Did you know that sitting in excess of 30 minutes slows circulation and breathing, causing you to feel sluggish and less alert? It also decreases the blood and oxygen flow to your back. Whether you are working at your desk or watching TV in the living room, you can make the most of your down-time with chair workouts. Whether you are in the office or working from home these short and simple chair workouts can help add activity into any sedentary day. These little activities can help be the difference between a 1 or 2 pound weight loss week.
Select a firm chair that has a sturdy back, allowing you to sit up straight. If you are in an office chair, adjust your position so you can sit tall without slouching. Instead of using the couch or recliner, bring a straight-backed chair into the TV room.
Warm Up and Tone Up With Chair Workouts
While seated, perform these chair workouts in sequence to help improve flexibility, circulation and strength. Whether it’s a commercial or coffee break—stay where you are and do the following:
- Pump both ankles up and down ten times.
- Tighten your buttocks and hold for the count of ten. Relax. Repeat three times.
- March in place while sitting, bringing your knees as high as possible. Work up to two to three minutes.
- Sit erect and press the small of your back against the back of the chair while tightening your abdominal muscles and exhaling. Hold for a count of 10. Repeat five times.
- Place each hand on your opposite shoulder and then squeeze your shoulder blades together, gently pushing your elbows back as far as possible. You should feel movement between the shoulder blades if you are performing this correctly. Repeat five times.
- Raise the top of your shoulders toward your ears until you feel slight tension in your neck and shoulders; hold for a few seconds. Release and relax your shoulders. Repeat three times.
- Press your lower back firmly into the back of the chair while sitting up straight. Engage abdominals by pressing belly button toward your spine. Extend one leg straight, tightening thigh muscles, and hold for a count of 10. Switch legs. Repeat four times.
- Every 60 minutes, tilt your pelvis backward and then forward. It will feel like you are pulling your stomach in and then sticking your stomach out. Hold each position for two seconds. Repeat for five times each position.
- Every 60 minutes, get up and walk around for two minutes. That will improve the blood flow to your legs, and back.