If you work in an office or at a desk, you know that sometimes the days are long and likely there have been more than one or two days recently when you didn’t leave for lunch, maybe only getting up once or twice for the needed trips to the sandbox. Yep, you’re almost chained to that dang thing! Well, that doesn’t mean you have to turn into another lump beside your lumpy desk! Here are some ideas for keeping toned and tight while hardly leaving your seat.
No need to do anything drastic like touching your toes, but try some upper body twists, arch your back and hold it for 10 seconds, lift one foot at a time and rotate your ankle, stretch your neck by trying to touch your ear to your shoulder slowly. Take a deep breath and hold it, then slowly release. After that, use your arms and shoulders to push back and give your upper back a good tightening while stretching your chest. All of that takes only a few minutes, but it should get the blood moving again and wake up your brain for better productivity.
Take Hourly Breaks
This is all about stretching your legs a bit, allowing your eyes to focus on other distances, and maybe even smile at a person or two while you’re moving about. This doesn’t have to be non-productive time. While you are working at your desk, set items on the corner of your work space that need something from someone else or another place in the office. So when you hit that hourly break, grab one or two of those things, and get moving. It may be a quick trip to the supply cupboard, a question from one of your co-workers, or taking a dollar to the vending machines for a healthy snack. Just get up and move for a few minutes.
There are many varieties you can do. Try one where you anchor your hands on the sides of your chair with your legs in front of you and knees bent. Now while pushing down with your hands, lift your bent knees as high as possible. This takes ab strength, and that should improve as you do these on a regular basis. Next, tighten and release your abs in much the same move as you would do in a traditional crunch.
You might also consider one of those yoga ball chairs that forces your body to work core muscles to maintain balance on the chair. It doesn’t have to be all day, just switch it in on the days you eat your lunch at your desk just during lunchtime. When you get the chair into place before your lunch, use the back of the chair for balance as needed while you do a few squats, maybe 20.
The key to long-term office work AND keeping toned and tight, as well as reducing stress can be found in taking a few minutes to think up ways you can move while doing your job, ways to stretch, to tone, to tighten, to keep alert, and decrease stress. It’s not difficult to do, just sometimes hard to always remember to do. So figure out a few ways to remind yourself daily and start enjoying the many benefits of office “work” outs.