Remember the days when “work” meant manual labor with a side of blood, sweat, and tears? Neither do we. These days it seems we’re more likely to log hour after idle hour with our bums glued to our seats. And while you may be an Excel champ by day and gym rat by night, recent research suggests that the recommended 30 minutes of cardio five times per week may not undo the health risks of a sedentary lifestyle.
So what’s a worker chained to his or her desk to do? Luckily short bouts of aerobics, strength exercises, and stretching in between conference calls and Gchats can help improve fitness levels and heart health. While these deskercises, or desk exercises for the cubicle-bound, won’t promise Olympic mile times or six-pack abs, they might just improve strength and burn a few extra calories to boot. So whether it’s Powerpoint, Photoshop, or emails on that to-do list, we’ve got 33 sneaky exercises for a healthier (and happier!) workday.
1. The Twinkle Toe Tap into your inner Fred Astaire by speedily tapping those toes on the floor under your desk. Or graduate to a harder (and less conspicuous) move: Stand in front of a small trashcan and lift up those legs to tap the toes on its edge, alternating feet, in soccer-drill fashion.
2. The Stair Master Want to avoid elevator small talk in favor of elevating the heart rate? Take the stairs! Accelerate on the straight-aways and take two at a time every other flight for a real leg burn.
3. The Slog, Then Jog Instead of slogging away for hours nonstop, take a mini break for a stationary jog. Pop up from your chair (admire the butt imprint left behind!) and jog in place. Willing to huff and puff a little more? Pick up those knees! Continue for one minute, return to spreadsheets, and repeat.
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