Heart Health Tips, Part 3: Exercise

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The number-one tip we have gleaned for exercise in the office is: be mobile. By taking every opportunity to get up and move around, or do a little stretching between tasks, you can lift your mood, stay energized, and even lessen food cravings. Experts recommend standing up and walking around for five minutes every hour during your workday, but that’s easier said than done in today’s workplace. Simple exercises or stretches done in front of your computer between tasks can make a big difference. Below is a list of easy exercises that can be performed throughout the office – at your desk, in the stairwell, or even in the office restroom. Try one or two of these exercises when you have a minute between tasks, and your mind, body, and heart will thank you.

  • Shoulder Raises: Raise one shoulder to your ear, hold for a few seconds then relax. Repeat, alternating sides.
  • Wrist Stretch: Stretch one arm out in front of you, palm up. With the opposite hand, grab your fingers and gently pull them down. This will stretch your hand and forearm also.
  • Countertop push-ups: Lean on a countertop or sturdy piece of furniture and slowly push your body off, then lower down and repeat in a push-up motion.
  • Shoulder Blade Squeezes: Pretending to hold a pencil between your shoulder blades, squeeze them together and hold for 10 seconds. Release, then repeat.
  • Chair Squats: Stand 6” in front of your chair. Bend your knees and lower down until your bottom touches the edge of your seat, then pop back up to standing position. Repeat a few times.
  • Wall Sits: Rest your back against a wall, your hips and knees should be bent at a 90-degree angle, your feet should be flat against the floor and spread to about shoulder-width. Squeeze your core muscles tightly. Hold the position as long as possible.
  • Toe Raises: White seated keep your heels firmly on the ground and lift your toes and forefoot up off the floor, then lower and repeat.
  • Calf Raises: Holding on to a sturdy desk or countertop and standing upright with good posture, raise your heels off the floor, slowly lower them and repeat.
  • Seated Hip Flexion: While seated in your chair, lift one foot a few inches off the floor. Keep your knee bent at a 90-degree angle and hold the position as long as possible. Repeat with opposite leg. Make sure to maintain a good upper body posture.
  • Plank: Start by getting into a push-up position but with your forearms against the ground, elbows aligned under your shoulders and arms parallel to the body and about shoulder width apart. If flat palms bother your wrists, clasp your hands together keeping your elbows under your shoulders. Try to remain in a straight line from shoulders to ankles and engage your core by sucking your belly button up towards your spine. Don’t arch your back or let your hips droop to the floor.

Always consult your physician before starting a new exercise practice.

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Up next, check back on Friday, February 24th for workplace nutrition tips!