Trust Me, I’m a Doctor: Mosley demonstrates at home exercises
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A slower metabolism can impact the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and break down excess body fat.If you have a desk job, staying active is not always easy, but doing so can help to reduce stress, as well as helping to keep your body healthy.
Personal Trainer, Catherine McLaughlin, from BLK Box, has some expert advice for ways you can improve your fitness and health when working in a desk-based role.
Work standing up where possible
Catherine recommends using a stand-up or adjustable desk.
She suggests that you try and use it for at least two hours everyday, which can help to improve posture and circulation.
A standing or adjustable desk is Ideal for helping to alleviate the effects of sitting down for long periods of time.
McLaughlin explains: “Studies have shown that alternating between sitting down and standing up can help reduce upper back and neck pain – common complaints from those who are tied to a desk.
It can also lower your risk of weight gain and obesity, as well as lowering blood sugar levels. However, this doesn’t replace exercise so make sure you’re combining this with regular breaks, short walks and moderate exercise.”
Get your steps in
McLaughlin also recommends that you aim to do as much walking and standing as possible throughout the day.
She suggests taking the stairs instead of the lift, scheduling an outdoor walk or meeting, and to take phone calls outside while walking. It’s little changes like this that can help to increase your day’s step count.
It’s also recommended you use your lunch break to get out and go for a walk, instead of sitting down. McLaughlin suggests inviting co-workers to join you on a daily walk, where you all spend your break walking together.
If you work from home, she recommends you schedule a lunch break and use that time to walk and meet a friend, take your dog for a walk, or simply go for a walk on your own.
Take time away from your desk
The best way to make sure you get away from your desk is to set a timer that reminds you to get up and go for a walk.
This only needs to be for a minute or two, but it will help to boost your overall health.
Studies have shown sitting for extended periods of time can cause digestive problems, as well as back and hip issues.
Aim to get up at least once an hour to reduce the risk of developing these kinds of problems.
McLaughlin says: “There’s a strong link between increased sitting time and early death, reducing how long we’re sat at our desks can help us live longer. Break up long periods of sitting down with short bursts of activity – including short walks or desk exercises, to help increase life expectancy and reduce the risks of getting a chronic health problem.”
McLaughlin explains that drinking enough water is vital when it comes to staying healthy.
Drinking enough water is essential for hydration as well as to regulate body temperature, prevent infections, and keep your organs functioning properly. Being well-hydrated can also help improve your sleep quality and mood.
McLaughlin said: “You could set up an H20 group at work to keep each other motivated and on track, or pick up a water bottle with times on the side to remind you when you need to have a drink. They’re really handy for keeping you on track.”
Workout at your desk
Seated leg raises can be done easily at your desk, helping to strengthen your hamstrings and glutes.
To do this, first sit upright in your chair and straighten one of your legs so that it’s parallel to the floor, holding it in place for ten seconds.
Now do this with your other leg. Repeat x15 on each leg.
Desk push ups
For boosting upper body and core strength, desk push ups are a great exercise.
Place your palms at shoulder width at the edge of your desk – making sure your desk is sturdy enough to hold your weight first.
Now move your feet away from the desk until you are inclined towards it.
Slowly lower your chest towards the desk, then push yourself back up again.
Repeat this 20 times.
For boosting upper body strength and building muscle, tricep dips work well.
To complete this exercise, you’ll need a chair that won’t roll away.
Move to the front edge of the seat and place both palms flat.
Bend your elbows until they’re bent between 45 and 90 degrees and then lower yourself down, ensuring your back is as close to the chair as possible.
Finally, straighten your arms to finish the movement and repeat this 20 times.
For this exercise, you’ll need to stand up from your chair and lower your body back down just inches from the chair, ensuring that you don’t sit down.
Be sure to keep your weight on the heels, not the toes, and stand back up again. Repeat this movement 20 times.
If you struggle to get to the gym, these are great for getting you moving, and all you need is a chair.
Chair squats help build up the strength in your leg muscles, reducing the risks of leg issues when you’re older such as weak bones and varicose veins. The chair helps to provide added support as you work your glutes, hamstrings, and quads.
Mclaughlin said: “Inactivity is also bad for our mental health and productivity, moving more will help you be more productive while keeping your mind happy.
“These exercises can be performed at any point in the day and, combined with being more active and getting your steps in, will help improve your overall health, reducing the impact of sitting down for long periods of time.”
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