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Do you sit at your desk for hours every day? Do you feel that office works drain out all the life and energy out of you? Does your body feel stiff and tired due to sitting, for long hours? If so, Take 5-10 minutes every 2 hours or so and do these stretches……you won’t be disappointed at the refreshment and energy they bring.
Working in an office is no longer a valid excuse to stay unhealthy or have an inactive life. Doing some simple exercises at your office will not only make you active but will also help you retain your muscle tone and increase your metabolism while relieving the stress in your body. Exercising at your desk takes just a few minutes but it does your body and mind a lot of good.
Exercising at work may seem impossible, but it’s one option for staying fit and keeping your energy up. It takes some creativity, but there are opportunities to exercise at work if you pay attention. All it takes is a little planning and some inspiration to squeeze in a little movement all day long.
All you need is a chair and filled water bottles.
Make sure that the chair you are using doesn’t have wheels. If it has wheels then make sure to back it with a wall so that your chair doesn’t roll away. The bottles should be weighed prior to use so that they are just about 1 kgs in weight. Don’t push yourself with any of the exercises, if you can’t stretch yourself much. This is due to stiffness in your body and muscles and with regular stretching and exercising you will loosen up.
The following workout consists of stretches for your arms, wrists and back. Some basic strength training exercises, that can be done while sitting or standing at your desk. These exercises are a great way to keep your body moving right at your desk. This workout cannot take the place of a traditional strength training or fitness programme, but offers a way to keep you active and fit if you can’t get away from your desk.
Moving on to the workout:
Extend your left arm in front. The fingers should be pointing towards the ceiling. Now grab your fingers with the right hand and gently pull the fingers toward yourself. Hold this for 20-30 seconds and release. Now repeat this for the right hand.
Wrist and forearm stretch:
Fold your hands together in front of your chest (namaste posture). Your elbows should be parallel to the floor. Now gently bend your wrists at the right and left for 10 reps each.
Lower back stretch:
Sit tall and place the left arm behind your left hip. Gently twist to the left, bring your right arm towards your left hip to intensify the stretch a bit. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
Sit tall with the abs in. Now extend your left leg up until it’s leveled with your hip, squeezing the quadriceps (thigh muscles).Your toes should be pointing towards the ceiling. Hold this position for 2 seconds. Now lower your leg and repeat for 10-16 reps on each side.
Inner thigh stretch:
Place a towel or a firm water bottle between the knees as you sit up tall with the abs in. Squeeze the towel or bottle, release halfway and squeeze again, completing 16 reps of slow squeezes.
Sit tall with the abs in. Now lift the left foot off the floor a few inches keeping your knee bent. Hold this position for 2 seconds. Now lower your leg and repeat for 10-16 reps on each side.
Hold water bottle in right hand. Now keeping your abs in and spine straight, curl bottle towards shoulder. Do 16 reps on each side.
While holding a water bottle with both your hands, stretch your hands over your head and keep your arms straight. Now gently bend towards the right as far as possible. Come back to the center and repeat to the left. Bending towards the right and then left is counted as one rep. Repeat for 10 reps.
While holding the water bottle at chest level, sit straight. Gently twist towards the right, as far as you comfortably can. Feel your abs contract. Twist back to the center and now twist to the left. Count this as one rep. Repeat for 10 reps.
Tighten your buttocks, hold for 2-3 secs and then, relax. Do 20 reps.You can even do them while you are on the phone or typing up a report. Simply squeeze and release your buttocks muscles several times.
Tighten your abdominal muscles and hold for as long as you comfortably can, while breathing normally, now release. Do 20 reps.
Just replicate that gesture you perfected as a teenager when your parents asked you a question. With your head at your chest, shrug your shoulders up and down. Relieves stress from your neck and shoulders.
Other fitness tips
So that you don’t just sit but get fit:
- Instead of looking for the closest parking space. Park a little away from your office building. Now while walking your way towards office and then back to your car, try to walk as fast as is possible for you. Though it doesn’t sound like much, with time this adds up to better cardiovascular health and increased stamina.
- Wear casual shoes to office. Heels will pose as a hindrance for you to stay active. If you have to wear heels then throw a pair of ballerina flats in your bag and switch to these while walking here and there in office, as it allows moving quickly up and down the hall and stairs.
- Don’t waste your 30 mins of lunch time just gossiping with your coworkers. After having your lunch go for a 15 minutes brisk walk around the building or inside the building. Ok I know how will a girl digest her food without the gossip and bitching. No problems, just take your coworker for a stroll with you and checkout the nearby market, or grab a glass of chilled juice at that nearby juice bar, all this while having healthy doses of gossiping . 😛
- Set an alarm to go off every hour to remind you to stand up and walk around even if for a few minutes.
- Use the restroom on the other floor and use the stairs to go to that floor.
- Leave your lunch or something that you need in the day in your car so that you have to run back to the car to grab it.
- Don’t take the elevator. Take the steps wherever possible. If your office is at first floor and taking the stairs is no more a challenge. Take two steps at a time for that extra effort.
- Don’t use the office intercom for every conversation. Move your butt to your fave coworker’s cubicle to convey that little message. Meanwhile you can also check out that new hottie 😉 who sits just beside her.
- Use the water bottles just for exercise not to have water. When you want to have water move up to the water machine.
- Roll your wrists regularly, around every hour or so. Roll the wrists 10 times clockwise, then 10 times counterclockwise. This will help prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome if you spend a lot of time typing.
Any movement is better than none, so don’t feel like you have to do sprints all day long. Adding short bouts of exercise throughout the day will help you burn more calories and will also reduce stress so you can easily smile at your boss when she piles more work on you. With a little effort, you can burn extra calories at the office and help to tone your heart and muscles. So why not get moving baby….???
Priyanka, I think I badly needed this post. Thank you. :)- Rati
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