Take a movement break! Just a few minutes of exercise can combat the adverse health effects of sitting all day.
When most of us think of exercise we think of a solid 30-minute walk or a strength-training routine. But small chunks of movement throughout the day — even just five minutes at a time — can have lasting health effects, especially if you sit all day.
If you’re at home on the couch or working in front of a computer, stand up and get in a quick movement break. Kenta Seki, a lead trainer at FitOn, shares five simple movements that can stimulate circulation and energize your body and mind.
A standing, low-impact bodyweight workout
Start with your feet wider than hips-width apart. Bring your arms up in front of your chest. Turn your torso to the right punching your right arm straight across the body at shoulder height. Come back through center, and turn your torso to the left, punching your left arm straight across the body at shoulder height. Continue alternating side to side, performing 10 punches on each side.
Standing with your feet as wide as your hips, get ready to work the backs of the legs. Bend the right knee and pull your heel toward your glute by engaging the back of the right leg. At the same time pull your elbows back, squeezing the shoulder blades together. Place your foot down and move your arms forward. Repeat to the left side. Continue alternating legs, performing 10 curls on each side.
Start with your feet shoulder-width apart, with your hands placed behind your head. Focus on keeping your shoulders back and your core muscles engaged. Take a deep breath in and on the exhale, hinge forward at the hips and lower your chest toward the ground, so that your body forms an upside-down “L” shape. Stop when you feel a slight stretch in the back of the hamstrings. Slowly move back into a standing position on your exhale. Repeat.
Bodyweight reverse flys
Start with your feet shoulder-width apart (if you have low-back issues, step one foot forward and the other foot back behind you into a high lunge). Hinge at your waist, leaning forward to a 45-degree angle, and let your arms reach down toward the floor. Squeeze your shoulder blades together, pulling your arms out to the sides as high as your shoulders. Return to the starting position and repeat 10 times.
Standing chest opener
Stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart. Interlock your fingers behind your back and press your hands away from your body as you move your chest forward. Hold and take deep breaths, releasing and repeating as many times as you’d like.