Fitness is work

Exercises you can do while you are at work

Just a few minutes a day can make a difference. Courtesy photo

Exercises you can do while you are at work.

Get up off your feet ! … and move ‘til you feel better!

Do you sit at a desk for 8 hours of your work day? Sadly, 70% of Americans do and they hate it. According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 3.2 million deaths can be attributed to lack of physical activity. And unfortunately these sedentary lifestyles increase our risk of bone and muscle loss, heart disease, and diabetes. Even if you are active on a daily, you are still possibly at risk of not getting enough activity to counteract your sedentary self of being at a desk for 8 hours at a time.

If you think about your daily routine, there is a lot of booty action, doing a whole lot of nothing. For most, you commute to work, sitting; work for 8 hours, sitting; commute home, sitting; then get home and spend more time, sitting, in front of the tv. Oh, and somewhere between that 10-14 hours of sitting you may have a 1-hour workout to try to help counteract the body from being sedentary. Then, guess what, at the end of a long work day, you’re back in bed for 7-8 hours to do it all over again. Let’s face it, as much as we want to be active and not think we are on our bums longer than we actually are. We are literally killing ourselves, putting our bodies at risk for obesity, poor posture, diabetes, heart disease, the list goes on and on.

The point is there are numerous ways to try to add some more activity to your day and quite frankly with just this little extra movement, you can reverse inevitable weight gain, or even save your life. Let’s start with simple stretches at your desk. Just do the stretches that feel good or right to you. And remember to hold for :30 on each side. You can start with your arms and work your way down the body. Take your right arm and place it across the chest (towards left), while at the same time bending your left arm around it. Now let’s move on to your wrists, (this will feel good, you’ll thank me). This is featured in my video attached, but if you stand up and put your palms flat on your desk (arms straight), and then start to flip them, (palms up then down, flexion and extension), alternating left and right wrists. This stretch feels amazing for people that sit in front of a computer and type all day.

After your arm stretches, move down the body, neck rolls, wrist stretching, shoulder shrugs, leg stretches, finally leading to standing up. Standing you can stretch the legs and then you can reach for the stars, or reach to each side of your wingspan, opening the chest. You can also stretch while sitting at the desk, prop one leg on the desk and reach for the toes, hold for :30, as you will see in the video below. While you are back to sitting, try some seated torso twists. This is demonstrated in the video as well. In the video I take you through these static stretches and some other exercises.

Now, that you have you’re warmed up and stretched out. Here are a few exercises to follow, to help keep the blood and juices flowing at work. (see video attached for reference)

  1. Seated Leg extensions: Sit in your chair, (knees bent), extend right leg completely straight and hold for :5 seconds. Then alternate legs. Continue to switch until you finish 10 on each leg. That is 1 set, repeat 2 more sets.
  2. Desk assisted push-ups: Stand 1 foot in front of your desk, lean forward so you are at an angle, and do a push on the edge of the desk. For the ladies that are self-conscious about their shoulders, try keeping your elbows in. This now focuses on the Tri-ceps. Do this 10 reps/ 3X
  3. Tri-cep Dips: Stand up and turn around to where your back is facing the desk. Position your hands shoulder width apart, placing your hands on the desk. Be sure to move the booty out front with legs extended. Bend at the elbows and voila! 10 reps/ repeat 3X
  4. Calf Raises:  Stand. For support you can use the back of your chair. Facing your desk, raise into the tip toes, hold for a brief second, then release. Repeat 10 times, and complete with 3 rounds.
  5. Wall Sits: Easy Peasy. Go to a wall (with your back against the wall), sit and pretend there is an invisible chair underneath you, into a seated position. Hold the position for about :30 each time.  Repeat 10 X.
  6. Standing lunges: Same lunge as always. Standing, take one leg back (bending) and lowering to the knee. Alternate legs. Repeat this 10X on each leg, 3 rounds
  7. Kick Backs: This exercise is demonstrated in the video. Standup, use your chair as a crutch. Kick back the right leg as high as you can with the knee cap facing the floor. Alternate legs. 10X on each leg, 3 rounds.
  8. Shoulder Press: Grab a couple binders or anything with a couple pounds of weight. Hold it flat at shoulder level and raise the item straight into the air (overhead) and back down again. Do this 10 X, 3 rounds.
  9. Squats: So easy, you can do these in the air or in your chair. Stand-up, sit back down, repeat 15 times. Or squat and hover over your chair, 15 times. Repeat this for 3 rounds.

Tappy, tap, tap: Here is an exercise anyone can do. Sit at your desk, for the foot tap drill. This means tapping each foot on the balls of the feet, and alternating right to left. Continue for :30 seconds and bam! Repeat 10X.

Now those exercises weren’t so bad, were they? Try to add them to your everyday routine, so that this becomes a lifestyle. Then…outside of your desk you can burn a few more calories by:

  1. Taking the stairs- No matter what floor you are on, you can always take the stairs.

  2. Take a walk break- Smoke breaks are old; walk breaks are in.. and the new thing

  3. Park further- Even if you are in a parking garage, give it a walk or 2

  4. Set your watch- For all the 2018 technology watch people; you can set timers for during the day as a reminder to “stand-up”, or “walk around”, or take a “mental break”

  5. DIY (do it yourself)- Instead of asking an intern or assistant for something…take over!

Want to take it one step further? Here are some items you can order to kick your booty in gear and take it to the next level. It’s December, add this to your Christmas list!

Bosu Ball- Keep it simple. There are tons of versions of these. You can either get a real bosu ball and sit on this. Or you can get the fancy one, where the bottom half is actually made into a chair, and top is half of a bosu. Either way, they are amazing to stretch on and even bounce around from time to time to keep your body active and moving!

Stand up desk – You can find many variations for the stand-up desk. This desk helps you get up off your feet! And not stuck in a chair for hours. You can find these just about anywhere online, Amazon.

Ergohead standing desk mat- not a flat anti-fatigue mat for stand-up desks; You can find this on Amazon. This is great for those that have stand up desks.

Desk Bike- MY FAV!  I have one, and it is awesome! However, amongst all the distractions, you do have to remember to pedal. 😊 Order online off the Vari-Desk website, or wherever when googling desk bike.

Portable Elliptical – It’s like an elliptical from the gym, except it’s mini and portable. Fit this under your desk to work your little legs without even knowing it!

 

Add these to your grocery list

Best foods for runners to eat before and after a run

Courtesy photo

Jovan Abernathy is an international marathoner and owner of Houston Tourism Gym. To claim your free tour, contact her at info@tourismgymhtx.com

I'm looking in my email inbox. One thing is clear (other than I really need to delete some emails), race season is beginning. There is the Hot Chocolate Run, the Bayou City Classic, and Run Like a Diva Marathon. I'm getting totally excited thinking about all the medals I can get. Then, I think about last running season. My habits were pretty sloppy last race season. There is a reason why you haven't seen my finish line picture. My nutrition was shotty. So I went to my friend, Google, and did some research on the best foods for runners. Here is what I found:

As an experienced runner, what you eat before you run is of the utmost importance. It is no fun to run out of steam due to not eating. It is also no fun to eat the wrong thing and get gassy. It is no fun to eat something that makes it hard to move and slows your time down. Once before a long run of 16 miles, I grabbed a plum from my fridge in haste. I forgot that a plum is really a prune. I got what they call runner trots (that's diarrhea) around mile 11. And that's really no fun. So what are the best foods to eat before a run or a race.

Banana

Bananas are full of potassium which help regulate the body's muscle contractions and prevents cramping. It also has enough starch to provide the glucose (where energy comes from) for your run and is easy to digest earning the name Old Fait.

Oatmeal

Oatmeal

If you are in the mid point of training for a half, full marathon, or a spartan race, you will have long strenuous workouts and runs. Oatmeal makes a perfect choice to get you through. Like the banana, it is easy on the stomach and is full of carbohydrates to get you through your workout. It's a wonderful source of protein and because it has a low glycemic index, it provides sustained release of energy thus making sure you finish strong.

Nut Butter

Nut butters, like peanut, almonds, and cashews are great to eat before and after your run. Nut butters are full of fat and protein making you feel fuller longer. What's cool about that is you can eat less and you won't run the risk of cramping and sluggishness that comes with eating too much. Pair it with Ezekiel Toast (bread made with all the ingredients found at Ezekiel 4:9) to have a light meal made from complete plant protein. And its quick and easy to make. Just add honey to taste.

Protein Shakes

Protein shakes are great to consume before your workout, whether it is running, cross fit, or lifting weights. They are full of protein like the name suggests. If you are on a specific diet, they work well into your daily calories and nutrients. They come in amazing flavors like chocolate chip cookie dough and salted caramel. Chose a plant based protein powder over whey for running. It sustains you without weighing you down and is easy on the stomach. I recommend AdvoGreens Salted Caramel by Advocare.

Eggs

One of the best things ever created was the egg. Eggs are an inexpensive solution to many dietary problems for runners especially. Forget about them being a complete protein, but a little goes a long way. One egg over Ezekiel toast before a run will last until the end. After a run, you can enjoy an omelette to not only fight hunger, but inflammation. Also, eggs are full of Vitamin K which promotes bone health. Let's just say, the egg is awesome!

Some foods are great for runners to add to their overall diet.


Sweet potato

Runners need their carbs. You can't just eat Doritos and think that's going to cut it. Instead try adding sweet potato to your diet. Sweet potatoes are good carbs meaning they don't cause your sugar to spike which is great for runners because you can last a lot longer on the track. They are also full of antioxidants, vitamin C, potassium, and iron. You can eat them stuffed, in a hash, or baked them as fries with salt and vinegar drizzled on top.

Yogurt

Yogurt is also great for runners as it helps boost your immune system by its many strains of probiotics. Nothing can ruin a training schedule than getting sick over and over again. Yogurt is another great source of protein as well as calcium. It is a very diverse food. You can enjoy it off the spoon, as kefir, or as a smoothie with your favorite fruit. I'm thinking a berry, banana blast with pineapple (pineapple is great for preventing injuries).

Avocado

I can't have enough reasons to eat avocado. Avocados are a runner's best friend. Avocados have as much as 60% more potassium than bananas. Because of their high fat and fiber content, they keep you feeling full for longer. They possess Omega 3 Fatty Acids and other anti-inflammatory properties. This reduces muscle and joint soreness and assists in recovery between workouts. Although amazing by themselves, avocados are great on sandwiches, with eggs, and just about anything.

Legumes

Like eggs, legumes are an inexpensive solution to many dietary problems for runners. They are a complete protein-carbohydrate combination that will give you sustained energy and helps repair your muscles. They are full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals and will fit into a vegan, vegetarian, and a meat eaters diet. Think lentil stew or a bowl of chili to satiate your hunger after a long run. I would wait to enjoy after the run. They could cause gas.

So next time you go to the grocery store, be sure to include these items on your list. Better yet, pick out a couple of recipes to try out.