Your only obstacle to daily exercise is thinking there’s just one way to get a workout
“The dog ate my homework” didn’t work as an excuse on your teacher, and “I can’t exercise because I’m on the phone all day” won’t work as an excuse to neglect your health. Read this if you think the only bad thing about your on-the-phone-all-day job is having to skip a second donut in the break room.
If being on the phone is essential to your job, it means you also probably have a hands-free headset. This modern marvel removes any excuse you have to get up off your butt and move – even if it’s just a few steps away from your desk chair. While that’s one giant step toward better health, here are exercises you can do at your desk, and most of them can be done while you’re on the phone.
Standing calf raise
How: Stand behind your chair. With your feet together, raise your heels upward as far as you can. Hold that for 10 seconds. Do as many as you can, but take off your shoes first if the heels are more than an inch in height.
Why: Good for leg circulation and adding definition to your calf muscles.
How: Find the heaviest book in your office area. It’s probably the dictionary that nobody has used since you’ve been there. Grasp both sides and hold it behind your head as if you were going to use it as a pillow. Then, extend your arms up toward the ceiling. Lower it back down to the level of your shoulder blades. Do at least 10 repetitions.
Why: It strengthens your triceps.
How: Stand in front of your chair. Take a small step forward. Put your arms out in front of you (yes, like a zombie – but it’s to help you with balance). Slowly lower yourself down until your backside makes contact with the chair, and then reverse the direction until you’re standing. If you do this too quickly, you may push your chair out of the way – especially if it’s on wheels – and end up on the floor. Do at least 10 of these.
Why: It tones the muscles you otherwise do nothing with but sit on all day.
How: Place both hands flat on your desk. Walk your feet back until your body is at a 45-degree angle. Strive for at least 10 pushups just as you’d do the more traditional kind. Stop when you can’t do them smoothly.
Why: It strengthens your upper arms and helps circulate blood flow through your upper body.
How: While seated, straighten one of your legs out in front of you so it’s parallel to the floor. Then, slowly let it begin to lower to the floor while still keeping it fully extended. Stop just before your heel comes in contact with the floor. Shift to the other leg and repeat. Stop when you can’t do them smoothly.
Why: It helps get the circulation going in your legs, and it’ll work toward toning your abs.
Shoulder blade squeeze
How: Pretend you’re trying to hold an object between your shoulder blades by squeezing them together. Don’t get crazy. Apply a moderate pressure and hold for 10 to 15 seconds. Do at least 10, and repeat this several times throughout the day.
Why: It relieves muscle tension and helps you to improve a hunched posture.
Will you get strange looks from people around you? The arms-raised zombie chair squats will probably guarantee that. That’s fine. Offer bemused observers your extra donut – this is all about your health.
All the squats in the world won’t improve your VoIP service, though. Fear not. We can help you get a leg up on that.