As a working professional in today’s day and age, it is important to stay as healthy as possible. However, this is extremely difficult sitting in a chair for 8-10 hours per day. Even with gyms popping up left and right, it’s difficult to find the perfect balance of working out and work (unless you’re that person that sneaks out of work to hit the gym…in that case…kudos…).
Here are 5 exercises that will boost your energy levels and allow for a healthier and more enjoyable day:
1. The Squat
Let’s start with one of the most functional movements that one can do. Funny enough, nobody can do this natural movement properly anymore. The squat is literally just that. Take a step back from your desk, widen your feet a little wider than shoulder width apart, and squat down as low as possible.
If this is difficult, hang on to your desk, door or any other heavy object, and use it to help you sink deeper into the position. The squat naturally decompresses the spine, opens the hip joint, as well as naturally lubricates the knees. Unfortunately, if you don’t use it, you lose it (when it comes to your joints at least)!
2. Arm Circles
This is another movement that can be done within the confines of your desk space. With poor posture and arm positioning due to keyboard and desk set-ups, it is not uncommon to have shoulder pains by the end of the workday or week.
Just get up, hold your hands out in front of you, and slowly create large circles with your arms. This will allow for some blood flow to move through your limbs.
3. Deep Lunges
One of the biggest complaints for those that have a sedentary lifestyle, or just have a long workday, is back pain: specifically, the lower back. This is usually caused by the seated position that we are forced to sit in. Our hip flexors (the space above your thigh and below your hip bone), and quadratus lumborum (QL) (a muscle that connects from the bottom of your rib, to the top of the lower back) tend to get extremely tight sitting in a chair all day, which is not how the human body was meant to sit.
The quick fix? Stretch it. Drop down to one knee, and slowly push the hip of the grounded knee forward. You should feel a stretch in your hip. To add the QL stretch, in the same position (one knee down) lift your arms and stretch upwards and back, away from the knee that is on the ground. Tada… instant relief…
4. Wrist Routine
This one is easy. Make a fist, roll your fist around in a circular motion. Next, open the fist, extend the arm out, and pull the hand towards you with the palm facing away from you. Lastly, extend the arm, open the palm, and pull the bottom of the hand towards you (with your forearm facing upwards). Similar to your shoulders, wrist pains, as well as symptoms such as carpel tunnel, can stem from tightness due to repetitive movements (such as typing for long periods of time).
5. Take a Walk
This is probably the easiest one. Get up and go for a walk every 15 to 20 minutes. Stretch those legs, feel free, and sprint around your office a little. Get the blood flowing, boost your energy levels, and stretch it out.