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Fitness Exercises at Your Desk

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Man and office chair in the street

Face it—between being a dad, a husband and an employee, your schedule doesn’t give you much time to work out. When you got married and had kids, you began putting others first, meaning less and less time to worry about yourself. It’s about time to put yourself back into the equation. Maybe you can’t fit a trip to the gym between dance recitals and t-ball practices, but you can get in a workout without leaving your desk. You may not get buff or lose twenty pounds, but you might regret that burrito you just ate a little less.

Even if you would rather watch the big game instead of playing one of your own, it’s important to remain active. A article by the Center for Disease Control states that more than 60 percent of American adults do not exercise regularly—but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are five easy exercises that can give you the office break you need to feel relaxed and stretched at work.

Stretching

Sitting at a desk for eight hours every day can put strain on your back, neck and eyes. Ignore the stares from across the room and stretch your neck side to side. Roll your shoulders in a sequence of back and forward motions about ten times. Roll your ankles in the same motion, going to the right and left on each leg. If you have a chair that moves, roll it back with your hands extended to the edge of your desk. Attempt to make your back as flat as possible. This move will stretch your back and will help your posture.

Sitting Leg Lifts

After you are stretched, lean your back against your desk chair in perfect posture. With your feet flat on the floor, lift your right leg up and touch your knee to the bottom of your desk. Hold each knee for 10 seconds and then switch to your other knee. Repeat ten times.

Stand Up

You get up from your desk multiple times throughout the day, whether to use the printer, attend a meeting or just say hey to a colleague. Get into a habit of not using your arms for support when you rise from your chair. If you depend on your legs to stand up, you will strengthen those muscles.

Side Exercises

Remain in perfect posture and extend your arms horizontally. Lean side to side, touching the floor while keeping your arms straight. Keep your core engaged throughout this exercise. This movement will work your sides and strengthen your core.

Desk Chair Dips

For this one you need a stationary desk chair—one that doesn’t roll. While seated, place your hands on each armrest, with your elbows facing the back of your chair. Extend your elbows till your arms are nearly straight, raising your body out of the chair. Then bend them and lower yourself back into the chair. Raise and lower yourself ten times. With this exercise you use your body weight to strengthen your triceps.

A few exercises at your desk will not meet the recommended 30 minutes of physical activity per day recommended by a report from the Surgeon General, but it’s a start. Being more active at work will inspire you to find more ways to work out at your home. Spending time with your kids is important, but to keep up with their energy, you must stay fit and be active.

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