A lot of people want to make health-conscious decisions but find it a challenge to keep up a healthy routine due to the daily responsibilities placed on them. For instance, going to the gym a few times a week is considered ideal for anybody who wants to lose weight or stay in good shape, but how many people can manage that and still keep their job? What’s more disturbing is the number of people who spend all day sitting at a desk and the health problems that result from a sedentary lifestyle.
For people who don’t have a physically demanding job, the only way to get some exercise is to do it in the workplace. In an effort to boost your fitness goals, we have come up with six methods to get fit without leaving your desk.
1. Watch your posture
A lot of times we forget how important it is to sit straight. Posture has a profound impact on us both physically and psychologically. The way you sit can enhance blood flow, strengthen back muscles, communicate authority, and make you more assertive.
The good news is, it’s never too late to correct posture, even if you’re been hunching over your computer for most of your life. It takes considerable effort to remind yourself to sit straight, but each time you do it, you reinforce that habit and after a while, it becomes your default position.
2. Boost your brain
Your brain accumulates a lot of stress and tension from work, and it’s important that you find a way to release some of this tension so that it doesn’t build up over a long period of time. When the brain is stressed, it triggers the release of the stress hormone cortisol, and this has been found to cause weight gain, high blood pressure, and anxiety.
One of the easiest ways to alleviate stress is to meditate. You don’t have to sit in an ashram for hours to get the benefits of meditation; you can do it at your desk for two minutes when work gets stressful. Mindfulness meditation will teach you to stay in the present and to disassociate from noisy brain chatter – and over time, it will lower your stress levels significantly.
3. Exercise your eyes
Your brain isn’t the only organ that suffers from spending all day at a desk job. Staring at a computer screen all day can hurt your eyes and cause blurred vision, eye twitching, and eye fatigue. Thankfully there are a number of exercises you can do to keep your eyes in good shape. Here’s a quick guide:
a) Roll your eyes
b) Warm your eyes – rub your palms together and place them against your eyes
c) Massage your temples
d) Alternate your focus between far away objects and objects that are nearer to you
e) Step out from your desk for a few minutes and look at trees or other nature
4. Squat before you sit
Squatting will help you burn a lot of calories over the course of a workweek. To get started, stand in front of your chair and squat as if you’re about to sit, but when your behind touches the chair, stand back up and squeeze those gluts. Doing this a few times a day will get your blood flowing and improve calorie burning.
5. Stretch at your desk
Stretching will increase blood flow to different parts of your body and it will also keep you alert during the course of your workday. To start off, sit up straight and stretch your arms overhead and interlock your fingers, take deep breathes as you do this. To stretch your wrists, straighten your arm in front of you and gently pull each finger back from the tip – this should feel good if you’ve been typing all day.
Wearing heels causes the ankles to stay locked in one position, and this has an effect on your knees. To alleviate this tension, stretch your leg straight (you don’t have to hold it midair) and don’t tighten the knee. Pretend your big toe is a pencil, and draw the numbers one to ten, or the entire alphabet, if possible.
6. Swap your chair for an exercise ball
A lot of employers now encourage their workers to use an exercise ball every now and then to strengthen core muscles. An exercise ball has great benefits when used regularly – for instance, it improves core alignment, muscle strength, coordination, and it helps you maintain good posture.
Just one hour on the ball is enough to strengthen your core, but don’t sit on it too long as it might wear you out and make it harder to maintain good posture for the rest of the day. It’s important to find a balance and alternate between the ball and your regular chair.
Photo Credits: Depositphotos, Energetics Fitness, Ryan FitnessGoals