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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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                          Sam Aloysius

                          Self proclaimed chai expert

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                          Last Updated on February 15, 2019

                          How Setting Personal Goals Makes You a Greater Achiever

                          How Setting Personal Goals Makes You a Greater Achiever

                          Achieving personal goals deserves a huge amount of celebration but setting these goals in the first place is a massive achievement in itself.

                          While the big goals serve as a destination, the journey is probably the most important part of the process. It reflects your progress, your growth and your ability take control and steer your life towards positive change.

                          Whatever your goal is, whether it’s losing 20lbs or learning a new language, there will always be a set amount of steps you need to take in order to achieve it. Once you’ve set your sights on your goal, the next stage is to take an assertive path towards how you will get there.

                          The aim of this article is to guide you through how to take action towards your personal goals in a way that will help you achieve them strategically and successfully.

                          1. Get very specific

                          When it comes to setting your personal goals, honing in on its specifics is crucial for success.

                          It’s common to have a broad idea of where you want to go or what you want to achieve, but this can sabotage your efforts in the long run.

                          Get clear on what you want your goal to look like so you can create solid steps towards it.

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                          Say you have a vision on retiring early. This goal feels good to you and you can envision filling your days of work-free life with worldly adventures and time with loved ones.

                          If retiring early is a serious personal goal for you, you will need to insert a timeframe. So your goal has changed from “I’d like to someday retire early and travel the world” to “I’m going to retire by 50 and travel the world”.

                          It may not seem significant, but creating this tweak in your goal by specifying a definite time, will help create and structure the steps needed to achieve it in a more purposeful way.

                          2. Identify the preparation you need to achieve your goal

                          It’s easy to set a goal and excitedly, yet aimlessly move towards it. But this way of going about achieving goals will only leave you eventually lost and feeling like you’ll never achieve it.

                          You have to really think about what you need to do in order to make this goal possible. It’s all very well wanting it to happen, but if you just sit back and hope you’ll get there one day will result in disappointment.

                          Self-managing your goals is a crucial step in the process. This involves taking control of your goal, owning it and making sure you are in a great position to make it happen.

                          In the early retirement example, this would mean you will need to think about your financial situation.

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                          What will your finances ideally need to look like if you were to retire early and travel the world? How much money will you need to put into your retirement fund to retire at 50? How much extra savings will you need to support your travels? You could also start researching the places you’d like to travel to and how long you’d like to travel for.

                          Outlining these factors will, not only make your goal seem more tangible, but also create a mind shift to one of forward motion. Seeing the steps more clearly will help you make a more useful plan of action and seeing your goal as a reality.

                          3. Breakdown each step into more manageable goals

                          The secret to achieving your goals is to create smaller goals within each step and take action. Remember, you’re looking for progress, no matter how small it may seem.

                          These small steps build up and get you to the top. By doing this, you also make the whole process much less daunting and overwhelming.

                          In the early retirement scenario, there are several smaller goals you could implement here:

                          • Decide to make an appointment with a financial advisor asking what financial options would be available to you if you were to go into early retirement and travel. Get advice on how much you would need to top up your funds in order to reach your goal on time.
                          • Set up and start to make payments into the retirement fund.
                          • Research savings accounts with good rates of interest and commit to depositing a certain amount each month.
                          • Make sure you meet with your financial advisor each year to make sure your retirement plan remains the best one for you. Research new savings accounts to move your money into to reap the best returns in interest rates.
                          • Start investing in travel books, building up a library that covers where you want to go.
                          • Think about starting a language course that will help you get the most out of your travel experience.

                          4. Get started on the journey

                          Creating a goal planner in which you can start writing down your next steps is where the magic happens. This is where the real momentum towards your dream starts!

                          Create a schedule and start by writing in when you will start the first task and on which day. Commit to completing this small task and feel the joy of crossing it off your list. Do this with every little step until your first mini goal has been reached.

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                          In the early retirement example, schedule in a meeting with a financial advisor. That’s it. Easy.

                          As I mentioned before, it may seem such a small step but it’s the momentum that’s the most important element here. Once you cross this off, you can focus on the meeting itself, then once that’s ticked off, you are in a position of starting a profitable retirement fund…and so the momentum continues. You are now on your journey to achieving your dream goal.

                          5. Create an annual review

                          Taking a step back and reviewing your progress is essential for keeping yourself on the right track. Sometimes you can be moving full steam ahead towards your goal but miss seeing the opportunities to improve a process or even re-evaluate your feelings towards the goal.

                          Nominate a day each year to sit down and take a look at your progress. Celebrate your achievements and how far you’ve come. But also think about changing any of the remaining steps in light of new circumstances.

                          Has anything changed? Perhaps you got a promotion at work and you feel you can add more to your monthly savings.

                          Do you still feel the same about your goal? It’s normal for our desires to change over time and our personal goals need to reflect this.

                          Perhaps you’d like to take someone new with you on your travels and you need to take this into account regarding timelines. Are there any new steps you want to add as a result?

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                          Remember, reflection is a useful tool in realigning your goal to any changes and it’s important to keep on the right trajectory towards it.

                          Strive to become the best goal-setter you can be

                          Having personal goals gives you purpose and the feeling of becoming a better version of yourself.

                          But it’s the smaller steps within these big goals that the growth and achievement really lies:

                          • Whatever your goal is, make sure you get specific on when you want to achieve it. This helps you focus on the necessary steps much more efficiently.
                          • Research the actionable steps required to get to the end result and…
                          • Break these down into smaller, manageable goals.
                          • Create a daily or weekly schedule for these smaller goals and start the positive momentum.
                          • Reflect each year on your goal journey and purpose, readjusting steps according to changes in circumstance or desire.

                          Keep going and always have the end goal in sight. Remember the ‘why’ behind your goal throughout to keep you motivated and positive.

                          More Resources About Setting & Achieving Goals

                          Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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