If, like us, you ate a bit too much chocolate over Easter (well, anytime really), here’s 5 ideas on how to burn extra calories at the comfort of your desk.
1. Tap it Out
Unless you have a private office, you won’t be able to perform a dance routine at work, but you can tap your feet. Start by tapping your toes 25 times as you keep your heel on the floor. Then, tap your foot side to side 25 times using your heel as a pivot point. You can do one foot at a time or alternate feet. This short exercise doesn’t burn a huge number of calories, but if you do it several times a day, the calorie burn will rack up. In addition to shedding a few calories, tapping your toes helps strengthen the muscles at the front of your shins.
2. Raise Your Calves
Sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor. Then, raise your heels off the floor as far as possible. Lower your heels and repeat 10 to 15 times. To make this more challenging and burn a few more calories, press your hands against your knees to create resistance as you lift your heels. PS:if you’re wearing high heels, you should take them off before doing this exercise!
3. Move It
Getting up from your desk as often as possible is the best way to burn calories at work. Stand while on the phone, take the stairs to a restroom on a different floor or walk over to talk to a colleague instead of emailing or phoning. Stuck on a long conference call? Pretend to walk and burn a few calories. Sit up straight. While keeping your knees bent, lift your right leg up, lower it, lift your left leg up, lower it and then repeat as many times as you like. If you tighten your buttocks as you “walk,” you’ll burn more calories and tone your backside. After your walk, slowly extend each leg 10 times to work your quadriceps.
4. Stretch Your Body
Sitting at a desk all day can leave you cramped and sore. Stretching is a wonderful way to relieve this tension and burn a small number of calories. Sit up straight and then raise your arms over your head. Clasp your hands together and lean to the left until you feel a gentle stretch along your right side. Hold for 10 to 20 seconds and then stretch to the right. After these side stretches, keep your hands over your head. Imagine hollowing out your belly as you curve forward. Think of making a “C” shape with your body. Hold the position for 10 to 20 seconds and enjoy the stretch along your back as you say goodbye to a few more calories.
5. Maintain Your Posture
Slouching while seated at your desk requires little effort from your muscles. Sitting up straight with your shoulders back and your abs tight, however, works several muscles in your torso, back and shoulders. This extra effort will burn more calories and also keep your back healthy. As often as possible, suck in your abs and keep them tight for 60 seconds or more to tone your midsection. Ask your workplace for a height adjustable desk; they’re not as expensive as you may think, and contribute to better posture, more energy and focus