Rough day at work? Feeling drained and fatigued even though you’ve been sitting on a chair for the past eight hours? Look at yourself in the mirror: has your posture worsened? Have you gained weight in the wrong places? Your sedentary job might be the cause of your declining health and wellbeing. Incorporating exercise into your daily life is a hard task, especially if you spend most of it in a professional environment where it is not exactly socially acceptable to squat during your lunch break. Luckily, there are some ways to get fit and healthy while working a sedentary job, like these unnoticeable 5 exercises, that will improve your busy office life:
1. The Secret Sit-Ups
While sitting at your desk, making sure your posture is straight and your spine forms a 90-degree angle with the floor, try this simple sit-up (or sit-down, if you will) exercise. As you inhale, squeeze your abs as tight as you can, holding your breath for 5 seconds. Release them as you exhale, making sure that your spine is still straight. Repeat 10 times, two or three times throughout your work day.
2. The Sneaky leg planks
You would usually think that your thighs and glutes are the parts of your body that suffer the most, as your entire body is supported by them while sitting. However, consider your legs as a whole: your knees, calves and thighs need to be stretched, as our muscles and bones are not used to being static for prolonged times with so much blood pressure oppressing them. Lift your legs while sitting at your desk, bringing them to a 90-degree angle, holding them with your hands if necessary. Make sure they are fully stretched, then hold them in this position for 10 seconds. Repeat 5 times, alternating ankle stretches each time.
3. The Silent Hunch-Buster
Working at your desk is not an ideal way to develop a robust and elegant posture. Maintaining your spine straight during a tight deadline or a particularly stressful period might be challenging at times, luckily there is a simple and, most importantly, subtle exercise that will counter-attack your unhealthy hunching habits. While sitting on standing, straighten your back with a focus on your shoulders. Squeeze your shoulder blades imagining that they have to touch each other. Keep this position for 10 seconds, then repeat 10 times.
4. The Sly Squats
Cellulite occurs on all genders, and, although very common, its increase can be avoided by repeating this simple exercise, which will strengthen your glutes and favour blood circulation while working in your office. The exercise is as fun as it is simple: squeeze your glutes against each other, keeping them tightened for five seconds, then release. Try to follow their movement with your breaths, inhaling and exhaling 10 times.
5. The Unsuspicious Stretches
Stretching doesn’t have to be synonymous with yoga mats and excessive movement: there are soft stretching exercises that you can do without anyone noticing. Tilt your head forward, backwards, right, left, then in clockwise and counterclockwise circles, repeating each movement 5 or 10 times depending on how much time you have spent sitting. You can do the same with your ankles, wrists and shoulders by simply rotating them multiple times, especially if you feel like your joints need to be cracked after you’ve been in the same position for a long time.