Work Workouts

July 7, 2009

Do you find that after a “normal” 8-5 work day your head and body both ache? If so, you may be suffering from a somewhat ‘under-exercising’ plague that seems to be sweeping the nation. More important, a lack of exercise may be the main reason for causing these aches.

I believe it is now the time for us to get involved in a regular muscle training exercise program that will not only enhance your shape and give you energy, it will improve your health and attitude. Exercise has been proven as one of the most powerful medicines for improving one’s self esteem and outlook on life. Our children, spouses, relatives and jobs are so demanding that it is often difficult to find time to give the gift of fitness to yourself. Exercise, however, can provide you with not just the physical energy you need to keep going, it provides you with the emotional energy you need to stay in the game.

I’ve designed several stretches and strengthening exercises to help you improve your fitness, health, and energy level in the comfort of your own workspace. It is recommended that before starting any exercise program you consult with your physician.

1. Breathe – While sitting at your desk, the first thing you can do to relieve stress is to BREATHE. Simply sit upright, relax your neck and shoulders, and take a deep breath in and out through your nose. Feel your diaphragm expand as you inhale. After a few slow, deep breaths, you’ll put yourself in a much calmer, yet more energized state.

2. Neck Stretch – To stretch the muscles in the neck, simply tilt your head to the right while looking straight ahead. With your left hand, grab the bottom of your chair seat and lean a bit to the right. You’ll feel a huge stretch down the left side of the neck and shoulders. To stretch the back of the neck, simply look straight down, pressing your chin to your chest, then repeat the exercise leaning the left ear to the side.

3. Wrist Stretch – Working at a computer and a desk daily can put your wrists at a huge risk for carpleltunnel syndrome or tendentious. To combat this, gently apply pressure to the back of the right hand, enabling the fingers to point down towards the floor, stretching the top of the wrist. To stretch the muscles on the underside of the arm, just reverse the above process: Use the opposite hand to press against the finger tips as they point to the ceiling.

4. Leg Work Lunges – To work the legs and gluteus, stand up and place your left hand on top of your desk for balance. Place the left in front of your right leg. Keeping your ear, shoulder hip and right knee in a straight vertical alignment, gently lower yourself towards the floor so that the right knee almost comes in contact with the floor. Technique is everything on these lunges: Make sure that the left knee is directly over the ankle and the toes are lifted on the left foot. Perform 10-15 lunges then switch to the other side, repeat 2-3 sets throughout the day.

5. Leg Work Wall Sit – Another great leg workout is to stand with your back flat against a wall, feet shoulder width apart and 9-12 inches in front of you. With arms at your side, slowly lower yourself towards the floor until your knees are at a 90 degree angle. Keep your quadriceps parallel to the floor for 30 – 60 seconds.

6. Calf Raises – Easy, yet effective exercises for the lower leg are calf raises. While holding onto the back of a chair or desk, balance on one leg and raise up on the toes so you feel a contraction in the calf. Hold and squeeze for 3 counts, then lower until your heel almost touches the floor. Repeat 15-20 times on the same leg then switch.

7. Inner Thighs – One last exercise to work the inner thighs, legs and gluteus is to combine a plie’ and gluteus squeeze. Stand with your feet more than shoulder distance apart while holding onto your desk or chair. Lower yourself towards the floor on count one, squeeze your gluteus to pull you back up on count two, extend one leg straight behind you on three, and return the leg back to it’s original position on count four. You can vary these by bringing the leg straight to the side or in front of you on count three to work more of the outer leg or quadriceps. The most important thing to remember on these plies is to keep your shoulders from leaning forward by keeping the abdominals contracted at all times.

8. Lower Back – Finally, to stretch the lower back region, sit up tall in your chair with the right leg crosses over the left. gently look over your left shoulder and rotate the body far enough so you feel a stretch along the lower back muscles. Make sure to keep the hips facing forward while you hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side.

By combining these exercises with 20-30 minutes of cardiovascular activity 3-5 times a week, you’ll be on your way to a stronger and healthier you. For more information and specific exercises on strengthening and lengthening exercises, try Victoria’s Power Shaping II video.

About the Author:

Victoria Johnson is the nation’s premier Health & Fitness and Wealth & Spirit “activist.” Victoria is the owner and president of Victoria Johnson Intl., a personal training, consulting, marketing and management company. She is not only a fitness guru, she’s a born and bred entrepreneur. She believes everyone should be healthy and prosperous. She has produced and starred in over 24 award-winning exercise and dance fitness DVD’s and videos, produced and starred in her own television show entitled “Victoria’s Body Shoppe” and most recently authored her third book, Body Revival, Lose Weight, Feel Great and Pump Up Your Faith! 


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