Looking to burn extra calories during your day? Try exercising at work!
You don’t need to break out your gym gear, weights and water bottle. Use the resources
around you…desk, chair, stairs, hallway, etc. Research has shown that exercising throughout the day helps to improve your heart rate variability (your heart’s ability to jump from resting to pumped), increases longevity, and decreases your risk for heart disease.
Small exercise breaks also help you burn extra calories; releases stress and stiffness; eases muscle cramps; and gives you more energy throughout the day. Below are exercises that can be done from your desk, workstation or site. Only choose a few from each category to start. Make it fun and invite your co‐workers to join you:
Jumping Jacks – Jump with both feet and hands together, then apart. If you're a beginner, try the low‐impact version (raise your right arm and tap your left toe to the side while keeping your right foot on the floor; alternate sides). Try 30‐60 second sets. Challenge: Repeat 2‐3 times
Jog in Place – Run/jog in place for 30‐60 seconds. Get those knees up! (Beginners, march in place.) Challenge: Repeat 2‐3 times
Jumping Rope (simulation of course) ‐ Hop on alternate feet or on both feet at once. An easier version is to simulate the arm motion of turning a rope, while alternately tapping the toes of each leg in front. Try 30‐60 second sets. Challenge: Repeat 2‐3 times
Stairs – A great way to get your heart pumping. Take several flights of stairs up then down. Repeat 2‐3 times for more of a challenge but be sure to pace yourself.
Lower and Upper Body Movements
Squats (hamstrings, quads, and glutes) ‐ Stand with your head facing forward and your chest held up and out. Place your feet shoulder‐width apart or slightly wider. Extend your hands straight out in front of you to help keep your balance. Sit back and down as if you are sitting into an imaginary chair. Rather than allowing your back to round, let your lower back arch slightly as you descend. Lower down so your thighs are as parallel to the floor as possible, with your knees over your ankles. Press your weight back into your heels. Keep your body tight and push through your heels to bring yourself back to the starting position. Try one set of 15. Challenge: Repeat 2‐3 times
Straight Leg Lifts (inner and outer thighs) ‐ Stand behind your chair with your feet together. Your back should be straight. Lift your right leg straight out to the side and lower down slowly until both feet meet. Try two sets of 10 each leg, with a couple minutes of rest in between. Challenge: Repeat 2‐3 times
Desk push ups (chest and arms) ‐ Make sure your desk is solid enough to support your weight. Standing put your hands on the desk. Walk backward then do push‐ups against the desk. Try one set of 15. Challenge: Repeat 2‐3 times
Chair Lifts (triceps and shoulders) ‐ Place both hands on your chair arms and slowly/slightly lift your bottom off the chair. Lower yourself back down but stop short of the seat, hold for a few seconds. Try one set of 15. Challenge: Repeat 2‐3 times
Chair Pulls (back and biceps) ‐ Place your hands on the desk and hang on. Slowly push your chair back until your head is between your arms and you're looking at the floor. Then slowly pull yourself back in. Try one set of 15. Challenge: Repeat 2‐3 times
Boot Camp Cincinnati encourages you to consult a physician before beginning any exercise program. Discontinue exercise immediately if you experience pain, dizziness, or discomfort. Please ensure you perform these exercises in a safe environment.
Sources: www.webmd.com, www.fitsugar.com, http://health.howstuffworks.com