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Years ago, the worst thing you could do to your body was smoke. Want to know what some doctors are claiming is worse than smoking?
Sitting! Can you believe that?
Living a sedentary life can lead to a number of health concerns. Freelancers and people who work from home are just as susceptible to the risks as people who work in an office. We may have more freedom to leave our desks, but that doesn’t mean we don’t spend a lot of time sitting in front of a screen.
The good news is we have Beth Learn from Fit2Be on the Work-At-Home School blog today to share some simple desk exercises with us.
Take it away, Beth!
5 Simple Exercises You Can Do at Your Desk
What if you don’t need to exercise hard for long periods of time to receive health benefits? What if you simply accumulate movement through your day, and that’s enough for your muscles and heart? Guess what? That’s the truth!
The worldwide recommendation is that we add up at least 150 minutes of moderate to strenuous physical activity each week. That’s less than 25 minutes per day. You can easily gather some of that crucial exercise at or near your desk. Sure, go for a 15-minute walk later to elevate your heart rate a bit, but trust that working in these 5 simple office exercises will contribute to your overall well-being.
1. Deep Core Activation
Your transverse abdominis is your natural corset muscle that elongates your torso, holds you up and in, and assists with breathing. Pulsing your abs gently and using your breath to activate your abs through the day can go a long way toward toning your tummy. Watch this free 'Totally Transverse' workout.
2. Calf Raises
Simply lifting your heels off the ground, then fanning out your toes (remove your shoes if you can) and repeating that motion 12–15 times in a row will facilitate circulation to your calves. Riding motionless in an airplane for hours is known to be hard on the lower legs, but so is sitting at a desk for hours.
3. Leg Extensions
Stick one leg straight out in front of you. Feel the work in the front of your upper thigh. Lean forward a little to feel the stretch in the back of your thigh. Rotate your leg to feel the work and stretch in other places. Hold until you feel some fatigue, then shake that leg out and switch sides. Repeat several times in a row until your mind refocuses.
4. Shoulder Mobility
Lace your fingers and flip your palms outward, arms straight in front of you. Lower your laced fingers to your lap, then raise them as high as you can without flaring your ribs or wearing your shoulders like earrings. Breathe out and in at least once per repetition. Close your eyes. Connect. Lace your fingers differently and go again. Then swing your arms back and forth and resume working, noticing the yumminess in your shoulders.
5. Neck Circles
They aren’t cliche. They aren’t old school. They’re relevant and necessary. Be sure to go both ways and stay in a comfortable range of motion. Clicks and crackles are fine if they aren’t painful. Use your hands to massage any knots you find. Imagine you are drawing circles on the ceiling with your noggin, and know that this simple exercise is very valuable to your brain and body.
You see, all movement is good movement… unless it hurts you. We’re not going for “no pain, no gain” at your desk here, friends. This is about gentle motions that release your tense muscles, prevent headaches, improve posture, build core strength, and contribute to your overall wellness. If you’re dealing with a sore neck, be sure to check out my 14-Day Neck Challenge and remember that a little bit of working out is better than no workout at all.
Suggestion: Set a timer for 1 hour several times a day. Timers are a terrific tool for toning. When it goes off, do a few of the five motions mentioned above or go through this free video.
Want more? Beth’s office workouts are included in Work-At-Home School. Work-At-Home School is closed for enrollment right now, but you can sign up for Beth’s 14-Day Neck Challenge here!
As the main instructor, founder, and CEO of Fit2B Studio, Beth is happiest when she’s helping people discover how to connect with their bodies so they can be stronger contributors to their families, communities, and this world! Beth has been immersed in the fitness industry since she began working in athletic clubs in 1995. She became a certified group fitness instructor in 1997 and received her Bachelor of Science in Exercise & Sport Science from Oregon State University in 2001. She has trained and certified in a wide variety of fitness specialities since then including Yoga, Pilates, hypopressives, aerobics, spinning, weightlifting, prenatal/postpartum fitness, and restorative exercise.
Her personal struggle with diastasis recti, as well as the struggle she observed in many of her clients, led her to create fit2b.com which is the world’s first home workout video website exclusively devoted to TummySafe Fitness. Beth has worked tirelessly since 2010 to integrate diastasis recti rehabilitation into mainstream fitness styles. She has traveled the world as a speaker and educator, and she has fostered worldwide collaborations for her Fit2b Radio podcast and online fitness courses including Experts In Diastasis Recti, 14 Days to A Better Neck, Get your Glutes In Gear, and many others on fit2b.com.
Beth enjoys teaching locally here at Yoga Garden. Her hobbies include reading historical fiction, race walking, snowshoeing, hiking, and growing blueberries and goats on her small farm with her husband and two children.
There go your excuses! Now that you’re armed with simple desk exercises you can do in the comfort of your own home, the only thing left to do is start moving.
Want to wave goodbye to your office job and work from the comfort of your own home? Work-At-Home School is packed full of resources that will help you!