5 Exercises to Help You Stay Active While Working
July 17, 2014
Most people today live busier lives than ever before. And much of that time is spent sitting at a computer or behind a desk. Despite the attention on being physically fit, a recent survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says almost half of American adults don’t get enough exercise. Luckily, there are a number of relatively easy workouts you can do to break up periods of inactivity. While they might not be a substitute for an hour at the gym, they’ll help keep you moving.
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Even doing a few little exercises can lead to some big benefits for your health. Short bursts of exertion can increase your longevity while decreasing the risk of heart disease. Exercising while working can also relieve stress, which helps minimize depression. Other potential benefits include increased productivity, greater flexibility and lower medical insurance costs.
The Core Leg Lift
If you prefer to be more inconspicuous with your fitness routine, there are several exercises you can do while working. One is called the core leg lift, and it’s simple to do discreetly from behind a desk. The move requires you to alternate lifting each leg and holding it for 10 seconds while bending the knee at a 90 degree angle. Repeat the move 10 times. The core leg lift not only keeps your legs active, but it works your abs, quads and hip flexors as well.
The Hand Pull
To tone your forearms and biceps in the middle of the day, you can always try the Hand Pull. That’s where one hand clasps the other like in a reverse handshake, and you try to pull them away from each other for 10 seconds. Repeat it 10 times.
Desk Push Ups
If you’re looking to do something a little more rigorous while at your desk, you can always try doing a set of desk pushups. It’s a good way to get the heart rate up while also giving your arms and hands a bit of a break from the keyboard. Try doing 10 reps, but don’t feel like you need to overexert yourself.
Water Bottle Workouts
Push ups may not be your thing, but there are other ways to give your arms a less strenuous workout. While lifting weights while working would be impractical, you can always engage in water bottle workouts. A full water bottle can easily act like a dumbbell and be used to strengthen your arm muscles.
When doing bicep curls, stand up or sit up tall, hold your water bottle and curl it up toward your shoulder. Repeat the move 15 times before switching to your other hand. A water bottle is a handy workout tool that also acts as a convenient source of hydration for after the exercise.
For an exercise that’s practically invisible, you can’t go wrong with a round of ab squeezes. All you need to do is tighten your ab muscles, hold them for around 10 seconds, then release. Repeat the move about 15 times, and you should start to feel the burn.
There are other simple activities you can do to keep active. Get up and walk around while you’re on the phone instead of just sitting there. Park farther away, and take the stairs instead of the elevator. Maintain good posture while sitting in your chair. These little items may be the best way to keep your body active during the work day. When put into practice, you’ll see improved heart health, increased muscle strength and you’ll even be in a better mood.