You’re probably sitting down as you’re reading this, and I hate to tell you this, but you should really stand up. Too much sitting will kill you!! Ok, so I’m being dramatic, but recent studies over the past 2 years have linked prolonged sitting (more than 8 hours per day,) with a number of health concerns, including obesity, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. And what’s worse, being a “weekend warrior” (i.e., working out vigorously a few times a week) won’t offset these risks.
So what are we gonna do, friends? The solution seems to lie in something simple like, STOP SITTING SO MUCH!! It sounds too good to be true… but actually, it could be more difficult than it seems. The hours can slip away while we’re at home, or especially at work, and there we are, our rear ends glued to the chair. We need to find ways to get up out of that chair and move our bodies, even for a short while, every hour. Get up, walk around, stretch… whatever it takes to avoid continual sitting. Not only will we reduce our risk of these chronic diseases, but we’ll actually increase the blood flow to our brains, making it easier to do whatever task we were sitting there doing. Nice, huh?
I have 5 exercises for you that will get you out of your chair. You can do them even at your office work station, even in your office clothing!!… I know because I demonstrated all of them at the 2016 Asia CEO Forum Health Summit last week. And even though I invited the audience to join me, not one person did… everyone just kept sitting. Go figure! But you can, right now even, and it will be your break for this hour.
Do just one set of 12-15 repetitions of each exercise, and hold the stretches for a count of 30. The whole thing will probably only take you 5 minutes. You can do this routine every day, or several times a day if you like… it won’t tax your muscles too much and it will break up your sitting hours. Just one piece of advice: don’t use a rolling chair…
Chair Pushups: hold onto the edge of a sturdy chair. Bend your elbows to lower your upper body towards the chair, then push back up. Do 12-15 reps.
Chair Tricep Dips: place your hands on the edge of a sturdy chair, facing away from it. Put your feet out in front of you at a comfortable distance. Lower your rear end towards the floor by bending your elbows, then push back up. Do 12-15 reps.
Chair Squats: stand in front of a chair by about half a meter. Sit back by bending your knees until your rear end barely touches the chair’s edge, then stand back up. Do 12-15 reps.
Standing Shoulder Stretch: stand against a wall and stretch your arms up above your head. Try to place your hands flat on the wall behind you and keep your elbows near your ears. Hold the stretch for a count of 30.
Standing Chest Stretch: stand against a wall and place your hands behind head, fingers resting lightly behind your ears. Stretch to open your arms so that your elbows touch the wall behind you. Hold the stretch for a count of 30.
Have fun and let me know if you try this… your comments always make my day!