Sitting is the new smoking – you have probably heard this before. Working for long hours at a desk can be bad for the heart even for someone who gets regular exercise.
Sitting for long hours can lead to weight gain, unless you do something about it like catching fresh air every hour or standing every time you are on the phone.
Your desk or office has just about everything you need to keep you moving. And you can squeeze exercise in your schedule while you are actually working – a little bit like killing two birds with a stone.
One way to get some strength training is by repeated flexing of your biceps with some weight – also called bicep curls.
This is possible by employing the humble water bottle instead of a dumbbell. Sit on your desk with your stomach pulled in, back straight, shoulders blades pulled back and lift the weight. Do repetitions of ten – one repetition is one set. Switch arms and repeat another set. Do as many as you can.
Boxing is good for many reasons. It combines cardio (running, skipping) with strength training.
But how can you manage it in your office?
If you have your own office or cabin you can walk around your make believe boxing ring. Spar with an invisible partner for a few minutes. Throw punches with both hands from varying angels. Idea is to get your arms to move in a variety of ways.
Leg extensions are fairly simple and can be incorporated in your work while you are seated at your desk. Sit tall, push your stomach in, extend your leg until it is level with your hip. Do this with both your legs with as many sets as you can manage.
Getting your calves toned through exercise is another way of achieve two objectives in one go. Stand on your feet and raise yourself on your toes. You can support yourself against the wall. Repeat as many sets as possible.
Another way to get your calves in action is through extensions. Push your chair back and get your legs out in front with your feet on the floor. Point your toes straight up, towards your knees, as far as possible. Then point them down away from you.
Getting your heart rate up with jumping jacks is efficient and takes very little time. It counts as an all body exercise and brings into action all your limbs as also your core. It takes up little space and can be done near your work area.
Another way to get an all body exercise in your regime is through skipping. While skipping rope takes space, you can try air skipping. This is when you skip with an imaginary rope.
Squatting is very effective for the core. It’s simple and just about everyone has done it at some stage. While form is important in a squat, as with any other exercise, all you need to get the basic squat right is to pretend that you are sitting in an imaginary chair, a very low one, and keep rising and sitting on this chair.
Another exercise for the core is the lunge. It’s easy to do – get your right leg ahead of your left leg as if you are taking a very long stride. Then bend so that your left knee is close to the ground and your right thigh is parallel to the ground. Do a set each with both legs and repeat as many as possible.
Pushups / Planks
The simple push up needs no introduction. It’s an all body exercise that is great for your shoulders, arms and the core. Do as many sets as possible.
Getting your body straight as an arrow on the floor by resting on your elbows is how you do the plank. Hold the position for 30 to 60 seconds.