While I love writing about fashion and clothes for all you lovely ladies out there, it is inevitable that sitting for eight hours a day is sure to make my bum a bit sore after a while. And I don’t know about you, but flat is not the shape I want for swimsuit season! Sooo, I decided to take matters into my own hands and find ways to get in shape — while at work and staying studiously on track, of course.
With the help of Google and my friend Kelsey, personal trainer and Fitness Director at a local gym, I’ve compiled a list of a few ways to stay healthy, fit, and focused during your hours behind the desk.
Keep moving. “One of the things we tell clients most often is to keep moving.” Kelsey notes that it’s important to keep your blood circulating and get an adequate amount of oxygen to the brain. If this means more trips to the water cooler, then do it!
Go for a walk. Use your lunch time to add in some cardio. If you don’t want to miss out on valuable gossip time, chat on your phone (talking burns calories, right?) or, better yet, convince a workmate or two to join you. Get a smoothie or sandwich to go and take a walk around the block or local park.
Take your tens. If you get a break, take it. You might be tempted to work through it or grab a coffee instead, but taking the time to stretch and move around will benefit you AND your boss in the long run.
Take the stairs. Yeah, yeah, I know you’ve heard it all before. But seriously, it’s worth it. According to Doctor Kong Chuan The of the Singapore Sports Council, you can burn about 1.8 calories for every flight of stairs you walk up and about .8 calories for every flight you walk down. If you worked on the fourth floor and went up and down to your office about four times, this roughly translates to about two hundred calories a day – the same amount of calories you’d burn walking for an hour or biking for a half hour.1 Um, not bad right?
Chest and Shoulders. Put your hands on your chair arms, and push yourself up so your rear is hovering. Lower yourself down a little, but don’t touch the seat yet. Hold for a few seconds and then sit back down. Repeat fifteen times.3
Stretch. Reach back behind your head and squeeze your shoulder blades together. This, says Kelsey, gets the posterior deltoids (back of your shoulders) stretched. Easy, right? Interlock your fingers and press your palms to the ceiling for the ultimate stretch.
Abs. While sitting up straight with your back not touching the back of the chair, exhale and pull your abs in toward your spine. Keep your back straight (think of bracing yourself to get punched). Hold your abs in while you breathe, concentrating on your lower abs and filling your lungs to stretch out the muscles between your ribs.
Arms. Kelsey suggests keeping small arm weights at your desk, between two and five pounds, so you can do bicep curls while reading memos or other documents. Weight/resistance training increases your muscle mass, which thereby increases your metabolism and allows you to burn more calories throughout the day.
Have a ball. Literally. Swap your regular chair for a stability ball, she recommends, to work your abs and strengthen your postural muscles. Don’t slouch!
Leg Lifts. Raise your leg straight ahead of you and hold for two seconds. Then lower it so it’s hovering just above the floor and hold it for another few seconds. Repeat each leg fifteen times.2
Dream. Vacation anyone?