Monday, July 14, 2008

The At-Work Workout

Do you end up feeling far too fatigued at the end of your workday to even think of working out?
Sitting for extended periods of time, holding awkward postures, repetitive movements, driving and lifting can have a negative impact on your energy and your health.

They can all contribute to tight and imbalanced muscles, reduced circulation and stress and strain on muscles and joints. Although it takes a bit of effort initially, adding exercise in to your workday can help to boost your energy and your morale.

Top 5 office energizers:

A 10-minute walk. Walking is quick, easy and packed full of benefits. Walking at just a moderate pace increases your heart rate and delivers more blood and oxygen to your body. Increased oxygen means increased energy. In addition, movement helps to relieve mental and physical stress, helps to lengthen tight muscles and promotes synovial fluid production around joints for more comfortable movement. Squat ups.

Squats are one of the most commonly used exercises used in fitness and sport to work the lower body. In the gym, we often use dumbbells or machines, but you can easily adapt this exercise to the office. Shift to the front edge of your chair and sit in a tall posture. The feet of the chair need to be firmly planted on the floor. If your chair has wheels or the floor has a slippery surface, brace the chair against a wall or your desk or find an alternative chair just for your workout. With your feet flat on the floor, press in to your feet and stand up; lower back down so that you just graze the seat of your chair and stand back up. Repeat this up and down movement 10-20 times; take a break for 30 seconds and repeat.

Triceps dips. Triceps dips work the upper body, primarily targeting the triceps. Sit on the edge of your chair and place your hands on the seat beside your hips. With your feet flat on the floor, slide your hips forward just off the chair. If your chair has wheels or the floor has a slippery surface, brace the chair against a wall or your desk or find an alternative chair just for your workout. Keeping your torso long, bend at the elbow lowering your body down and up. You can star with small movements and just a few repetitions and gradually increase as your strength improves. Triceps dips are a great way to work the upper body and help to promote good posture.

Desk push-ups. Push-ups are another great upper body exercise. People are often intimidated by a "full" push up or that intense version we typically picture from the hands to the toes. The good news is that you can do more comfortable and less conspicuous push ups in your kitchen or your office. Stand about 2-feet from a counter, desk or railing. Lean forward from your toes placing your hands on the surface. Bending from the elbows, lower the body down and up. A great target is 10-20 repetitions, but if you're just beginning, start with a few and build up your strength and endurance. Reverse posture. This is a great way to figure out what kind of stretches or movement are good for your specific needs.

Reverse posture means that to give your body a break, you do the opposite of what your work demands – if you stand all day, sit; if you sit all day, stand and move; if you lean forward over a computer, lean back and open your arms and chest. Always keep movements fluid and controlled, but what I love about this concept is that it can help you identify your direction. You can do these exercises individually or combine in to a mini office circuit. Once you start to incorporate exercises and breaks in to your day that promote physical balance and blood flow, you'll end up with more energy during and after work.

Source: MSN

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