No time to exercise? It's time to try DESKERCISE!
26th Sep, 2018
When you work from early in the morning until late into the evening, the thought of dragging yourself to a spin class or HIIT session can feel less-than-appealing, to say the least. Why spend your precious free time sweating in public when you could be kicking back on the sofa with a glass of red and an episode of The Bodyguard?
Exercise is an essential part of staying fit and healthy; it gives you plenty of energy, helps you to stay in good mental health and can keep those pesky love handles at bay!
A common excuse for not exercising regularly is a lack of time due to a busy career. However, you don't need an expensive gym membership or a huge amount of free time to stay active, all you need is a desk and some dedication to your personal health.
These simple exercises have been designed to help target typical problem areas, shaping and toning your body without even leaving the office! Ditch the 3 pm slump and spend 15 minutes of each day trying out some of these simple movements, which will improve your mood, increase your energy levels and burn calories with minimal sweat (so you won't need to change your shirt when you're done - phew!).
MOVEMENT 1: The Wolf of Wall Sit
Okay, we told a tiny fib - for this one, you'll need a wall, not a desk; any wall will do (just avoid wet paint!). Sit with your back against the wall as if in an invisible chair. It might seem all fine and dandy at first, but give it 10 seconds and you'll soon start to feel those legs start to burn. Aim for 1 minute or compete with your team to see who can wall sit the longest...loser buys lunch!
MOVEMENT 2: RAISE YOUR GAME
If you've given up on a pay rise, you might as well make use of a few leg raises instead. These are easy, effective and really inconspicuous, so you don't need to worry about Shirley from Accounts giving you major side-eye. While seated, straighten one or both legs and hold in place for five or more seconds. Lower the leg(s) back down, making sure your feet don't quite touch the floor. Repeat for 15 reps (alternate legs for 15 reps each if you're raising one at a time).
MOVEMENT 3: The Namaste At My Desk, Thanks
This one is great for arms and perfect if you're praying for an important deal to close. Sit upright with your feet flat on the floor. Bring your hands together in 'pray hands' form, just in front of your chest. Push both hands together as hard as you can and you'll start to feel the muscles working in your arms. Hold each push for 20 seconds and repeat until you're ready to stop (or your colleague suggests a coffee break).
MOVEMENT 4: The Handy Handshake
Another easy one! Sit up with your feet flat on the floor. Hold your hands together as if giving yourself a handshake. One thumb should point to the ceiling and the other to the floor. Pull! Resist the temptation to let go and you'll soon feel your biceps working! Hold each pull for 10 seconds and then repeat.
MOVEMENT 5: The Penguin Flipper
For flippin' fabulous arms, stand up with your arms by your side (palms facing behind you) and, keeping them long and straight, pulse your arms back continuously for 5 seconds. Repeat 12-15 times. This one's great to do while waiting for the lift to arrive or for a long document to print!
MOVEMENT 6: Shrug It Off
Had your annual leave rejected? Big deal fallen through? No milk left in the office? Shrug away your anger and work your shoulders too! Raise your shoulders up to your ears and hold them there for 5-10 seconds. Repeat 15 times.
MOVEMENT 7: The Necks-ercise
Do you struggle from neck-ache when typing away at your desk all day? Try these two movements designed to help relieve pressure on the neck and strengthen the neck muscles. Place your head in your hands with your palms pressed into your forehead, as if frustrated and about to cry (if this is a common position for you, it might be time to consider quitting your job?). Press your hands like you're trying to push your head backwards, but resist the motion and you'll engage the neck muscles. You can also clasp your hands behind your head and try pushing back while resisting the movement. Hold each position for 5 seconds then repeat 5 times.
MOVEMENT 8: The Core-Dear
Got a swivel chair? They're not just for spinning around on when you're bored, they're also a fantastic workout tool for a rock-hard core. Hold the edge of your desk with your fingers and thumb, and raise your feet slightly off the ground. Use your core to swivel your chair from side to side for 15 seconds. Repeat 5 times.
MOVEMENT 9: Push Up Power
Ever felt like you needed to push yourself at work? Now you can...literally! Take a couple of steps back from your desk, go up on your tiptoes and lean your body forward, resting your hands on your desk. Proceed to lower your body, so you bend at the elbows and your weight shifts to your arms and core. Push back up, straightening your arms and repeat 10-12 times.
MOVEMENT 10: The Pirate Squat
Get your body ship shape (ha) with this easy movement. Stand on one leg, reach your arms out in front of you and squat down as low as you can. Only try this one if you have decent balance (if not, you can stand on both legs for a standard squat). Repeat for 15 reps on each leg. Remember: a squat should be like sitting down on an invisible chair and you should aim to keep the weight on your toes if possible.
EXTRA TIPS FOR EFFECTIVE EXERCISING:
- Remember to breathe when you exercise - don't hold your breath!
- Have some water at hand to keep yourself hydrated.
- Don't exercise an injured body part unless advised by a healthcare professional - recover and then continue.
- Stay positive, even when it burns; remember why you started and what you want to achieve.
- Eat a balanced and nutritious diet as part of a healthy lifestyle.
- Take some progress photos before you start, so it's easy to see a difference in your body!
HAVE FUN AND KEEP AT IT!
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