You’re smart, ambitious and driven to succeed. Your success depends on your time and dedication to your clients and their needs. You spend your time making sure they are represented to the utmost of your ability. This is your recipe for success and it is working. Unfortunately, it is also a recipe for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and premature death. That’s right, your job is killing you – slowly.
Unless you make time for you, your poor health will drain your effectiveness; your stomach will extend and your muscles will atrophy; stress will sap your happiness and lethargy will replace enthusiasm. You don’t want to spend the first thirty years working endless hours in a quest for success only to spend the last twenty years in and out of doctors’ offices.
What Can You Do To Stay Healthy?
This dire news doesn’t change the facts. You have little time to dedicate to your wellbeing and telling your client or boss that you had an epiphany and have decided to take some time to train for the Ironman will put you on the fast track to unemployment.
You have to make the most of the limited time you have. This workout is for those who do not have single blocks of time to dedicate for exercise. It has five exercises that you can do at your desk. Each set of exercises should take less about three minutes to complete. Do them a few times a day and you will have a full body workout.
5 Chair Exercises in 3 Minutes
Chair Pushups (upper body)
Pushups are the single best upper body workout you can do. They work your chest, triceps and core. If you were limited to one upper body exercise, the pushup is the one to do.
How to do a Chair Pushup
Make sure your chair is secure so that it can’t move away from you and place your hands on either the arm rests or the outer edge of the seat cushion. Extend your body so that your weight is on the balls of your feet and your hands and your body is straight from your neck through your legs. Keep your body and neck aligned as you bend your elbows to lower your body until your elbow forms a 90 degree angle and then extend your elbows to the starting position.
Do 12-20 pushups.
Chair V-Situps (stomach and core)
Your power comes from your core and your stomach muscles are a large part of that muscle group. While core exercise won’t give you six pack abs (focus on nutrition for a six pack) this exercise will improve your posture, strengthen and tone your stomach.
How to do Chair V-Situps
Sit in the front edge of the chair with your hands on the seat cushion in front of your hips. Lean back and bring your knees up toward your chest so that your upper legs and body form of V. Press your feet forward so that your legs are almost fully extended and parallel to the ground. Bring your knees back to toward your chest.
Do 10-15 Chair V-Situps
Chair Squats (lower body)
You want power? Do squats! Squats activate the glutes, quadriceps and hamstrings. They are the primary muscles used in most sports and you use them even when you are sitting at your desk. They are also the largest muscles groups so growing those muscles means greater calorie burn at rest.
How to do a Chair Squat
Stand in front of your chair with feet slightly wider than shoulder width, your shoulders back and your chest out. Start movement by pushing your hips slightly backward and flexing the hips and knees. Keep your back straight or slightly arched, and your eyes facing forward as you lower yourself toward the chair. The movement should feel like you are sitting back in the chair. If you feel the weight on your toes or your body moving forward, you are doing it incorrectly. Come back up without bouncing on the chair.
Do 10-15 squats
Triceps Dips (shoulder and triceps)
If you watched an Olympic gymnast on rings, you’ve seen the amped up version of triceps dips. They work the shoulders and back of the arms.
How to do Triceps Dips
Sit on the edge of your chair with your hands at your side so that your elbows are facing backward. Your legs should be bent so that your thighs are parallel to the floor. Move your hips forward so your butt is clear of the front of the chair. Bend your elbows until your upper arms are almost parallel to the ground and then extend your arms back to the starting position. Throughout the movement keep your elbows pointing backward, your back straight and look straight forward.
Do 10 to 12 triceps dips
If you stand for any length of time, you will notice the front of your legs are aching. This exercise isolates those quadriceps muscles.
How to do Leg Extensions
Stay in the position where you ended the triceps dips with your butt at the chair’s edge and your upper legs parallel to the ground. Extend your left leg so that your toes are facing the ceiling. Flex the quadriceps and hold for two seconds. Release and repeat for ten to twelve repetitions and then switch feet.
This routine should take about three minutes to complete. You don’t have to move from your office. You don’t have to leave your chair. Do it four or five times a day (every hour if you are ambitious) and you will have a decent workout without diminishing the time spent helping your clients. The workout will improve your cardiovascular health, use calories, and build muscle improving your functional capacity. Your “I don’t have time to exercise.” excuse is over. Get started today.
About the Author
Gregg Ghelfi is a reformed lawyer who founded the Fit in the Middle weight loss program with the goal of helping people lose weight and become healthier. He started his journey after losing twenty pounds from a combination of fitness and nutrition.
To gain a deeper understanding of the subject he researched and wrote a book on Metabolic Syndrome and obesity. It is a narrative about a person who discovers he has Metabolic Syndrome. With the help of friends he finds out how he can improve his health by losing weight through fitness and nutrition.