When I ask most women why they are not physically active the most common response is: “Girl…please?! I don’t got TIME to workout!” Understandable since the average woman works nine hours more each week than she did in 2004 (based on data collected by the Center for Work-Life Policy). So I get it, you’re strapped to that swivel chair and a 7 foot cubicle more hours than you would like to admit…mamma gotta work. But momma gotta take care of her health too! So make your workday “work” for you by making “time” for these awesome tips!
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1. Take your lunch break.
The reason the U.S. Department of Labor mandates breaks during the workday is because it is insane to work non stop and not eat, let along stretch your legs! So honor the laws in place for your health and stop scarfing down your turkey sandwich at your desk. Instead, go out and pick up lunch, power walking on the way there and back. After awhile make it harder and pick a locale further away from your office. The faster you get used to walking the more calories you burn. Win, win, WIN! Don’t want to buy lunch out every day? That’s cool, pack your lunch and power walk to a nearby park or playground. Not only will you get a much needed break from the office, but your quick commute will serve your body and mind in a way that lunch at your cubicle never could.
2. Run your errands.
Stop texting and emailing your coworkers silly one liners, and take the chance to unglue your hips from your not-so-cushy-chair and actually walk to their desk. You may think this lends a minimal calorie burn, but a little activity done often goes a long way! So goodbye sedentary lifestyle, hello extra burn.
3. Work-Out (for real).
Staring at your computer not only makes your eyes cross after a couple of hours but also makes you the chic no one wants to “cross.” So break up your work day with a quick workout. 10 minutes tops. Do each exercise 10 times, or for an extra challenge try and pump out as many reps as you can in 30 seconds. Perform this circuit once or even 2-3 times a day and wallah…you just clocked a legitimate session.
Try these exercises
- Tricep Dips – Place your hands under your hips and slide of your chair. Keep your body parallel to the chair and lower your hips by bending your elbows. Make sure you are not just dropping your hips up and down. Roll the shoulders back and engage your tricep muscles (those sexy muscles in the back of your arms). Swivel chairs are great because they are unstable and therefore make you engage your core much more, so don’t be afraid to wobble a bit.
- Leg Lifts – Super discreet since your legs will be tucked under your desk. This triple whammy will work your quadriceps, core, and stretch your hamstrings all at the same time. Begin by extending one leg out in front of you and flex your foot towards your ankle. Tighten all the muscles in your leg and slightly lock your knee. Without relaxing your muscles or bending your knee, lift your leg up and down. Do 10 reps and then switch sides. Too easy? Drape your bowling bag….I mean your purse across your shin. The weight coupled with the instability of your bag will definitely kick things up a notch.
- Bicep Curls – Sine you have your 10lb purse near by might as well work the front of your arms (your biceps). Hold your purse in a way that your wrist is neutral and curl your purse towards your shoulder. Release and repeat 10 times before switching sides.
- Tummy Tuck – No knife necessary. Flatten your abs by squeezing your knees together and drawing them up towards your chest. For the easiest version hold on to the sides of your chair. Once your core strength increases remove your hands and play with holding the knees up a little longer before lowering them back towards the floor.
Make your world a better place by taking 5 minutes every now and then to relax, stretch, and breathe.
- Spine Twist. Sit tall in your seat and wrap your hand around the opposite knee, keep twisting by looking behind you. Hold for three deep breaths before repeating on the other side.
- Chest/Upper Back Stretch. Sit tall and interlace your hands behind your head. Inhale and stretch the chest muscles by pulling the elbows back and the shoulder blades together. Then exhale and draw your elbows together while gently relaxing your neck in order to stretch the upper back. Repeat 3-4 times.
- Hip Stretch. Cross your leg, ankle to opposite knee. Sit tall as you gently press the knee of the crossed leg down towards the ground. Hold for three deep breaths before repeating on the other side.
- Hamstring Stretch. Open up the muscles in the back of your leg by placing your heel on top of a hip height object, such as a small filing cabinet. Keep your leg straight and reach towards your toe without rounding your spine. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.