Getting into shape is something that we all endeavour to do but with long working hours, desk-based jobs and time consuming projects, actually sticking to a healthy exercise plan can be easier said than done. Luckily, however, there is another way. With increasing numbers of us spending large portions of our days glued to our office chairs, a number of alternative exercise plans have begun making the rounds, showing how we can stay in trim and get the job done. Want to boost your health at work? All it takes is a little dedication, a few short exercises and you can have the desk-based workout plan of your dreams.
- ISOMETRIC EXERCISES
The holy grail of all desk-side exercises, isometrics can be surprisingly effective when performed consistently over time. You can start off by simply squeezing your glutes and knees together for 8 counts or tensing your stomach muscles for 10 counts over a period of 5 minutes each hour. Simply by committing to this routine, you can burn up over 100 calories before you’ve even eaten and work on your muscle tone. Easy peasy.
2. LAUGH IT OUT
You might not believe it, but laughing is actually a great way in which to burn off calories. Getting the giggles for as short a period of 10 minutes per day can burn an extra 40 calories and get your heartbeat pumping a little faster. By working your heart now and then, you effectively help to raise your metabolic rate, meaning that over a period of time, your body will burn off even more calories. That’s something worth smiling about.
3. TAP YOUR FEET
Those people who fidget all day in their chairs? They know what they’re doing. By tapping your feet, moving your legs or stretching your arms, you can help to get rid of an additional 300 calories per day, all without having to move from your chair. While the movements of a fidgeter might not seem all that strenuous, shifting your body requires energy, which your body will provide through calories. The more that you move, the more energy that you will burn!
4. SWAP YOUR SEAT
While you might finally have secured the office chair of your dreams, there’s a good reason why you should give it up for another alternative. Looking for a different method of sitting at your desk can help to effectively burn calories and strengthen your muscles at the same time. One of the best ways to do so might be by investing in a stability ball, which engages your core muscles while you sit upright. If you want to take things further, you can try rocking gently back and forth, causing your muscles to tense and relax as you do so.
5. TURN DOWN THE HEAT
Everyone who has ever worked in an office is familiar with the difficulty of remaining at a good temperature. And while being warm might seem like a better option, there’s a good reason why keeping cool is worth getting fired up about. Sitting in a cooler environment might help to burn more calories as your body turns to its fat stores in order to maintain a consistent core temperature. Work in a hot office? Try sipping on ice water, or bringing in a fan. When things get cooler, your body will look all the better for it.
6. SWITCH UP YOUR SNACKS
Snacking is the major pitfall that the majority of us fall into and with your colleagues bringing in snacks left, right and center, staying healthy can become all but impossible. Simply by changing your attitude to office snacking, however, you can reduce the amount of calories that you take in and help to maintain a healthier figure. Foods like carrots, chicken and broccoli might actually help to raise your metabolism and burn off calories more quickly. By sticking to high protein or fiber products, you can boost your burning potential and give your body that much needed health kick!
7. SNACK OFTEN
It might seem too good to be true, but by snacking more frequently, you can help to burn off more calories in the long run. Eating 5 small meals a day, in favor of 3 larger meals, can be beneficial to our health as our bodies use up more energy digesting smaller meals every few hours. Eating like this also ensures that our metabolic rate remains steady throughout the day, making burning calories much easier down the line.
8. STRETCH YOUR BODY
Just as tensing your muscles is a great way of burning calories, so too is stretching them out from time to time. Not only will this increase the flow of oxygenated blood around your body but also, will prevent you from feeling stiff after sitting in the same position for too long. You can try rolling your shoulders, circling your ankles and stretching your arms upwards. Your body will be both flexible and in great shape; it’s win-win!