When the cold weather arrives, we find ourselves hiding indoors, hunched over our desks longer than the usual eight hours a day. Long hours at your desk without the ability to get out and get active can take a toll on your back, neck, and overall energy. Try these 10 simple exercises and stretches throughout your work day to fight off fatigue, stiffness, and cold weather laziness.
1. Make sure to simply get up from your desk and take a walk to stretch out all your muscles, multiple times a day. If you can, try walking down the hallway as fast as you can without running.
2. Take short breaks from typing to prevent hand and arm strain and even carpal tunnel syndrome. Make fists, spread your fingers and then bend your fingers. Interlock your fingers, turn them outward, and extend your arms in front of you to really stretch your wrists.
3. Feet falling asleep? Move your feet right under your desk (don’t worry, no one will see!). While sitting in your chair, extend your right leg and raise until it is level with your hip. Hold as long as you are comfortable and then relax it. Try to hold your legs up longer each time.
4. Here’s an easy one: Take the stairs for a few flights. Get your heart pumping and give your legs a quick workout.
5. Rise up on your tip-toes while standing on line or at the coffee machine. Improve your balance, ankle stability, and calf muscle definition in just a few minutes a day!
6. Seated crunches are feel good, quick ab workouts you can try at your desk. Sit on the edge of your seat and place your hands next to your butt, gripping the front of the chair. Lean back slightly and extend your legs down and away, keeping your heels 4” to 6” off the floor. Bend your knees and slowly raise your legs toward your chest while leaning forward with your upper body, crunching toward your thighs.
7. If you’re tired of sitting down, try a gluteal squeeze. Tense up the muscles of your rear and hold for 10 seconds You’ll be surprised how refreshing using your muscles can be.
8. Stretching your neck throughout the day is crucial. Sit up straight and pull your head down and to the left with your left hand for 30 seconds. Alternate as many times as you like.
9. Poor posture can lead to exhaustion, headaches, muscles pain, and more. Get up and touch your toes, exhaling deeply. Slowly raise yourself upward again after 10 seconds. Repeat whenever you can.
10. Neck rotations are simple but great stress relievers. Drop your chin and roll your head slowly in a circular motion. Circle your head in both directions. When you’ve finished that, rotate your arms in large and small circles at the shoulder to help relieve shoulder and neck tension.