Does your workday need a workout? If pencil pushing is your only exercise during the week, consider scheduling some deskercises (desk + exercise) into your daily grind. Implementing aerobics into your workday encourages more than just muscle gains, it also helps promote better circulation, concentration and improves the brain’s response to stress.
Here are four easy ways to fit fitness into your workday:
Take the stairs. Climbing to your cubicle is an easy way to crank up your heart rate, burn more calories and keep your legs moving. Think of a stairs break as the healthy alternative to smoke breaks. Whenever you feel stressed, need some fresh air, decompress in the stairwell instead.
Elevated Pushups. Long days spent hunched in front of a computer screen can lead to poor posture and muscle atrophy. Pushups are a powerful exercise that can reverse the effects of a sedentary lifestyle. Here’s how to ensure proper form:
- Find a sturdy surface like your desk or a nearby wall.
- Position your hands on the desk so they are aligned with your shoulders and then walk your feet back so that you are forming a straight line from your head to your heels.
- Keep your elbows close to your ribs as you slowly lower your body about 3-5 inches from the surface.
- Push through your palms and return to your starting stance. Repeat 12-15 times.
Calf Raises. Most people forget about the muscles located beneath the knees. While it is very difficult to bulk up your calves, it still is an important area to keep active. Doing so helps with overall lower body strength, and can even help prevent health issues like blood clots.
- Stand next to a sturdy surface for support.
- Keep your abs engaged and your shoulders back as you push through the balls of your feet to elevate the heels off the ground. Repeat 20-25 times.
- Be aware of your ankle stability during each repetition. If you feel wobbly, slow down. Faster is not better. For an added challenge, practice single leg calf raises without a wall or chair for support.
Wall Sits. This stationary squat position engages some of the largest muscle groups in the body – the glutes, hamstrings, quads and core muscles. If you typically avoid squats due to a fear of hurting your knees, try a wall sit instead. Since this move does not require the repetitive motion of a standard squat, you don’t have to worry about watching your form as much.
- Stand with you back against a sturdy wall.
- Slowly walk your feet out as you slide your back down the wall. Stop when you knees are bent at a 90 degree angle.
- Keep your weight in your heels and your knees behind your toes. Hold for 30-60 seconds then slowly slide back up to the starting position. If you find it challenging to stand up from this wall sit stance, simply allow your body to softly sit onto the floor once completed.
Repeat this circuit 3-5 times throughout your workday.
Give your body the promotion it deserves.
Ashley B. Greenblatt is a certified personal trainer and wellness coach. To learn more, visit ashleyblakefitness.com.