the Diabetes Group at the University of Leicester, says while going to the gym or pool after work is better than heading straight for the sofa, spending a long time sitting down remains bad for you. Healthy lifestyle? Each of the studies they assessed used different measures - for example more or less than 14 hours a week watching TV, or self-reported sitting time of less than three hours a day to more than eight. The researchers say this means it is not possible to give an absolute limit for how much sedentary time is bad for you. But Dr Emma Wilmot, who led the study, said it was clear that those who sat the most had a higher risk of diabetes, heart disease and death than those who sat the least. We can have standing meetings, we can walk during the lunch break, and we can look to reduce TV viewing in the evenings by seeking out less sedentary behaviours” She said: "If a worker sits at their desk all day then goes to the gym, while their colleague heads home to watch TV, then the gym-goer will have better health outcomes. "But there is still a health risk because of the amount of sitting they do. "Comparatively, the risk for a waiter who is on their feet all day is going to be a lot lower." She added: "People convince themselves they are living a healthy lifestyle, doing their 30 minutes of exercise a day. "But they need to think about the other 23.5 hours."
'Easy change' The strongest associations in the analysis were between prolonged sitting and diabetes. There is evidence that being sedentary negatively affects glucose levels and increases insulin resistance - but scientists do not yet know how. Dr Wilmot said the study's message could help those at high risk of diabetes, such as obese people or those of South Asian ethnic origin, because it was an easy lifestyle change to make. Prof Stuart Biddle, of Loughborough University, who also worked on the study, said: "There are many ways we can reduce our sitting time, such as breaking up long periods at the computer at work by placing our laptop on a filing cabinet. "We can have standing meetings, we can walk during the lunch break, and we can look to reduce TV viewing in the evenings by seeking out less sedentary behaviours." Dr Matthew Hobbs, head of research at Diabetes UK, said people should not be discouraged from exercising. He added: "What is clear is that anyone who spends lots of time sitting or lying down would benefit from replacing some of that time by standing or walking. "Aside from any direct effect reducing the amount of time you spend sitting down may have, getting more physical activity is a great way of helping maintain a healthy weight, which is the best way of minimising your risk of Type 2 diabetes."
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