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Deskercise: exercise at your desk

Our body dislikes staying still for long. The longer you're still, the more tension that accumulates from being in one position. If you're stuck behind a desk for that long, you can do some simple exercises while sitting or standing. No special skills or equipment is needed. You can take a break every couple of hours to "desk"ercise.

You need to remember one thing that, these exercises won't develop your cardiovascular system, build strength or make you look better in your bathing suit. But they will reduce muscle tension and stress and help maintain the strength, flexibility and muscle tone you already have.

Below is a list of few exercises you can try at your place of work. Remember to breathe normally while holding your body in one of the stretching positions. When you're done, finish with some slow, deep breathing.

  • A 10-minute walk is the best exercise for the office bound, experts say.


  • The Face Squeeze: This simple maneuver can relax your facial muscles, especially those around your eyes and in your forehead. Do it as often as you like. While sitting, squeeze your eyes and close your mouth tightly. Hold for five seconds, then release. Repeat several times.


  • Stretch your wrist muscles: gently apply force with the left hand to stretch the right wrist toward the underside of the right forearm. Hold for 3 to 5 seconds, relax and repeat with other side. Repeat exercises 5 times each wrist.


  • Loosen neck muscles: Slowly bend head to the right as far as possible, then to the left, then forward (with chin against your throat) and to the back. Repeat 2 times in each direction.




  • Shoulder & Chest Stretch: Place your fingertips on your shoulders, elbows pointing out to the sides. Pull your elbows back as far as you can. Push your elbows forward and try to touch them together. Repeat 10 times. Now, keeping your fingertips on your shoulders, lift your elbows up and then push them down to your sides, as if you're trying to fly. Repeat 10 times.


  • Back/Upper Body Stretch: Performing this range of motion exercise several times a day will help prevent that tight, uncomfortable feeling in the trunk of your body that comes from sitting all day. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Hold your bent elbows down at your sides with fists up. Lean slightly forward and twist side to side with your elbows leading the movement. Repeat for 30 to 45 seconds.


  • Leg stretch: Legs are the foundation of good posture, and keeping them properly stretched prevents misalignment in the upper body. Stand with your feet comfortably apart, your toes turned slightly outward. Hold the back of a chair if you need support. Keep your back straight and slowly bend your knees over your toes. (Do not extend your knees beyond your toes in order to avoid stress on the knees.) Straighten, by pushing up through your feet.


  • Butt firmer: This exercise can be done while sitting in a chair or lying on your back with your knees bent. Do it several times a day to tighten those buttocks! Tighten and squeeze your buttocks, hold five to ten seconds, and release. Repeat six to eight times. Really concentrate on the "squeeze" for maximum results.


  • Hamstring Hug: Not only does this exercise stretch your hamstrings - the group of muscles in the backs of your legs and above the knees, but you will also feel it working your quadriceps in the fronts of your legs. Sit back and place your hands under your right thigh. Pull knee toward chest then extend the leg straight in front of you as far as you can. Repeat with your other leg. Do three to five times with each leg.


  • Foot stretch: Stand up straight with your feet together or slightly apart. Keep your body stiff and your feet flat; sway your weight forward and hold for 10 seconds. Now lift your heels off the ground and hold for 10 seconds (you will feel this especially in your calves). Return to starting position and sway your weight backward, keeping your body stiff, and hold for 10 seconds. Now lift your toes and hold for 10 seconds (you will feel this particularly in your shins).


These activities give you a mental boost, fight stress and promote flexibility.

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