Get Fit While You Sit
Want to stay in shape? Step away from the desk.
Staying fit takes work—but so does earning a living. It can be hard to get to the gym four or five times a week if you’re juggling a job, a spouse and kids. It can be especially tough if you’re deskbound for eight hours a day. That’s why fitness experts recommend office workouts.
“Anybody who sits at a desk six to eight hours needs to be up and moving,” says Rosemarie “Bud” Seaman, owner of Bud’s Ultimate Fitness (buds-ultimate-fitness.com) in Winter Park. “Studies have shown that being sedentary makes it harder to lose weight.”
Kenneth Hearn, owner of Flex-Ability (getflexability.com) in Longwood, agrees. “Take a little walk every hour,” he says. “Even if it’s just a minute walking down the hallway and back, it’s better than sitting for eight hours straight.”
With that in mind, take a few minutes each day to use the “fitness tools” available in your workspace—your desk and office (or cubicle) walls—for some muscle strengthening. Toe raises, bicep curls, push-ups and squats are just a few of the exercises you can accomplish throughout the day. Seaman suggests three sets and 10 repetitions of each exercise, twice a day. Build up to 20 reps as your time and flexibility allow. And don’t feel guilty about making time for mini-workouts. “People who smoke take a break every hour to two hours,” says Seaman. “If healthy people took a break every hour to two hours to do five minutes of exercise, they’d be so much better off.”
1 – Toe Raises for Calf Muscles
Place your hands against a wall and lean into it a little bit. Raise up on your toes and then come back down. After each set, change your foot position: For the first set, keep your toes straight ahead; second set, turn your toes out a little bit; third set, turn your toes in. You’ll be working three different areas of your calf muscle.
2 – Curls for the Biceps
Using a bungee cord with moderate resistance, stand on the cord with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the cord’s handles down by your sides and, elbows next to your sides, curl your arms up to your chest and then lower them.
3 – Push-ups for Chest Muscles
Place your hands, shoulder-width apart, on your desk. Back your feet up until your body is at a 45-degree angle to the floor. Bend your arms, lower your chest and push yourself back up.
4 – Squats for the Quadriceps and Hamstrings
Stand at your desk with feet shoulder-width apart. Place your hands on your desk for support. Squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor; stand up again.