Feeling stiff at your desk? Unsure how to incorporate your exercise routine while on the go? Exercise physiologist Steve Gratkins M.S., from award-winning health resort and luxury spa, Canyon Ranch, caught up with Organic Spa Magazine to share his five easy exercises for the office and five exercises for on the go.
In-office exercises to increase mobility and flexibility:
1. Take a brisk walk. This can include walking around your building or going up and down a few flights of stairs. This will get your blood flowing and recharge you!
2. To work all major muscle groups in your legs, try sit down squats at your desk.
3. To increase flexibility and mobility, try a hip flexor stretch. Stand upright with one foot in front and the other about two feet back, heel lifted. Keeping knees pointed forward and your front knee over your ankle bend both knees. Place hand on hips or keep it against the wall for balance. Exhale gently and tilt the pelvis forward. You should feel the stretch in the front of the hip of the back leg. Switch and repeat
4. When sitting at a desk all day, your back can easily become achy. Take a few moments for a lower back stretch. Stand with your legs straight and hands in the middle of your thighs. Bend both knees and lean forward from the hips. Exhale, and round the back while tucking the tailbone under the pelvis. Look down at your navel, and then return to a flat back position before standing upright.
5. A quick lateral stretch at your desk can give you a quick boost of energy and help you refocus. Sit upright and reach the right arm straight up. Place the left hand on the left hip and bend the whole upper body to the left. Continue reaching with the right arm as the body curves to the left. Hold. Repeat on the other side.
Five easy exercises for on the go:
1. Chest press: attach band to door at chest level. Stand in a split-leg position with feet about 2 feet apart. Chest stays lifted with chin parallel to the floor. Using the thumb-hook grip, position the band under the arms as you press straight forward, squeezing the chest. Slowly bend the elbows until the upper arms are a t a 90-degree angle at shoulder height. Slowly press the band forward, until arms are straight again.
2. Functional band row: Attach the band at chest level. Stand with feet hip-width apart and a slight bend in the knees. Tighten the abs. Chest stays lifted with chin parallel to the floor. Keeping the body solid and immobile, pull the handles toward the navel, first retracting the shoulder blades toward the spine, and then drawing the elbows back as far as you can. The handles should come back to chest level.
3. Overhead press: This exercise works all major muscle groups in your back. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, abdominals engaged and band securely under both feet. Arms are raised with handles beside your shoulders, palms facing front. Keep your chest lifted as you press the handles directly overhead. Do not allow the arms to go behind your heads. Slowly bring the band back down to starting position and begin again.
4. Ab crunches: Lie face-up on the floor with a towel or mat under your spine for comfort. The band should be secured four inches above the ground using the door attachment. Grasp the handles with palms facing inward. The tube should be tight enough so that there is immediate resistance. Crunch the torso by moving the rib cage toward the pelvis.
5. Calf raises: these can be done without resistance bands. These are a great exercise to do while brushing teeth or while cooking. They are fun and simple to do and will also help you work on balance. Just stand on your tiptoes and then lower yourself back down. Repeat.
When a gym isn’t available there are many other ways to still get your exercise in. Traveling with a resistance band is one of the best ways to help you exercise while on the go. The best way to exercise while on the go is to get outside as often as you can. Walking, jogging, taking stairs are all great ways to exercise while on the go. With resistance bands, you are able to work your upper body and your lower body. Another great plus is they fit easily into any bag you are traveling with!
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