Remember the days when “work” meant manual labor with a side of blood, sweat, and tears? These days, with our bums glued to our seats, the office is probably the easiest place on the planet for extra pounds to sneak up on people. And while you may be a Word champ by day, and a runner by night, anyone who exercises can tell you that 30 minutes of exercise (cardio, yoga, dance) a day, five times a week, might help your stuff body at work, and help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.
It’s the perfect storm really; you’ve got all these hurdles and derailing elements all in one environment: stress, unhealthy snacks or constant mouth cramming, and physical confinement in the form of an office or a cubicle. And it doesn’t help that over the years the amount of hours people work a week, has slowly increased – 32-40 hours used to be accepted as full-time, now, generally, it’s more like 45-55 hours. For few, like myself, it’s excellent, because I love my job; but for the majority – stress-ridden.
Today, with social pressures, more women are less confident in the way they look, and love less about their bodies. While no one factor is solely responsible for this, although, I’m sure we can mostly blame the media (Facebook, Movies, TV, Magazines, etc.) it definitely does not seem like too much of a stretch of the imagination to believe that the longer you sit on your bum, the more ‘squishy’ it might get.
Cleaning out the negative and replacing with the positive is very much a theme of many exercises, or meditation practices worldwide. The secrets of rejuvenation and energy gain, lies within your ‘yin and yang.’ Seeing the ‘negative’ as an energy which can be recycled and used as a positive energy is important in the practices, together with cultivating and drawing in the energy around us.
So whether you’re cubicle-bound, or have an office to yourself, here are some ways to exercise all of the “extra” off. So for brief moments out of your day, stop editing, working in Photoshop, and emailing, and try these exercises for a healthier mind, body, and spirit! Six-packs can’t be promised here, but remember to be positive and push yourself! What you want to accomplish will always take hard work. It takes four weeks for you to notice a change in your body; six weeks for your friends and family to notice; and eight weeks for the whole world – so keep going!
2 minutes marching in place, or walk around the building.
15 Bum Squeezes: sitting straight in your chair, feet flat on the floor, contract your cheeks and hold for 2-3 seconds so that you raise up a bit in your chair before relaxing your muscles. *If your chair has wheels, find another one or put a lock on it.
15 Arm Circles: extend arms and make small clockwise circles with your fingertips. Then, counter-clockwise.
15 Abdominal Contractions: sit in your chair with a straight back and pull your belly button towards your spine. Hold for 5 seconds for each repetition.
15 Seated Tricep Dips: scoot to the edge of your chair and support your body weight with your fingers hanging over the edge of the seat. Lower your body weight, keeping elbows tucked into your sides. Make sure to choose a chair without wheels!
15 Squats: easiest way to burn calories and tone your bum and thighs, especially when you have limited space!
15 Wall Push-ups: to tone your chest with an office exercise routine, do push-ups against the wall.
15 Toe Raises: a great move for cubicle routines, which allow you to tone the calves without breaking a sweat and with minimal room.
15 Resistance Band Curls: keep dumbbells, exercise bands, or found objects that will work at your desk, and you will open up a wealth of different office exercises and toning moves that require very little space.
Do these workouts once or twice through, or just throw in the exercises randomly throughout your day, as time allows. Taking short breaks for physical activity can actually increase your mental focus, creativity, and productivity, so time exercising in the workplace is not wasted time.
*If you do some brisk walking for 15 minutes, you’ll burn 100 calories.
*If you have two 15 minute breaks, and you walk for both in your 8 hour day, you’ll have walked roughly 2 miles, and burned an extra 200 calories by the end of the day.
*If you work in a building with an elevator, take the stairs whenever possible. Park your car further away from the building to get in an extra few steps. Get up and away from your computer often to take short walks or stretch.
To find out how your ‘yin and yang’ pertain to you exercises, and more exercises to do at work, stayed tuned!