By: Julie Meyers Pron
If you spend most of your day sitting at a desk, you know the aches, pains and plain exhaustion that a desk job can cause. You’ve likely heard countless times that movement throughout the day will make you more productive, healthier and work smarter. But with deadlines piling up, how can you get in a workout and still get all your work done?
Moving involves your entire body and exercise doesn’t have to mean sweating each time you work out. By taking breaks to stretch in your cube or office, you’re helping blood that carries refreshing oxygen move throughout your body.
So the next time you’re feeling cramped, give one of these a try — after making sure with your doctor that you are in good condition to do so, of course.
First, if your chair has wheels, make sure they are locked. Once they are (or your chair is sans wheels), place your hands on the edge of your chair and move your feet out a bit (the farther out, the harder to move). Using your hands for support, engage your core and lower your rear down towards the floor, then raise it back up. Do not sit down.
Move your feet out a few feet and place hands on the edge of your desk. With a flat back, lower your chest towards the desk, and then push back up.
Alternating Lunges and Squats
Straddle your legs more than shoulder width apart and lunge from side to side, then squat, each time pushing yourself a bit further.
Place a large book on the floor, or do this exercise on the stairs. Place your toes on the edge of a step or book and raise yourself up using only your toes several times, holding for the stretch. Then dip down, lowering your calf below the book surface for a calf stretch.
With your back against a wall, lower your body to a sitting position (as if you’re on a chair but you are the chair). Hold for a count of 30 seconds and work up to a higher count.
Switch Out Your Chair For an Exercise Ball
For ultimate core exercise while working, sit on an exercise ball and engage your core as you work.
While sitting at your desk, stretch your chin up to the ceiling, tilting your head back. Raise your chin higher in a stretch of your neck and hold. Release it and stretch again.
Release tension by interlocking your fingers, flipping you arms and stretching them in front of you. Or invest in a grip strengthener/hand stretcher that allows you to stretch your muscles using tension.
By engaging your core throughout these exercises (and your day), you’ll find yourself more focused and productive. Try to repeat each exercise eight to 10 times and run through the list about three times a day.
Julie is the owner and editor of Julieverse.com and VlogMom.com , a website and network focused on empowering video bloggers. She writes an education column for Rusty & Rosy’s blog page and specializes in parenting, education, organization and travel.