As you may be aware, the argument against a sedentary lifestyle is getting more spirited by the day. We’ve become more aware of the potential long-term health risks of sitting too often. Commercials for standing desks go as far as to suggest that sitting is the new smoking! Often, we can’t avoid sitting for long portions of our days, given that so many of us work (or study) at desks or with computers. Even if you can’t fully transform your lifestyle, however, there are plenty of short, simple exercises you can do to break up your sitting time and get your blood flowing in a healthy way.
Below are just a few of them.
It’s somewhat surprising that jumping jacks aren’t more popular in general. You can do them just about anywhere, in any clothes and even with any shoes on (or no shoes at all), save high heels. Plus, they get your heart rate up in a hurry, serving as one of the best cardiovascular exercises you can do in one place. The benefits of jumping jacks are extensive, much like those of other cardio activities, but the exercise is a lot simpler and more convenient. Whether you’re standing up at your desk to take a jumping jack break or doing some jumps while you watch TV or a movie, it’s a great way to combat a sedentary lifestyle on a regular basis.
Leg raises are more for your idle time than your office. In fact, we got the idea from a Canadian gaming site that was discussing exercises gamers can do to keep from sitting still too long. The article pointed out that leg raises (laying on one side and raising one leg up before switching sides) can help you avoid that restless feeling you get from sitting too much. It does this by getting your blood flowing, but it’s also a great exercise for building core, ab, and leg strength (which are nice added benefits). It’s certainly a good exercise to keep in mind while you’re gaming, watching television, or otherwise just hanging out.
Push-ups are the ultimate exercise to fit in throughout the day whenever you’re able. Some people will simply get down and do them at the office or in the middle of the living room, but there are some modifications as well that can be easier in work or social situations. One article specifically discussing exercises you can do at your desk noted some of these modifications, such as doing them on a wall or against your desk. The point is, it’s an easy resistance exercise that you can fit into just about any situation, wearing any clothes, and it gets your blood circulating right away.
Calf raises were mentioned in the same article that discussed alternative ways of fitting push-ups into your day, and they may be among the only exercises even easier to do than push-ups. All you need to do is raise your heels up to use your calf muscles and hold for a few seconds at a time. You can do this at work, standing behind your chair or at your desk, or you can do it at home while playing a game, or with the TV on. It’s not quite as much of a plus for circulation or core work as some of the other exercises here, but it works your leg muscles and gets you out of your seated position for a few minutes.