You may be a busy executive or a business owner who just can’t seem to find the time to get out from behind the desk and exercise. For some, balance issues and other physical limitations may prevent them from performing exercises that require you to stand up. Regular exercises may not be possible for people who are morbidly obese.
Don’t quit! There are many sit down exercises that you can do and still derive the health benefits. Here are some exercises that you can do while sitting at your desk:
Ab exercise - Sit on the edge of your chair as straight as you can with your feet firmly planted on the floor. Raise your arms out straight in front of you and slowly lean back toward the back of the chair. When you get as far back as you can, slowly raise yourself back to a normal sitting position. Keep your abdominal muscles pulled in while you do these exercises.
Bicep curls - You can use the same drinking water bottle and raise your arm out to your side so that it’s shoulder level. Slowly bend your elbow in, bringing the water bottle towards you as if you were doing bicep curls in a gym. Do a few repetitions with that arm and then switch to the other arm.
Chair pull and chair stretches – Watch these videos…
Front raise for arms - Sit as straight as you can in a chair. Hold a water bottle in one hand for a little extra added weight if you choose. With that arm straight out in front of you, raise it up shoulder level. Hold it there a little bit and release. If you choose, you can raise the arm higher as if you were raising your hand in the classroom. Repeat with the other arm.
Hip flexion - Sit in a chair with your feet planted firmly on the floor (or on the footrests of a wheelchair, if you’re wheelchair-bound). Raise one leg up – keeping your knee bent and foot down. Raise the leg up a couple of inches and hold it there for a few seconds. This is good for your hip muscles.
Inner thigh adduction exercise - Place a small object like a drinking water bottle between your inner thighs. Bring your inner thighs in to gently squeeze the bottle. These are good for your inner and outer thigh muscles.
Leg extensions - Keep your feet flat on the floor. Raise one leg up until you get it as straight as you can and hold it there for a few seconds. If you can, flex your foot up while you raise the leg. These are good for your thigh and calf muscles. Repeat with the other leg. Do this exercise in a slow and controlled motion. Don’t rush it.
These are just some of the many sit down exercises for you to try. Not everyone will be able to do all of these exercises, so know what your limits are and talk to your physician first to make sure they are okay for you to do. Remember that just because you have some limitations, it doesn’t mean that an exercise program isn’t available for you.