Working at a plain 9-5 can get repetitive but it can also make it hard for you to fit in the exercise we need to maintain a healthy mind and body. Raising your heart rate for just fifteen minutes every day reduces your risk of heart attacks, improves your circulation and can improve concentration at the same time, so it is useful knowledge when faced with a stressful day at work. Unfortunately, it is getting onto that exercise during the day that can be an issue. It is great if you work near your local gym and can pop down for a quick 20 minute session on your lunch break, but not everybody has this luxury.
Many office exercise routines provide examples that might look a little strange if you suddenly got up and started doing them in the middle of the working day. While these are all very well and good, sometimes you are not in a position to do a wall squat, or a lunge on the way to a meeting. You want an office exercise that you can do while sitting at your desk, or while waiting for the printer to finish, that won’t provide you with a dozen bemused stares while you get down to it.
We’ve put together a list of 6 exercises that you can do without raising any eyebrows at work. Read on to find out more.
#1. Grip Resistance Strengtheners
These nifty little gadgets are easily bought online or at your local gym and they help to strengthen the muscles of both your wrists and your forearms. While you might not think these very important muscles at first, having a strong grip can save your life in certain situations! Plus with a small, compact design and comfortable foam handles, a grip resistance strengthener can easily be stored away in a desk drawer or in your office locker. They even double up as a good stress reliever in times of need.
#2. At-Your-Desk Leg Lifts
These are simple enough to do and can really get your muscles burning! Sitting down with your feet shoulder-width apart and your back straight, simply lift one leg up so that your thigh is hovering slightly off your chair and your foot is jutting out. You don’t have to straighten your leg completely, but obviously, it helps add to the effect of the exercise. Hold this position for ten seconds or as long as you feel you can, then slowly place your leg back down in its original position. Swap legs and do this five times or even ten times a day as you feel is necessary.
As time goes on you will find that ten seconds no longer feels like a challenge, so increase the length of your reps. A quick and simple exercise and it won’t look odd to anyone glancing over at your desk. Wonderful!
#3. Bathroom Squat Breaks
If you absolutely must get a squat or two into your daily routine, try this odd little tip. When you go to the bathroom, either before or after conducting your business, face the toilet with your back to the stall door. Then drop into a squat for ten seconds, or do ten short squats in a row. The position of the toilet means that you get a good spread on the stance of your squats. Make sure to put the seat down before squatting or you could drop something valuable into the toilet! Granted it does sound strange, but it is a good and effective way of getting in your daily squats without bothering anyone else in the office.
#4. The Motionless March
Fidgeting, even if it is for a short amount of time, helps to alleviate stress and it relaxes your mind and muscles. So what if we could put that time spent fidgeting to good use? Sit up straight with your bum at the back of your chair and put your feet together, heels touching. Now start your march by lifting first one leg on the spot, then the next. Make sure to try and lift with your thigh, this way you are working your hips, your buttocks and your upper thighs at the same time. It causes minimal disruption to those around you and can really help with your daily workout.
#5. Hip Swivel and Stretches
This exercise is one of the more ‘obvious’ of the lot, when it comes to making a scene. Unfortunately it only works if you have a swivel chair for your office, as this exercise makes good use of that swivel. Sit in any position you feel comfortable, although it helps if you have your legs and feet together to maximise your stretch potential. Now simple swivel your chair from side to side while attempting to keep your feet in the same place. You should feel the muscles in your hips stretching and contracting as you swing from left to right and over time this will help increase flexibility and prevent your risk from overexerting yourself when you come to more difficult stretches.
#6. A Tense Time
Tense those buttocks! It might not seem like a long or strenuous exercise, but alternating between ten to fifteen seconds of buttock tensing and shorter bursts of two to five seconds will really see an improvement in your glute muscles. Alternating the time you spend tensing helps to vary the exercise and prevents your body getting used to the exercise too quickly. We want our workouts to be efficient, not easy! Try not to relax your bum straight away after tensing and go for a slow relax to improve the effect of the tense. The best part about this exercise is that it is nigh on impossible to notice when sitting at your desk. Excellent for those looking at toning up without being too obvious about it.
Sometimes the simple difference between being fit and unfit is the willingness to change and the fear that it will mean some huge life overhaul in order to make that change. However having a healthy approach to fitness doesn’t mean tiring yourself out at the gym four days a week. It can be something as subtle and easy to maintain as marching on the spot or tensing your buttocks every two hours at work.
Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer working together with Kent-based specialist Whiteleys Office Furniture.