Sitting all day at a desk can slowly take a toll on your body, especially if you are struggling to get to the gym before or after work. Sitting for long periods of time has been proven to affect posture, increased blood pressure and metabolic syndrome. Fortunately, there still are ways get to fit during a long day at the office.
Don’t rely on sugar and caffeine to keep you energized.
Almost every office building has vending machines that contain soda. One of the key contributors to obesity is soda due to its artificial sweeteners, high levels of sugar and caffeine. Instead of drinking soda, some good alternatives are cold water, raw coconut water and green tea.
Many people rely on the caffeine in soda and coffee to stay energized throughout the day. While caffeinated drinks can help, it comes at a cost. Coffee is good to drink in once or twice a day, but if it’s consumed throughout the day, it can cause tremors, headaches and restlessness.
Do push-ups and air squats.
Push-ups are a very popular exercise because they are relatively easy and can be modified so everybody can do them. Push-ups can be a cardiovascular exercise if done at a rapid rate and can improve circulation after a long day of sitting.
Air squats are a good exercise because not only can they be done anywhere, they firm up your glutes and help stabilize your core. A proper air squat is done by standing up straight and slowly lowering your rear end until your glutes are parallel to the ground.
Keep the right snacks in your desk drawer.
Often for snacks the go-to is something easy like trail mix. However, in addition to healthy nuts, trail mix often contains sweetened granola and even candy sometimes. A cup of trail mix can add up to almost 700 calories. Some good alternatives are low sodium beef jerky, almonds, lightly salted rice cakes and roasted seaweed.
Use your lunch break to your advantage.
If your lunch break is only a half-hour or a full hour, it is the perfect time to get active. Instead of eating your lunch when you usually would, use that time to take a walk and eat later while you work. The average walking speed for one mile is around 15-20 minutes leaving enough time to walk and cool down before returning to your desk.
Purchase a mini exercise bike.
Mini exercise bikes are a great way to get your heart rate going. The machine is small enough to fit under your desk to be pedaled with your feet or on top of your desk to be pedaled with your hands for an arm workout. The bike is also a great way to improve circulation whether you decide to pedal on a high or low resistance.
Do desk tricep dips.
Triceps exercises are some of the most important exercises when it comes to losing arm fat. Luckily, tricep desk dips can be done right in your cubicle without anybody knowing. The key to desk tricep dips is isolating your triceps during the contraction so you don’t push through your hands because that can cause wrist injuries.
Watch your back.
One of the most important parts of the human body is the spine and sitting hunched over at a desk all day can do serious damage to your back and will eventually make you more injury prone, especially if you live an active lifestyle. Ways to prevent back injuries are from sitting in chairs with lumbar support, stretching and doing wall sits.
Standing desks are a great way to stay active during the long workday. Getting a standing desk can help prevent the back pain that occurs from sitting all day and studies have shown standing for part of the day has additional health benefits, including lowering risk of weight gain, lowering risk of heart disease, improving mood and energy levels and it may even boost productivity.