Survive the office with Exercise, Healthy Snacks and a Mental Break

Desk-bound on a deadline - itching to get out and get active but responsibility and obligation have you chained to your cubicle. Whether it is work pressure or over-scheduling keeping you from your regular workouts, you can still squeeze in exercise. Dropping a few stretches or exercises into breaks throughout the day will help your body and help your mind focused on its tasks when it needs to. Aim to get your largest muscles working; this will get your blood flowing and your heart pumping. Aim for stretches to counteract the negative body position of desk and computer work.





Open your chest Reaching for a computer or desk all day can leave your chest and shoulders tight. This is compounded if you are spending your time in a spin class or on your bike. Lace your fingers behind you and place your wrists on your chair’s headrest. Drop your chin towards your chest. Hold the pose for a count of 10 and repeat. Ease your neck and shoulders The tightness in your chest often creeps through your shoulders and neck. Shrug your shoulders gently and slowly let them fall. Repeat 10 times. Rotate your neck gently side to side with your head upright. Try to move your head past your shoulder. Repeat 10 times. Stretch your wrists and fingers Don’t forget the little muscles that are earning your money. Place your hands on your desks so all your fingers and your palms are touching. Lean forward and ease into the stretch. Next, rotate your arms so your fingertips are facing your body. Slowly lean forward to feel the tension release.


Strength Exercises

You don’t need a lot of space to do some simple exercises at your desk. All you need is already there - think water bottles, reams of paper or if you want to make it a little bit easier on yourself and perhaps stop your coworkers from staring - bring in a few hand weights. Exercises can be done in isolation or as part of a standing circuit - give your butt a break - doing 10 reps. Calf Raises Stand up behind your chair using the chair for balance if needed. With feet shoulder-width apart raise your heels off the ground and slower lower. Keep your core tight and for an extra challenge alternate doing one leg at a time with the other foot held in the air. Repeat 10 times. Plié Squats Stand behind your chair with feet turned out about shoulder-width apart. Keeping your back straight lower your bottom as if you are sitting in a chair. Push through your heels up to standing. Repeat for 10 reps. Shoulder Presses Grab two 1L water bottles or a pair hand weights. Standing, hold the weights at shoulder height and press up and slowly lower. Repeat 10 times. Push-outs Use the edge of your desk or a wall to do a slight twist to the traditional push-up. Push out taking as much weight as you can on your arms. For an added challenge do one arm at a time. Repeat 10 times. Bicep Curls Standing with a bottle or weight in each hand curl your hands towards your shoulders. Focus on pressing your shoulders down and out of your ears. Repeat 10 times.


Stockpile Good Food

Sitting at a desk all day can be draining. Focus on fueling yourself with good food. Don’t fall victim the daily doughnut delivery or cubicle celebration. Embrace the fresh fruit delivery and keep some staples within arms reach and in the fridge. In the fridge:
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Kefir
  • Nut butter
At the desk:
  • Raw nuts and seeds
  • Dried fruit
  • Plain oatmeal packages
  • Dark chocolate bites

To make your snacks feel more satisfying - don’t eat just some nuts, or a spoonful of yogurt. Combine ingredients to make actual snacks rather than random handfuls from a random bag. The variety will satisfy your eyes and keep you feeling fuller longer.

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