It’s hard to get adequate exercise to stay healthy, especially when you work at a desk. It’s also very easy to munch on snacks, often sugary ones, for extra energy midmorning or midafternoon. Making a few small changes every few weeks can make the difference between good health and bad, weight loss or weight gain. The first is to get a timer or use your cell phone timer. Set it for 55 minutes. When it goes off, get up and move around the room, getting your blood circulating for at least five minutes. If your work entails moving about frequently, you can skip this step, since you’re already doing it.
Get a ten-minute workout if you don’t have a half hour to spare.
Maybe you aren’t a morning person but can put forth the energy for a ten-minute workout. You might also be able to get a five-minute workout on each break and ten minutes when you get home from work. If you can, you’ve gotten in a full 30-minute session and according to studies, it’s just as beneficial as one you did for 30 minutes straight. Stretching, walking up and down the stairs, taking a brisk walk down the hall and even doing a few jumping jacks if you have a private place can be done on your breaks at the office. When you move, move as briskly as you can. Studies show short bursts of speed burn loads of calories.
Make your chair a piece of gym equipment.
You can exercise right at your desk throughout the day. Put your hands on the sides of the seat of your chair and lift your body, maintaining the same form as you had seated. Slide to the front edge of the chair, with your hands holding it and do a chair dip as you bend your arms and lower your body. Don’t do this on a chair with rollers. Partially stand up, by lifting your bottom off the chair and holding the position, then slowly lowering yourself back down. Then repeat.
Take healthy snacks to work.
You know you’re going to be hungry midmorning and midafternoon, so rather than grabbing junk food or waiting until after work and gorging on junk food, take healthy snacks to work. Make your own microwave popcorn. Put a third cup of popcorn in a microwave safe bowl with a lid and set the lid on loosely. Microwave until the popping slows, approximately 1-3 minutes. Apple slices and peanut butter, nuts and seeds or other fruit also make healthy snacks.
- Is your computer running slow? Make that useful time. Do deep knee bends until while you’re waiting. You can even judge the speed of your computer by the number of deep knee bends you did.
- Try the four-minute nitric oxide dump created by Dr Zack Bush. It’s four simple exercises done in three sets that boosts the nitric oxide in your body. That causes blood vessels to widen and lowers blood pressure.
- Do some isometrics throughout the day. Tighten your stomach muscles, hold your glutes tight or do a lunge and hold.
- Do leg extensions at your desk. Sitting on the edge of your chair, feet flat on the floor in front, extend one leg out with the heel on the floor, then lift. Hold the leg as parallel to the floor as possible for as long as possible. Lower and do the other leg.
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