Two summers ago, I blogged about keeping yourself tuned and fit while at work. Now, apparently it’ll be spring in a few weeks but for the moment it looks like we’re really still in the grip of winter. Despite this rather chilly weather, now is a good a time as any to get on the ol’ treadmill (so to speak) and intersperse your slothfulness in the office with some get routines that’ll have you fit and ready for when you’ve shed your winter gear (and hibernation habits).
Here are a few to try out:
The Office Genie: Want to add a little magic to the workday? Raise the legs into a criss-cross applesauce position while seated in a chair. With your hands on the armrests, push upwards to raise the body off the seat and remain floating for 10-20 seconds. Release back down to the chair, rest for a minute, and repeat. Caution – test the strength of chair arms with your legs unfolded first – you don’t want to be pretzled into a position and then your chair collapses.
The Shoulder Shrug: Not recommended for board meetings (unless you’re really on the fence). Simply raise both shoulders up toward the ears, hold for 5 seconds, and then relax. Repeat for 15 reps.
The ‘Wheeee’+ Desk Chair Wheel: Go ahead, play with your wheelie chair (everyone wants to!). While seated in a chair with wheels, position yourself at arm’s length from a desk or table and grasp its edge with your hands. Next, engage the core*, raise the feet slightly off the ground, and pull with your arms until the chair slowly rolls forward and your chest touches the desk’s edge. Then roll back by pushing away, with the feet still raised. Repeat 20 times, or until you burn holes into the carpet. *engage the core essentially means shoulders down and back; spine straight and lock your stomach and pelvic muscles.
The Stair Master: Want to avoid lift small talk in favour of elevating the heart rate? Take the stairs! Accelerate on the straight-aways and take two at a time every other flight for a real leg burn.
The Last (Wo)Man Standing: Sure, standing around isn’t exactly traditional exercise, but research shows it’s got more than a leg up on sitting. After all, long periods of sitting are linked to increased risk for diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease, whereas standing significantly increases your daily caloric expenditure. Stand whenever you can, and consider roping in other colleagues to have standing meetings too.
Last (wo)man standing can, of course, be easily held when you head off to the water cooler to replenish your water (that you will really need to be drinking more than usual if you’re going to be starting up with these wonderful get fit ideas).
I’ll see you on the common beginning spring with your shorts on at this rate!