By Steve Milano
Adding short exercises to your daily routine – even if only for 5 or 10 minutes – can help maintain and improve your health. Even if you can’t make it to the gym, there are mini exercises that you can do right at your desk to keep you in shape.
Benefits of Micro Workouts
Generally speaking, micro workouts refer to a period of exercise that is under 10 minutes. Micro workouts can help boost your metabolism, burn calories, build muscle, and challenge your cardiovascular system without even leaving your office.
Sedentary Lifestyles Increasing
Between sleeping, sitting at a desk, commuting and eating meals, most people are sedentary for up to 18 hours a day. Health professionals are recommending that office and home workers perform some form of physical activity during the day to compensate for the number of hours they sit at their desk.
Try exercising at your desk at least once each morning and afternoon. There is also a variety of desk equipment available such as standing desks or desk treadmills that can reduce the amount of time you are sedentary.
- Resistance Band Exercises: Buy a set of resistance bands that lets you place your feet in the bottom straps at one end, while you hold the bands with your hands at the other end. There are many arm and leg exercises you can perform that will build muscle and elevate your heart rate. For example, perform bicep curls by letting your arms hang by your sides with your palms facing forward, then slowly raise and lower your hands to your shoulders, bending your arms at the elbow.
- Desk Calisthenics: Use your chair or desk for support to do push-ups, sitting leg raises or chair dips. If you’re sitting at your desk, use your arms to raise yourself off of your chair. Do this for several minutes with your feet on the floor, then stick your legs straight out. You can also stand with your back to your desk, placing your palms on your desk as you raise and lower yourself.
- Other Office Exercises: Stairs are another great workout. Try walking them briskly two at a time, or jogging up them quickly one at a time while lifting your knees high. Going up stairs works your calves, while going down stairs works your quads. If you have room near your desk, you can also do jumping jacks, squats, or even jog in place. If you don’t have stairs in your office setting, try taking a walk around the building.
The key to maintaining and improving your strength, flexibility and heart health at work is by including short workouts in your daily routine. In case you need another reason, exercise can also improve your cognitive function, according to Stanford University researchers. Your boss will thank us for that one.