One of the things I love about my health insurance company is that they offer webinars and workshops to both members and the community. I’ve been able to get the latest info from a doctor about the Zika virus. They also hold nutrition workshops. Recently, I attended a Deskercise workshop (aka activities we can do at our desk).
Because I work from home, I’m very conscious of the need to get active. We’ve all heard that sitting is bad for us. Physical activity improves our focus, mood, and energy. It can benefit our blood pressure, cholesterol, and stress levels. So, what are a few activities that we can do? Well, here are five that were shared during the workshop.
- Wooden Legs – This is an activity you can do while sitting at your desk. Sit upright in your chair and extend one leg out straight in front of you. Hold for two seconds. Then raise it up higher, hold for two more seconds. Repeat each leg 10 times. Great to do during webinars or long conference calls!
- Calf Raises – Next time you’re waiting for the printer or copier, push up on your tippy toes, pause at the top, then lower back down. Repeat for 3 sets of 10 reps.
- Silent Glute Squeeze – Refrain from snickering on this one. You don’t have to announce to your co-workers when you’re doing it! Try isometric glute squeezes by simply squeezing the buttocks, holding for 5-10 seconds, and releasing. Do this while typing one complete email. Not only will it help you write concise messages but the results will be uplifting!
- Shadow Boxing – This could be helpful during a frustrating day. Pretend you’re a boxer. With knees soft and core tight, throw out some punches in rapid succession. Continue for a minute or longer to blow off some steam and tone your arms, shoulders, and core.
- Dance Party – When you feel like celebrating, break out your favorite active dance moves. If you don’t want anyone to see you, stay low and chair dance. Otherwise, stand up and let loose! Boogie for 30 seconds, rest, and repeat.
Doing these activities – even in short bursts – can have a benefit. Remember, before starting any type of exercise or activity program – even deskercise, be sure to talk with your physician. And, don’t make the assumption these activities are easy. Take things slowly and stretch before you get active. If you wear heels, consider removing them. And be sure to really focus on what you’re doing because form matters!
Oh, and one more thing. Get your co-workers involved! Maybe you can find a buddy to hold each other accountable.
Adding a few activities to our day takes a little commitment. But it can reap big results.
Oh, and P.S. I just discovered an app called Zova that allows you to do short exercises throughout the day with a prompt from your phone. The app offers video instruction so you can do the activity properly. It also lets you rate the activity so you do more of the things your like (and less of the ones you don’t). The idea being – turn these short bursts of activity into a habit.
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby wandering around in South Florida