Desk exercises that are great return on investment for your body

image courtesy: womenlivingwell.org
image courtesy: womenlivingwell.org

Eight or ten hours in the office and most of us are looking for the most comfortable place to sink in. All the mind work, some of it tedious, does a lot of us in. And many of us use that one drink to feel better (and smokers do even worse), which then turns into another drink. In short, that is office life for you.

However, it does not have to be that way. First of all, you can definitely feel much more sprightly with a little smarter use of your body while at the desk. And the other thing is, it keeps you from going fat. Anyone will tell you that they put on those extra pounds because they sat on the desk and worked to make money for a ‘better’ life. Yes, it is ironic.

While at your office desk, you can actually exercise without really disrupting your work. And this will mean you don’t have to do that extra half hour at the gym (provided you are the kind that actually goes to the gym post work).

Do these (desk) workouts and get great return on investment!

Burn as you earn: When you are sitting on your chair, do leg extensions. Lift your feet off the floor until your knees are completely straight and the muscles contracted.

Repeat at least 15 times. It barely takes any time and nobody knows what you actually did under your desk! Jokes apart, you will see a distinct tone in your leg muscles (quadriceps).

Be a cat at the copy machine: If you are waiting in a queue to get a photocopy (or any other queue, like a lunch or coffee queue), stand on your tip toes.

Repeat this 30 times. It’s pretty unobvious. And if someone does find out, they might just be impressed enough to join in. This exercise will give you great calves.

Crunch time: The upright crunch is another intense desk drill. When you are on your keyboard, keep your back straight, lift your knees above the chair, hold them till your abdominal muscles tire. Repeat 3 times. You may not get six-packs, but your stomach will definitely not fight with your buttons to break out if you keep at it.

Turning trick: Use a swivel chair for this one. You may need some time, but you could sneak in a quick one in the conference room by being a little early for the meeting.  Start with a sitting crunch we mentioned earlier. Once you lift, push forward and go for a spin. Jerk your knees for momentum and rotate. This is a fun way to get fit in the office. Might raise a few eyebrows, so be a bit discreet if your office is a hardcore formal one. Then again, convince your colleagues that a fit worker is a better worker.

Loo-k elswhere: Why use the bathroom on your floor? When you gotta go, walk down to the toilet located on another floor, so that you have to use the staircase. Simply put: elevators are bad!

Isometric-ally working: Put your hands in your lap, with one palm downturned and resting on top of the upturned palm. Your arms should form a straight line from elbow to elbow. Start sliding your hands apart, curl your fingers, and lock them together. Now pull as hard as you can without breaking your grip. Repeat. This is will give you better traps, delts, triceps and biceps right on your desk.

Pray hard: Place your hands in your lap with palms together like you are praying. Then push your hands together as hard as possible. Do a few repetitions and get great biceps and triceps.

Desk job: Place your palms under the base of your desk and push up using its resistance. Then lay your palms flat on the top of your desk and push down. Repeat.

Quiet tight: While perched in your desk chair, tighten your gluteus muscles. Alternate between quick releases and longer holds. Do it with all your might. This one might need some discretion for sure.

Divide lunch time and rule: Got a 45 minute lunch break? First 25 minutes walk outside the office and soak in the scenery. Once you are back, eat a little less than you usually do. Your metabolic rate will rise and you won’t feel like a nap after lunch or a craving for food down the line. If you eat first and then walk, you may feel hungry later or you may spend more time eating than walking.

Tell yourself that nothing can stop you. Plus, there is no HR policy that says you cannot quietly exercise while you are at your desk. Exploit it! It’s good for you.

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