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!

 

It's that time of the year, where you will either a) be traveling, or b) too comfy and warm to get out of bed! And don't worry even while you are traveling to your favorite mother-in-law's house, I got you covered. We've all had those moments, even the biggest fit junkies, where you wake up and think…. maybe I could work out from my bed? Well below are some of the top exercises you can do, all without having to leave your bed!

1)The Pilates clam

In the video, first you will notice a pillow in between my arm and head. Place a pillow or towel here in order to keep the spine in line from head to end of tail bone. Remember this is a beginner exercise, but you can always advance it and lift the feet in the air, in the same position. Repeat 3 sets of 15 each.

2) Straight- leg lifts

Laying on your left side, place your right hand on your hip, while your arm is bent and helping to support your head. Lift the right leg up to about a 45-degree angle. Repeat 15 times with 3 sets and you will feel your glutes start to burn. Flip over to your right side and repeat on left leg.

3) Prone Cuban Press

This isn't as much of an exercise, but it is very beneficial to your arm flexibility and strength. This is similar to a prone Cuban press, except without weight. Lie on your belly extend your arms straight out. Try to pass through your arms right underneath your shoulders, while bending your arms and reaching through towards the toes. Using the same motion come back up through, back to the top. This is harder than it looks and will really test your flexibility. Repeat these 15 times.

4) V-ups (jackknife sit-ups)

Technically, you can do any form of sit-ups here. However, I like to choose V-ups, especially if you have a bony spine, the bed helps tremendously with the comfort of your spine. While lying on your back, extend your arms over your head and legs straight out. All in one movement raise your upper half of your body reaching towards the ceiling. At the same time your legs will come up to try meet your fingertips. Remember your hands are reaching towards the ceiling and toes are trying to reach those hands. Try not to let your feet meet your hands, before your hands get to the top point of the exercise. Repeat 12 times for 3 sets.

5) Marching hip raises

Start in the same half bridge position, except this time you are going to lift 1 leg up in a 45-degree angle, and hold for :1 second. Alternate each leg, 10 times. Reminder you are alternating legs while you are still holding this bridge position.

6) Bird dogs

Start in a table top, hands, knees, and shins resting on the bed. In one motion reach out your right arm along while straightening out your left leg, hold for 1 second. Then alternate your arms and legs. The unevenness of the bed will really give you a test of your balance. Repeat 10 times each and 3 sets.

7) Half-bridge

While lying on your back on the bed, with your knees bent, tuck-in your chin tucked into your chest. As your booty lifts off the bed, dig your heels into the bed, squeezing your glutes. For an added benefit, fold a pillow and place within your knees and squeeze for :5 at a time. This will help you tone the inner part of your thighs. Repeat these 15 times, for 3 sets.

8) Single leg half-bridge

While lying on your back, bend one leg, while the other is in the air at a 45-degree angle. Arms are to each side, palms down. With 1 leg lifted, you will lift your gluteus maximus in the air, pushing through your hips to the ceiling, hold for 1 second and release. Repeat on same leg 10 times, then alternate to other leg.

9) Booty sculpting hip rotations

These are small movements, but you will definitely feel it in your booty. Lie on your belly, bend your arms, and use your hands for support of your head. Straighten one leg, while bending the other leg (foot resting behind opposite knee). This movement can be slow and at your pace. With only lifting your bent knee up from the bed be sure to keep the rest of the movement pressed against the bed. Again, this is a small movement, only lifting a few inches. This movement targets a complex group of muscles that include gluteus medius/maximus, piriformis, and quadratus femoris.

10) Toe Taps

Lie on your back towards the edge of the bed, make sure you have a neutral spine the whole time. Bring your legs into a table top position (bending at a 45-degree angle). On the exhale lower on leg towards the ground. Only go as low as you can while maintaining a neutral spine. This will also make sure your abs are pulled in and working. Alternate legs throughout the exercise and do 10 reps on each leg.