Our top 10 workouts to do at your desk!

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It’s so easy to avoid going to the gym or going for a run. I come up with any excuse to avoid working out if I can help it! However, sitting at a desk all day can lead to some problems and to some sore muscles.

The lack of movement doesn’t just affect your health. It can have a direct impact on your work performance and engagement, according to studies from the Burke Britain Financial Partners :

· Workday exercise not only improves well-being, but participants noted a 72% improvement in time management and workload completed on days when they exercised.

· Besides these health aspects, the number one benefit exercise has on your work is that it improves your productivity by allowing you to take regular breaks and clear your mind.

With this in mind, and to stop you having the ready-made excuses of being too tired after a long day, we’ve given you some ideas of workouts to do at your desk or while working from home – you could even do some of these workouts whilst doing jobs around the house!

Say goodbye to the excuses and say hello to a better mind! These workouts don’t need a lot of skill or talent – just patience and 5 minutes of your time!

1) Neck stretches – Have you got some tension in your neck? Stressed from all your emails – no fear! Close your eyes and roll your head from your left shoulder to your right shoulder. When you’ve done that 3 times, then roll your head in a circular motion keeping your shoulders still and careful not to raise them with each roll. Move your head clockwise 3 times then anti clockwise 3 times. Feel that stress leave your neck.

2) Seated Leg Raises – You can do these leg and abdominal exercises at your desk, in a meeting or on a conference call without people noticing. And the best part? They target your quadriceps (the front of your thighs), hamstrings (the back of your thighs), and glutes (the butt) — so you get a killer compound exercise without ever getting up. Sit upright in your chair. Straighten your left leg so that it is parallel to the floor and hold it in place for 10 seconds. Now, do the same thing with your right leg. Repeat both legs for 15 repetitions. Once you build up strength, try adding weight to the exercise by looping your purse or briefcase on your legs while you do the raises.

3) The Chest Opener – This is a quick and effective stretch for anyone who experiences (or wants to avoid) frequent shoulder pain. Sit on the edge of your chair, place both hands behind the lower part of the neck, move your elbows slowly in, and hold your chin down. Then, open up your chest and arms while holding your head high and squeezing your shoulder blades, and repeat. 5 to 10 repetitions should do the trick!

4) Walk and Talk – Unless you need to be sat at the computer whilst on the phone then why not use take the chance to stand up and walk around while you’re talking? Every extra step counts and it’ll be a welcome break for your body!

5) Back Twist – Relieve tension in your back by doing this great back twist. To start, sit in your chair and place your right arm behind your right hip. Twist to the right side and hold for 10 seconds then repeat on the other side. Aim to do 3 on each side.

6) Shoulder Raises – Raise your shoulders up to each ear, hold for 10 seconds and relax. Repeat 5 times.

7) Seat Squeeze – Believe it or not you can work your isometric glutes at your desk! To start toning, squeeze your buttocks, hold for 5-10 seconds and release. Repeat until you’ve finished the task you were working on or until your glutes are tired!

8) Secret Selfie Handshake – Sit on your chair with feet flat on the floor, clasp your hands together across the front of your body and pull! Resist your own strength! Hold for 10 seconds, release and repeat 5 times.

9) Pencil Holder – Time to work those shoulder blades, roll your shoulder back until your shoulder blades are pinched together, pretend your holding your pencil between your shoulders. Hold for 5-10 seconds, release and repeat 10 times.

10) Perfect Posture – Make sure your feet, hips and arms are at a 90-degree angle to the floor. Engage the core to keep the back straight throughout the day. No slouching allowed!

After taking the time to do each of these exercises each day you should be feeling like a million dollars!

As exercising is great for your mind and body you’ll hopefully notice positive improvements in your working day. Less stressed, more productive and less tired! Sure you may have some aching from your mini workouts but no pain no gain hey! Head to www.myvirtualself.com for more information.

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