Monday, 21 March 2016

Don’t use your work as your excuse. Get Moving!

Feel like you're stuck to your desk at work? Struggle to even go for a walk at lunch because you're so god damn busy and you can't trust Sandra to send that important email if you were to pop out to the gym? (She's just not got a clue).
Well fear not. There's plenty you can do using your office chair or desk, so you can get moving and take the credit for not leaving your post.
Even if you're a gym bunny morning or night, spend your own time slogging your butt to the gym, research suggests that may not be enough for those who lead such sedentary lives on the whole... AKA, you. The committed employee.
Don't get me wrong, these moves won't achieve ripped abs or marathon level fitness (if only it was that easy) but splitting up your day with a bit of body weight resistance work will definitely leave your mind and body energized and healthier.

Start with a stretch –
Sitting most of the day can quite often lead to postural or lower back problems. Sit up straight away from the back rest, twist your torso, hold on to one side of your chair with both hands and release some tension. Repeat twice per side.

Chair Squats –
Sink your chair to a lower position. Stand and sit on your chair without using your arms to support you. Repeat this about 20 times. Now let’s step it up a notch. Do the same thing but stand and sit only standing on one leg. Repeat 10 times on each leg. Take your time and don’t just collapse. Your glutes should fire and help stabilise the movement.

Chair Dips –
“Bingo Wings”? Not anymore with this savvy move. Place your hands parallel at the edge of your chair with your fingers hanging off the edge, scoot your butt forward so it’s off the chair and your knees at right angles. Bend your elbows toward the back of the chair lowering yourself toward the floor. Push back up to a straight arm. Feel the burn!

Leg Lifts –
This sneaky move works your abs a treat. Grasp the sides of a stationary chair with your knees together in front of you, resting on your toes. Straighten one leg completely to form a right angle with your upper body, and point the toe. Keep your abs tight as you lift the leg an inch, then lower an inch, completing 15 to 20 lifts. Switch sides.

Seated Ab Twists –
Twist and crunch, the ultimate core move. Sit up straight and away from the back of the chair with your feet flat on the floor. Position your hands behind your head and lift one knee toward the opposite elbow, twisting your body down toward it, then return to the seated, straight-back position. Try 15 a side.

Seated Oblique Leans –
This one can be deceiving. Do it holding a water bottle or something with a bit of weight and it works your waist, without, it’s a great stretch. Stretch your arms out straight above your head, holding the bottle at either end between both hands. From your waist, lean to the side pulling your belly button tight in towards your spine. Try alternating for 20 reps.

Desk Push Ups -
We’re getting braver now, it’s time to get out your seat. Lean against your desk with your arms straight, just wider than shoulder width apart at about a 45 degree angle and push up onto your toes. Lean yourself in, forcing your elbows out to the side. Push yourself back to complete the move. Try this 15-20 times.

Standing Ballerina Squats –
What do you think when you think ballerina. Pointed toes? Well here, stand next to your desk, holding on with both hands. Push up onto your toes then lower your body down as far as you can while keeping your back straight (avoid leaning forward), then lift up only until your hips reach knee level. Repeat 15 to 20 reps of lowering down and halfway up, then return all the way to standing.

Butt Kicks -
Finally, lets give the peach a good pumping. Stand holding the edge of a desk or table for support, feet together and facing forward. Bend one leg behind you, flexing the foot. Raise your heel up a few inches toward your butt (squeezing the hamstring), then release slightly and press your foot directly back behind you. Continue to alternate between lifting your heel up, then pressing it back (one of each equals one rep) 20 to 30 times, keeping your bent knee behind the standing leg the entire time. Switch sides.  

Give it a go and let me know how you get on. Like I said, don’t expect extreme results, but get the heart pumping, joints moving and ultimately, moving your hard working self a little more!

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