Sitting all day can be a real pain in the rear end – literally. After 9 hours at a desk everything starts to hurt, including your brain. Stepping away from the computer recharges your brain and reduces muscle strain. Reducing muscle strain can boost your mood and power you through that proposal due tomorrow. Whether you are fighting to climb the corporate ladder or just trying to get through the workday, take 5 minutes to test out these exercises. Trust me, your neck and back will thank you.
1) Traveling Squat Kick (http://burngym.com/5-steps-for-a-toned-butt/)
Wake up those sleeping glutes with a squat and back kick. Stand with the feet shoulder width apart, keeping your hands on your hips. Lower into a squat position, ideally with the tops of your thighs parallel to the floor. On your way back up, kick the right leg back by squeezing your right glute. Reset your footing and repeat on the left side, alternating for 20 total kicks.
2) Chair Dip (http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/How-Do-Triceps-Dips-1055754)
Grab a sturdy, non-rolling chair for this one. Place your hands behind your body on the edge of the chair, gripping the edge. With feet planted on the floor a foot in front of you, straighten your arms to lift your body off of the chair. Now, lower your body by bending your arms to a 90 degree angle. Then straighten your arms while keeping the body raised above the chair. Complete 10-20 reps based on your fitness level.
3) Wall Pushups (http://www.wikihow.com/Do-a-Wall-Push-Up)
These pushups are a modification of floor pushups, but trust me, they can get tiring! Stand 1-2 feet away and facing a wall, place your hands slightly shoulder-width apart on the wall. Lean forward by bending your arms, then press away from the wall. Complete 10-20 reps based on your fitness level.
4) Straight Arm Circles (http://www.fitness.com/exercises/56/arm_circles.php)
Wake up the neck and arms by starting with your feet shoulder-width apart and arms raised straight out to the side. Using your shoulder muscles, start making small circular motions with both arms. Do 20 reps circling forward, then complete 20 reps going backward.
5) Floor (or Desk) Plank (http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/a-strong-core-the-simple-flexible-and-portable-workout)
Get on the ground in a plank position, keeping the elbows beneath your shoulders. Brace your stomach, core, and glute muscles to create a straight line from your heels to the top of your head. Hold this position until failure or for one minute. To prevent getting on the ground in work attire, try placing your hands or elbows on a sturdy desk surface.
Megan is a Registered Dietitian and Personal Trainer in the Baltimore area. Her mission is to connect people with nutrition and fitness information that makes sense – information that is reliable, realistic, and fun.