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Deskercise: The Ultimate Guide to Office Workout Routines for Better Health


Why Should You Exercise at Your Desk?

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In today's fast-paced world, finding time to exercise can be challenging, especially for those with sedentary jobs that involve sitting at a desk for long periods. Fortunately, there's a simple solution: desk exercises, or as we like to call it, "deskercise"! 

Desk exercises are a convenient and effective way to squeeze in some movement and improve your health, even while working. This ultimate guide will take you through a range of desk workout routines, from stretching to strength training, that will leave you feeling energized and help improve your overall well-being. So, let's get started! 

Why Should You Exercise at Your Desk? 

Sitting for prolonged periods has been linked to various health issues, including back pain, muscle stiffness, and even long-term conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Moving your body throughout the day is crucial for maintaining good physical and mental health. 

Here are some key benefits of incorporating desk exercises into your routine: 

  • Improved posture and reduced back pain: Desk exercises can help strengthen your core and improve your posture, reducing the risk of back pain and muscle soreness associated with sitting for long hours. 

  • Increased energy and focus: Taking short breaks to move and stretch can boost your energy levels and help refresh your mind, improving your focus and productivity. 

  •  Better overall health: Regular movement can lower your risk of chronic diseases and improve your cardiovascular health, flexibility, and strength. 

  • Stress relief: Exercise is a natural stress reliever, helping to reduce anxiety and improve your mood. 

  • Time efficiency: With desk exercises, you can work out while working, saving you time on commuting to the gym or finding separate exercise time. 

Deskercise 101: Types of Desk Exercises 

Desk exercises can be categorized into a few main types: stretches, core workouts, cardio, and strength training. Incorporating a variety of these into your routine will ensure you target different aspects of fitness and keep your workouts interesting! 

1. Stretching 

Stretching is crucial for improving flexibility, reducing muscle tension, and preventing injuries. Desk stretches are typically gentle and focus on areas that get tight from sitting, like the neck, shoulders, back, hips, and legs. 

 Neck and Shoulder Stretches: 

  •  Shoulder Rolls: Lift your shoulders up, then roll them back and down in a circular motion. Repeat in the opposite direction. 

  •  Neck Releases: Gently tilt your head to one side, using your chin to touch your chest. Hold, then go to the other side. 

  • Ear to Shoulder: Pull your chin down while gently pulling your head to one side, as if trying to touch your ear to your shoulder. Hold, then go to the other side. 

Back and Spine Stretches: 

  •  Seated Cat-Cow: Place your feet flat on the floor, and arch your back while inhaling. Then, round your spine and tuck your chin to your chest as you exhale. 

  •  Spinal Twist: Sit tall, and twist your torso to one side, using your hand to gently push against your knee. Hold, then go to the other side. 

Hip and Leg Stretches: 

  •  Seated Hip Flexor Stretch: Kneel on one knee with the other foot on the floor in front of you. Lean forward, keeping your spine straight, and squeeze your glutes. 

  • Figure Four Stretch: Sit with your legs crossed, placing one ankle on the opposite knee. Gently lean forward, keeping your back straight, to feel the stretch in your hip and glute. 

 2. Core Workout 

Core exercises are essential for improving posture and stabilizing your spine. These moves will target your abdominal muscles and back, helping to build a strong foundation for your body. 

Ab Workout Sitting at Desk: 

  •  Seated Russian Twists: Sit on the edge of your chair, feet flat on the floor. Twist your torso from side to side, engaging your core and keeping your eyes on your hands as they move. 

  •  Desk Crunches: Place your feet flat on the floor, and lean back slightly, engaging your core. Lift your legs off the floor, bend your knees, and perform small crunches, touching your elbows to your knees. 

  •  Seated Leg Raises: Keep your hands under your thighs, and lift one leg off the floor, keeping it straight. Lower it down, and repeat with the other leg for a core workout that targets your lower abs. 

Core Desk Exercises: 

  1.  Plank: Get into a push-up position, but instead of lowering your body, hold the plank position, keeping your core engaged and your body in a straight line. 

  2.  Desk Plank Tap: Start in a plank position with your hands on your desk. Tap one hand to the opposite shoulder, and then repeat with the other hand, engaging your core to maintain balance. 

 3. Cardio 

Cardio exercises get your heart pumping and are a great way to boost your energy and metabolism. These moves will get your blood flowing and help improve your cardiovascular health. 

5-Minute Desk Cardio: 

  1.  Desk Jogging: Stand in front of your chair, and gently lift your knees to your chest in a jogging motion. Swing your arms as you do this to get your heart rate up. 

  2.  Jump Rope: Use an imaginary jump rope, and skip in place, lifting your knees and jumping on the balls of your feet. 

  3.  Desk Jumping Jacks: Stand with your feet together, and jump to a position with your legs apart and hands over your head, mimicking the movement of a jumping jack but modified for a seated position. 

4. Strength Training 

Strength training helps build muscle and bone strength. These exercises can be done using your body weight or with the help of light weights, like dumbbells or resistance bands. 

Bodyweight Strength Training: 

- Chair Squats: Stand in front of your chair, feet hip-width apart. Bend your knees and lower yourself back into the chair, then stand back up, engaging your glutes and thighs. 

- Wall Push-Ups: Stand at arm's length from a wall, and perform a push-up against it, keeping your body straight and your core engaged. 

- Tricep Dips: Use your chair or desk for support. Face away from the chair, and lower yourself down, bending your elbows, then push back up, engaging your arms and core. 

With Light Weights: 

- Bicep Curls: Using light dumbbells, stand or sit with your back straight and arms at your sides. Curl the weights up toward your chest, then lower them back down. 

- Shoulder Press: Hold the weights at shoulder height, and push them upward until your arms are fully extended overhead, then lower them back down. 

- Lateral Raises: Hold the weights at your sides, and lift them until they're shoulder height, keeping your arms straight.

Creating a Deskercise Routine 

Now that you have a range of exercises to choose from, it's time to create a routine that works for you. 

 Getting Started: 

  1. Set a Schedule: Start by setting aside specific times during your workday for deskercise. This could be first thing in the morning, during lunch breaks, or as short breaks throughout the day. 

  2.  Set Reminders: Use reminders or alerts to prompt you to take these exercise breaks. You can also set a timer to ensure you don't exceed your break time. 

  3. Prepare Your Space: Ensure you have enough space around your desk or in your office to move safely. Remove any obstacles, and consider adding an exercise mat if you have space. 

 Building Your Routine: 

  •  Warm-Up: Always start with a warm-up to get your blood flowing and prepare your body for movement. This might involve mild aerobics and dynamic stretching.

  •  Cardio and Strength Training: Focus on getting your heart rate up with cardio exercises, and then target specific muscle groups with strength training moves. 

  •  Core Work: Incorporate core exercises to strengthen your abdominal muscles and improve your posture. 

  •  Cool Down and Stretch: Finish with a cool-down period that includes static stretching to improve flexibility and reduce muscle soreness. 

Sample Routine: 

  1. Warm-up: 5-minute desk jogging and dynamic stretches (neck rolls, shoulder stretches, spinal twist). 

  2. Cardio: 10 minutes of jump rope and desk jumping jacks. 

  3. Strength Training: Two sets of 10 reps each of chair squats, wall push-ups, and tricep dips. 

  4.  Core Work: Seated Russian twists, desk crunches, and plank taps for 30 seconds each.
     
  5. Cool Down and Stretch: 5-minute office stretch routine (neck releases, cat-cow, hip flexor stretch, and figure four stretch). 

Tips for Staying Motivated 

Starting a new routine can be challenging, so here are some tips to keep you motivated: 

  • Start Slow and Listen to Your Body: Begin with shorter workouts, and gradually increase the intensity and duration as you get more comfortable. 

  • Make it Fun: Choose workouts you love, and change your regimen to make it interesting. You may also listen to music or an audiobook to help the time fly by. 

  • Set Goals: Set achievable goals, whether it's improving your posture, increasing energy levels, or reducing back pain. Track your progress to stay motivated. 

  • Buddy Up: Find a colleague or friend who can join you. Working out with others can make it more enjoyable and help keep you accountable. 

  • Reward Yourself: Treat yourself to something special when you reach a milestone, like
    a new water bottle or a healthy snack. 



Conclusion 

Deskercise is a convenient and effective way to improve your health and well-being, even with a busy schedule. By incorporating stretching, core work, cardio, and strength training into your routine, you can transform your workdays into active and energized ones. 

Remember to start slowly, listen to your body, and have fun with it! With these desk exercises and a consistent routine, you'll be well on your way to better health and a more productive workday. 

So, are you ready to give deskercise a go? Your body and mind will thank you! 


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