Try a workplace workout
Get into shape without leaving your desk...
In the our 24-hour, seven-day-a-week society, we're forced to spend more and more time at work. A survey by the Department of Trade & Industry showed that one in six people surveyed in the UK said they were working more than 60 hours a week.
Leading sports nutrition company www.lamuscle.com has teamed up with personal trainer Ben Lauder Dykes to come up with the perfect fitness plan to help you to tone up, drop a few pounds and get into shape without even leaving your desk.
These simple exercises can be done at work or at home....
This yoga-derived exercise mobilises and relaxes the spine as well as stimulating the digestive system and easing bloating. Sit sideways on your chair, with the chair back on your right. Make sure that your feet are flat on the floor and your knees are in line with your hips. Grasp the sides of the chair back, one hand at each end, and gently rotate your torso towards it, pushing the right hand away and pulling the left hand in towards you. Look over your right shoulder and hold the posture for 20-30 seconds, breathing freely. Repeat facing the other way.
This strengthens the innermost thigh muscle, the vastus medialis, which is often a factor in knee problems. It's also good for firming the bottom. Place a cushion between your knees, keeping feet flat on the floor and hips square. Squeeze the cushion while clenching your buttocks, so you feel the inner thighs and bottom muscles contracting. Hold for five seconds and slowly relax, without letting the cushion fall. Repeat six times.
Hands and arms
Two main exercises that are important for those who spend all day at a computer. Place an elastic band around the middle of all four fingers and the top of your thumb. Now draw away your thumb, working against the resistance of the elastic band. Hold for a count of three and repeat this five times on each hand. The wrist and forearm stretch is great for people who use a keyboard regularly. Hold your right arm straight out in front of you with your palm facing up. Use your left hand to pull your fingers back and down to the floor. Feel the stretch on the underside of your forearm and wrist. Now turn the arm palm down, and draw the fingers back towards the forearm, keeping them straight. Swap sides.
Ideally, you need a chair with a low back to do this exercise or a chair with a back of some description, or you'll end up on the floor. With your arms crossed over your chest and feet on the floor, lean against the chair back and allow your back to curl over, lifting elbows up to the ceiling and allowing your head to follow your neck. Hold for a moment, then return to your start position.
Sit upright on your chair, with weight evenly spread on both feet. Without letting your pelvis tilt or your back slump, lift your right foot off the floor, bringing the thigh towards the torso and keeping tummy muscles engaged. Pause, then lower and repeat with the left leg. Alternate for two sets of eight repetitions.
If you use the phone frequently and don't have a headset, your neck flexibility is likely to be poorer on one side than on the other. This exercise helps to stretch out the muscles on the sides of the neck. Try to work to the less flexible side more often. Take your left ear over to your left shoulder to stretch the muscles on the right side of your neck. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat on the right, aiming for two to three repetitions each side. Then, with chin tucked in, slowly turn your head to the right and left, five times to each side.
Even if you don't use the phone you can still try these exercises.
Research by the British Chiropractic Association found that 32% of people spend 10 hours or more sitting down each day - and 50% don't even leave their desks at lunchtime. Take regular breaks and never sit in the same position for more than 40 minutes. Get up and stretch.
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