Sparkle & Smile

Blog for Cleaner and Healthier Homes.

Healthy Body

Not Enough Time? Exercise At Your Desk!

January 17, 2012

Having a desk job makes finding time for exercise difficult. But you can still do some exercises at your desk without losing productivity.

According to the American Council on Exercise, remaining seated for a prolonged period shortens your hamstrings and hip flexor muscles, which tightens them and causes strain on the lower back and knees.  Adding daily desk exercises and stretches can help you stave off muscular imbalances.

Your butt is composed of three muscles, the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus.  Side lunges work all three gluteus muscles at once.  Put your feet hip-width apart and your hands in front of your chest for balance. Step to the side with your right foot. Carefully shift your weight onto your right foot as you lunge toward it, bending your right knee until your thigh is parallel with the floor. Keep your back straight and your knee behind your toes the entire time. Push off your right foot to return to an upright position. Repeat, this time stepping with your left foot.

Leg adductions target the inner thighs and hips. Place a sweater, coat, towel, or an inflated exercise ball between your knees while seated. Squeeze your knees together, hold for about three to five seconds, and then relax for the same amount of time. Do sets of 15 to 20 throughout the day to tone the inner legs.

For those women who wear heels to work, take them off when you are at your desk. Heels shorten the calf muscles, causing many leg and knee problems. Get up every hour to walk around, drink water or use the rest room. This will increase circulation, stretch the legs and burn more calories. Stand and pace when you are on the phone. Stretch at your desk. Flex your feet for a calf stretch, straighten your legs and reach forward for a hamstring stretch.

To perform leg extensions  while remaining seated at your desk, lift one leg and straighten it so the whole leg is parallel with the floor. As your leg straightens, squeeze your quads above your knee. Once your leg is straight, exaggerate the squeeze of the quadriceps and hold for three to five seconds, creating your own resistance. If you can, wear a 5-pound ankle weight for more resistance. Do 10 to 15 repetitions on each leg and then switch legs.

To perform chair squats from your desk, sit in your chair, hold the armrests, lift your hips and glutes about 3 inches off the chair and then sit back down.  If you wear heels, take them off for this exercise. Or, sit in the chair as you usually would and press your legs into the floor as hard as you can for an isometric contraction. This works almost the same muscles as the squat without visible movement.

According to the National Strength and Conditioning Association, isometric contractions are exercises with no change in muscle length. This means the muscle does not move, but it still contracts. Sit at your desk and squeeze your glute muscles as hard as you can. Although there is no external weight to manipulate, the act of squeezing is the workout. Hold for 10 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds. Do 10 repetitions.

Maid Brigade House Cleaning Services cares about our environment and health of you and your family.  For more information on healthy green living and green cleaning, please log on to greencleancertified.com and maidbrigade.com.  Watch our video on achieving work/life balance at greencleancertified.com/greentv.  To learn more about the hidden allergy and asthma triggers in your home, log on to greencleancertified.com/greentv.

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