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29 Exercises You Can Do At (Or Near) Your Desk

29 Exercises You Can Do At (Or Near) Your Desk

Putting in a full day at the office can make it hard to find the time to exercise. But most of us have a bit of a lag between tasks as we sit in front of our computers, and we can take advantage of a few minutes here and a few minutes there to get some physical activity in. You won’t get an extensive workout this way, but you can get enough exercise that missing a day or two of a more strenuous activity won’t make a difference. You can also avoid some of the ills that come from sitting at a desk for too long: sore wrists, stiffness, even repetitive motion injuries.

No one wants to do a mile run or anything else that will get their work clothes sweaty, but these simple exercises can keep your clothes neat and still get your heart rate up.

Feet and Legs

  1. Hip flexions. While sitting in your chair, lift your right foot a few inches off of the floor. Keep your knee bent at a 90 degree angle and hold the position as long as you are comfortable.
    • Leg extensions. While sitting in your chair, extend your right leg until it is level with your hip. Hold as long as you are comfortable and then relax it. Alternate sides.
    • Plié squats. Point your toes outwards and take a wide stance. Slowly bend your knees in the direction of your toes. Once you can no longer see your toes, slowly stand up. While plié squats are more graceful than regular squats, give them a pass if your work attire includes a skirt.
      • Toe raises. Lift your toes while keeping your heels firmly on the ground. While you can do this exercise standing, it works very well while seated.
      • Football foot drill. At practice, football players practice rapidly tapping their feet in place, simulating a run. Do the same thing while seated, for 30 seconds at a go.
        • Lunge. While walking, take the widest step you can and lunge forward.
        • Calf raises. Stand in front of a desk or other piece of furniture you can hold on to for balance. Raise your heels of the floor and slowly lower them.
          • Take the stairs. If you need a harder workout, try taking them two at a time — you’ll get a chance to stretch your legs more than you would otherwise.
          • Walk the hallway. Walk down the hallway as fast as you can without actually running.

          Hands and Arms

          1. Tricep dips. Put your arms behind your back, resting on your chair and slowly raise and lower your self.
            • Shoulder raises. Raise your shoulder to your ear, hold and then relax. Repeat, alternating shoulders.
            • Wrist stretch. Stretch your arm out in front of you with the palm up. With your other hand, grab your fingers and lightly pull them down to stretch your forearm.
            • Hand stretches. Tense and relax the muscles in your hands. Make fists, spread your fingers and bend your fingers.
            • Flapping wings. Stretch both of your arms up and back, as far as you can. Bring them forward until they meet and stretch your arms out in front of you. Repeat.
              • Water bottle weights. Use a full water bottle as weight to increase the difficulty of your work out. You can do front raises, overhead presses and bicep curls with a water bottle.
              • Shadow box. Stand up and take a couple of jabs at the air.
                • Arm pump. Pump both of your arms over your head for 30 seconds.
                • Elevated pushups. Lean on a sturdy piece of furniture and slowly push your body off of it in a sort of standing push up.

                Torso

                • Abdominal stretch. Sit on the edge of your chair and stretch your arms out. While keeping your back straight, contract your abdominal muscles. Relax and repeat.
                  • Neck rotations. Drop your chin and roll your neck. Raise your chin up and bend your neck to each side.
                  • Back twist. Sit up straight in your chair and place your right arm behind your right hip. Twist to the right and hold. Alternate sides.
                  • Wall sits. Rest your back against a wall and move your feet away from the wall. The wall should be supporting the weight of your back and your knees should be bent. Hold the position as long as possible.
                    • Glute squeeze. Tense up the muscles of your rear end and hold for a count of 10.
                    • Curls. Cross your arms over your chest and sit up straight. Tense your abdominal muscles and curl your shoulders towards your hips. Hold for a few seconds.

                    Full Body

                    • Chair dips. Place the palms of your hands on your chair and your feet on the floor. Move your rear end off of the edge of your seat. Bend your elbows and lower your body. Straighten your arms to return to the starting position.
                    • Chair squats. Lift your rear end off of your seat and hold for a few seconds.
                      • Low-impact jumping jacks. Raise your right arm and tap your left toe to the side at the same time. Keep your right foot on the floor. Alternate sides for a full minute.
                        • Pretend jump rope. Hop either on both feet at once or alternating feet.
                        • Pretend jump rope, version 2. Move your arms as if you are turning a jump rope while tapping one foot in front of you. Alternate feet.

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                          Samantha Aloysius

                          Samantha is an everyday health expert with a background in International Public Health and Psychology.

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                          Last Updated on September 15, 2020

                          7 Helpful Reminders When You Want to Make Big Life Changes

                          7 Helpful Reminders When You Want to Make Big Life Changes

                          Overcoming fear and making life changes is hard. It’s even harder when it’s a big change—breaking up with someone you love, leaving your old job, starting your own business, or hundreds of other difficult choices.

                          Even if it’s obvious that making a big change will be beneficial, it can be tough. Our mind wants to stay where it’s comfortable, which means doing the same things we’ve always done[1].

                          We worry: how do we know if we’re making the right decision? We wish we knew more. How do we make a decision without all of the necessary information?

                          We feel stuck. How do we get past fear and move forward with that thing we want to do?

                          Well, I certainly don’t have all the answers, but here are 7 things to remember when you want to move forward and make positive life changes.

                          1. You’ll Never Have All the Information

                          We often avoid making important decisions because we want more information before we make a tough call.

                          Yes, it’s certainly true that you need to do your research, but if you’re waiting for the crystal clear answer to come to you, then you’re going to be waiting a long time. As humans, we are curious creatures, and our need for information can be paralyzing.

                          Life is a series of guesses, mistakes, and revisions. Make the best decision you can at the time and continue to move forward. This also means learning to listen to and trust your intuition. Here’s how.

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                          2. Have the Courage to Trust Yourself

                          We make all sorts of excuses for not making important life changes, but the limiting belief that often underlies many of them is that we don’t trust ourselves to do the right thing.

                          We think that if we get into a new situation, we won’t know what to do or how to react. We’re worried that the uncharted territory of the future will be too much for us to handle.

                          Give yourself more credit than that.

                          You’ve dealt with unexpected changes before, right? And when your car got a flat tire on the way to work, how did that end up? Or when you were unexpectedly dumped?

                          In the end, you were fine.

                          Humans are amazingly adaptable, and your whole life has been helping you develop skills to face unexpected challenges.

                          Have enough courage to trust yourself. No matter what happens, you’ll figure out a way to make it work.

                          3. What’s the Worst That Could Happen?

                          Like jealousy, most of your fears are created in your own head.

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                          When you actually sit down and think about the worst case scenario, you’ll realize that there are actually very few risks that you can’t recover from.

                          Ask yourself, “What’s the worst that could happen?” Once you realize the worst isn’t that bad, you’ll be ready to crush it.

                          When you’re preparing to make a big life change, write down all of the things you’re afraid of. Are you afraid of failing? Of looking silly? Of losing money? Of being unhappy?

                          Then, address each fear by writing down ways you can overcome them. For example, if you’re afraid of losing money, can you take a few months to save up a safety net?

                          4. It’s Just as Much About the Process as It Is About the Result

                          We’re so wrapped up in results when we think about major life changes. We worry that if we start out towards a big goal, then we might not make it to the finish line.

                          However, you’re allowed to change your mind. And failing will only help you learn what not to do next time.

                          Furthermore, just because you don’t reach the final goal doesn’t mean you failed. You chose the goal in the first place, but you’re allowed to alter it if you find that the goal isn’t working out the way you hoped. Failure is not a destination, and neither is success.

                          Enjoy the process of moving forward[2].

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                          5. Continue to Pursue Opportunity

                          If you’re on the fence about a big decision, then you might be worried about getting locked into a position that you can’t escape from.

                          Think about it a different way. New choices rarely limit your options.

                          In fact, new pursuits often open up even more opportunities. One of the best things about going after important goals with passion is that they open up chances and options that you never could have expected in the beginning.

                          If you pursue the interesting opportunities that arise along the path to your goal, then you can be sure that you’ll always have choices.

                          6. Effort Matters, So Use It

                          It sounds simple, but one of the big reasons we don’t make life changes is because we don’t try. And we don’t try because then it’s easy to make excuses for why we don’t get what we want.

                          Flunked that test? Are you stupid? “Of course I’m not stupid. I just didn’t study. I would have gotten an A if I actually studied.”

                          Stuck in a job you hate? Why haven’t you found a new job yet? “Well, I haven’t really tried to get a new job. I could totally ace that interview if I wanted.”

                          Why do we make excuses like these to ourselves? It’s because if we try and fail, then we just failed. But if we don’t try, we can chalk it up to laziness.

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                          Get over it. Failure happens to everyone.

                          And the funny thing is, if you actually try—because it’s pretty clear that most people aren’t trying—then you’ll win a lot more than you think.

                          7. Start With Something Manageable

                          You can’t climb Everest if you don’t try hiking beforehand.

                          Maybe applying for your dream job seems intimidating right now. What can you start with today?

                          Can you talk to someone who already has that position and see what they think makes them successful? Can you improve your skills so you meet one of the qualifications? Can you take a free online course to expand your resume?

                          Maybe you’re not quite ready for a long-term relationship, but you know you want to start dating. Could you try asking out a mutual friend? Can you go out more with friends to practice your communication skills and meet new people?

                          You don’t need to be a world changer today; you just need to make small life changes in your own world.

                          More Tips to Help You Make Life Changes

                          Featured photo credit: Victor Rodriguez via unsplash.com

                          Reference

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