Some of the stretches that I’m suggesting can be done in your chair, or near it. However if you feel a little goofy doing the standing ones, go to the restroom or take up residence in the stairwell for a few minutes.
Can you Relate?
Ever wanted to nod off after lunch? Have you said “I’m just gonna close my eyes for a couple of seconds" and had a co-worker shake you back into consciousness? A few effortless stretches will leave you awake and agile, and gets the blood flowing.
Onward and Upward
Stand up and raise both hands above your head. Alternating hands reach for the ceiling as if crawling upward. Do this about 3-5 times each side.
While sitting stretch your arms up over your head. As you inhale arch your back a little. Relax, exhale and repeat 2 more times.
For your Forearms
Lift your arms straight out to the sides (you can sit for this one). Alternately flex and extend your hands, you should feel a slight pull on your forearms.
This will improve your posture as well as stretch your upper arms. Take one arm behind your back and bend it upwards, with the hand reaching towards the opposite shoulder. With the other arm raised and bent downs over your shoulder try to clasp your fingers. Can’t do the fingers? Just try to get your hands as close together as possible. Hold it briefly ( I probably didn’t need to tell you that) then repeat in the opposite direction. Keep trying this one until you make the connection.
Two in One
Stretch your arms and chest in one easy move. Remain seated and link your hands together behind your back, over the top of your chair. Lift your arms slightly, and push away from your body, hold for 8 seconds and repeat two more times.
Now for your Legs
Standing straight hold onto to the back of a chair with your right hand, or use the overhead bin for support. Next raise your left leg straight out to the side, obviously ladies this won’t work unless you’re wearing pants, or want to cause a stir in the office. If you need more balance extend your left arm in front of you. Hold that position for a count of five and return to starting position. Switch sides and repeat. Work towards not holding on for support and you’ll also be working your core.
Sitting upright lift and straighten the leg, then flex your foot. Repeat several times each leg. How easy is that?
Hamstring via Knee Lift
To stretch your hamstring, stand and lift one leg. Grab your knee and pull it towards your chest. Relax and repeat with the other leg.
Don’t leave your quadriceps out. While still standing, bend your leg behind you and grasp the top of your shoe pulling your leg further up towards the low back. You will feel this. Hold on to a chair, wall or willing co-worker for balance. Relax and repeat with the other leg.
Snap to it
We tend to hold tension it our abdomen, and even that can leave you less flexible around your mid-section. You never know when you may have to hula-hoop. Even though this isn’t an actual stretch it will relieve the tension. It also may be one to sneak off to the stairwell and do.
Sit cross-legged and place your hands on your waist or thigh. Exhale completely. Without inhaling, tighten your abs as much as you can. Then snap them in and out as quickly as you can 5 times before taking a breath. Stop laughing and try it, please. Relax take another deep breath and try it again.
Drum roll please…End your workplace stretching with the seated cat stretch. Pull your chair back from the desk so you’ll have more room, and avoid a concussion. Bend forward and grab your ankles, then arch your back to stretch. Relax and repeat a couple more times.
Our bodies are designed to be in motion. Having a sedentary job doesn’t mean you have to sit the whole time, get up and move. Your body and mind will appreciate it
Sandra L. Garth is a speaker, personal trainer, and wellness coach from Saginaw, Michigan. For free weight loss and fitness tips visit sandralgarth.tripod.com .