If you are in a relationship with your work like me (I hate the word ‘workaholic’), then may be you are also dealing with some relationship issues like stress and weight gain. Every person who has a desk job, does not need to indulge in a tub of ice cream after a particularly stressful day at work to gain the pounds. In fact, the downside of being a way too dedicated employee is that it will make you fat! The stress to perform and add on to it the inactivity of a desk job will definitely increase your waist size. Plus, you will become lethargic. Now, what to do? You wouldn’t have the time to hit the gym from 9 to 5 and many of us skip the gym altogether after almost 1.5 hours of commuting from work to home. Did you know? Four hours of inactivity can seriously send your metabolism levels to an all time low. If you think that a 30 minute walk everyday is enough cardio activity in a week to maintain your metabolism, you are wrong! Yes, I was surprised too! The mathematics of this is that when you perform any cardio activity, it elevates your metabolism rate for a span of time, but not the entire day. Because, the rest of the day you are sitting idle on your chair without much activity. So, the 30 minute walk is not enough, nor is the 1-hour intense workout. What you need to do to keep yourself from piling on the pounds is that, you need to keep your metabolism rate high all day long. For that, you need to break the no physical activity routine from 9 to 5 by exercising while sitting at your desk!
Exercises to Do While Sitting at Your Computer Desk
Did you know? Sitting at your desk for more than 23 hours a week puts you at a higher risk of a heart disease than your counterparts who sit for less than 11 hours a week. Break that body rhythm of inactivity with office exercises while sitting at your desk.
Stretch Your Body
Rotate your neck and stretch every muscle in it.
Put your hands together in front of you and make a grip and stretch.
Repeat the above step by placing your hands behind your back.
Rotate your shoulders, backward and forward.
Make a fist and rotate both wrists.
Now, stretch your calves and hamstrings by pointing your feet up and then, down.
Rotate your ankles in clockwise and anti-clockwise directions.
Stand in front of your computer and push your chair a feet away.
Keep your feet apart, in alignment with your shoulders.
Place your hands parallel to the floor.
Take a deep breath and suck your stomach in.
Rise on your heels while you breathe.
Bend your knees slowly as you squat towards the chair behind you.
Just before you are almost about to sit on the chair, stop.
Hold for 10 seconds and feel the contraction in your hamstrings.
Now, exhale as you go back to the standing position.
Do 2 sets of 12 reps.
Stand in front of your desk with your feet again in alignment with your shoulders.
Keep your back straight as you slowly take a deep breath.
Let your shoulders relax and bend a little forward.
Contract your abdomen muscles as you exhale completely.
Do this is in swift movements, increasing the intensity.
Do 3 sets of 15 reps.
To make this a strength training exercise as well, hold two full bottles of water. Stand with your hands on your sides, holding the bottles, parallel to the ground. Every time you exhale and crunch your abdomen muscles, bring your hands together to your front. As you inhale, bring them back to the previous position. You may increase a set.
Place your arms on the edge of the desk.
Drag your toes a few feet away from your desk, such that you can lean on the edge of the desk, without falling flat on the floor.
You should be in a slant position with your chin directly in alignment with the edge of the desk, when your elbows are bent.
Straighten your elbows as you come up and inhale.
Slowly exhale, as you lean towards the desk again. Repeat.
Don’t bend your knees. Keep your back straight.
Do 3 sets of 12 reps.
Tips to Keep Your Metabolism Rate Up
Drink 2 bottles of water between 9 to 5.
Keep munching on low-fat snacks like nuts and fruits, every two hours.
Have a light lunch or break it up into 3 small meals.
Fetch water from the water cooler.
Chat up with a co-worker on the next floor.
Walk up to colleagues instead of sending mails and memos.
Take the stairs, not the lift!
Take a 10 minute walk post lunch and an evening snack.
You can even try out some yoga postures at your desk.
Remember, do not exercise for up to 30 minutes after a meal.
Any exercises that involve lifting weights and which stretch your muscles are an ideal way to keep your metabolism rate elevated for a longer time. Though cardio provides instant increase in metabolism rate and burns fat, slow and intense muscle training exercises build muscle mass which helps burn fat over the long run and has lasting durations. Just ensure that you are performing these exercises with full devotion and at a greatly reduced pace for maximum benefits. Also, if you stay physically idle all day long, there will be no major movement in muscles and no energy will be spent so your body will be clued into not to carry out any energy producing activities and shuts down. This is really bad news for your metabolism rate that remains low throughout the day. It can gradually lead to cardiovascular diseases, high cholesterol, diabetes and obesity over the years. I am not saying that you stop your workouts but you need to do your office exercises too.