Share This Post: It’s always a challenge trying to squeeze in a couple hours at the gym when you’re already swamped at work and juggling multiple responsibilities. That doesn’t mean you have to give up! Living an...read more
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Your cushy office job is a hazard to your health. By now, everyone knows that a sedentary lifestyle isn’t ideal. What’s worse, even following the “30 active minutes per day” rule might not be enough to counter the negative effects of sitting at your desk for at least 8 hours daily.
In a study led by epidemiologist Steven Blair of the University of South Carolina, they discovered that people who spent a minimum of 23 sedentary hours per week were at greater risk of cardiovascular disease.
Your muscles quiet down while you’re sitting, and this leads to an avalanche of negative physical effects. You lose muscle tone, your metabolism drops, insulin effectivity drops, and your HDL (aka “good”) cholesterol drops as well. As such, you become a high risk candidate for heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
Exercising daily isn’t enough to reverse the impact of your sedentary hours spent at work. It’s a huge help for overall fitness, of course, but it cannot be viewed as the infallible antidote that many seem to expect. You can’t counter the negative effects of smoking with a couple of vitamins, for example.
Working out at the office doesn’t mean organizing a zumba session. Instead, what you want it to just move more. Adding small activities to your daily grind can be very helpful in counteracting the health risks brought by a sedentary lifestyle. Here are some ideas you can try.
The easiest exercise you can do at the office is to just get up and walk. Take a break, head to the water cooler, and refill your water bottle. A quick walk around the office every hour might seem like a small thing, but it’s an excellent way to break the monotony of sitting in front of your monitor the entire day.
Aside from sitting all day, a lot of office tasks require standing around. You might find the copier taking way longer than expected, or your boss might be into standing meetings these days. When you find yourself in such a situation, make the most of it with calf raises. Stand up straight, relax your shoulders, then push yourself up to stand on tiptoes. Lower yourself down and repeat.
Looking for discreet office workouts? This one’s for you. While seated at your desk, slowly extend your legs straight forward. Hold for a few seconds then lower them back down, but don’t let your feet touch the floor. Repeat or do alternate legs; pick whatever works best for you.
Start with your legs straight out, then use your abdominal muscles to pull your knees back in. Don’t rely on your legs; in this exercise they should serve only as weights. Instead, make sure that you’re fully engaging your core to bring your knees in.
This one’s a bit more obvious, as there’s no way to do tricep dips discreetly at the office. Start in a seated position, then put your hands on the chair right next to your thighs. Push your butt forward and away from the seat, with your legs straight out in front of you. Straighten your arms, then slowly bend your elbows to lower yourself down. Raise yourself back up and repeat.
Hands flat on the wall, shoulders are wide and relaxed. When you push down towards the wall, make sure to engage your core and keep your body straight from head to toe. Push back up and repeat.
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