“I have to work” is no excuse not to exercise. In fact, unless your doctor or other healthcare provider says otherwise, there’s really no excuse at all – though it’s always advisable to check with them before beginning any new fitness regime.
Our lives today are so engineered that we tend to spend a lot of time sitting down – at a monitor, watching a screen or concentrating on a smartphone or other mobile device. But whether or not you get up – which you should – exercise is very doable.
Don’t Be Sedentary
Recent research shows that the typically recommended 30 minutes of cardio five times a week may not be enough to undo the health risks of a sedentary lifestyle. Equally sobering is the fact that sitting around too much could increase your risk of cancer by more than 60 percent. Obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and loss of bone and muscle strength are other conditions you can avoid by counteracting the related negative effects.
How to Stretch at Your Desk
Do these stretches right at your desk or workstation:
- Rubber Neck: Sit up tall and drop your right ear down towards your right shoulder. Hold for a few seconds. Repeat on the left side.
- Reach for the Stars: Interlace your fingers and reach up towards the ceiling, as high as you can, keeping your palms facing upward.
- Bobblehead: Drop your chin towards your chest and gently roll your head from side to side.
- Shrugs: Raise both shoulders up towards your ears and hold for a few seconds, then release. Repeat a few times.
- Chest Opener: Bring your hands behind your back, press your palms together, sit up tall and hold for five to 10 seconds.
Now, Get Up!
Ideally, you should get up from your desk at least once an hour, even if you don’t engage in active exercise. Walking for just two minutes an hour can decrease the negative effects of sitting. You can also try:
- Walking or jogging in place: This one is as simple as it sounds. Do it for 30 to 45 seconds, three to five times a day. You can control the intensity based on the pace you choose.
- Tricep dips: Use your desk or your chair, as long as it doesn’t have wheels. Position your hands shoulder width apart on the desk or chair, and then move your butt off the floor with your legs extended out in front of you. Straighten your arms, keeping a little bend in your elbows to keep tension on your triceps and off your elbow joints.
- Calf raises: Stand behind your chair and hold on for support. Raise your heels off the floor until you’re standing on your toes. Slowly lower yourself back to the floor. Do three sets of 10.
These are just a few ideas to help keep you fit and healthy, at home and at work. For additional wellness resources, as well as tips to keep your career as strong and vibrant as your physical well-being, contact TRC Professional Solutions today.