With demanding work schedules and the pressure to keep on top of a hectic social life, it can sometimes seem like too much of an effort to find the time to get to the gym or workout. Try these fitness hacks for a healthy 9-5
The idea of setting the alarm for 6am to fit in exercise before work is daunting, you might be too used to working overtime to squeeze in a workout after hours, and your weekends are probably too precious to waste on sport and exercise, right?
Bearing this in mind, there are certain measures you can take from the comfort of your own office to improve your health and fitness levels during the working hours. Here are just a few to try during your next long conference call or lunch break.
A great way to strengthen and tone the appearance of your legs whilst sat at your desk is through seated calf raises. Ensure you are sat with your back straight and your feet shoulder width apart pointing forward. Begin to lift your heals from the floor while keeping your calve muscles flexed, but always keeping your toes to the ground. Lower your heels back down and repeat.
Ok, so you’ll have to stand up for these, but they can still be performed in front of your computer or desk, perhaps whilst a large file is downloading or if your internet is having a funny five minutes.
To perform a squat, stand with your feet just slightly more than shoulder width apart, then stretch your arms out, parallel to the ground, and bend your knees, keeping your shoulders and back straight all the way down and back up again. Dip as low as your body allows and explode back to a standing position.
Clench and release
Engaging in regular posterior (buttock) clenches at your office desk can help improve many of the movements you make throughout the day, including walking upstairs, bending over and standing for long periods of time. Whilst clenches won’t have the same effect on the area as squats or lunges, they will help towards preventing back, hip and knee pain.
Running on the spot
Running or jogging on the spot for short bursts throughout the working day is a great way to warm up your body, burn calories and increase your aerobic fitness levels. The convenience of being able to do this exercise from the comfort of your office is obvious, and it also carries with it the same benefits of jogging outside.
Jumping jacks/star jumps
These exercises, which you may well remember from your childhood P.E lessons, are a really great way to tone everything you could possibly want, due to the movement that’s taking place throughout the entire body.
Many office workers sit at their desks for an average of 40 or more hours over the course of a week, and as a result can be at a greater risk of neck, shoulder and lower back pain. Ensuring you’re regularly stretching your muscles whilst sat down can help reduce this pain, or avoid it altogether.
Triceps, latissimus (overhead), upper body, arm, neck, shoulder, hamstring and knee stretches can all be carried out whilst sat down during the working day, with one study in America concluding that periodic workplace stretching may reduce pain by up to 72 percent*.
Pelvic floor muscles
As much as they might traditionally be associated with females, pelvic floor exercises also benefits males, particularly those of a certain age. They can help strengthen your muscles to improve both bladder and bowel control and will improve or stop any unwanted leakage altogether. A strong pelvic floor can also help to achieve and maintain erections and may prevent premature ejaculation.
Written by Gareth Jones, spokesperson for online office furniture provider www.KitOutMyOffice.com