Are You Fit to Freelance? (Tips for Exercising At Your Desk)

We are officially in the midst of summer 2011 and I hope that you are embracing a “wealthy living” mindset by incorporating a variety of activities that create income, promote healthy living, and encourage your community to do the same.

What happens, though, when your aspiration for wealth (meaning “discretionary time”) is greater than your present reality (i.e. you don’t have time to do your work and exercise as often as you’d like to)?  Well, you’re not alone.  Many of us who have achieved the level of independent success that allows us to work from our own space and on our own terms, still “wish” for more time in the day during which (at least, we tell ourselves) we would squeeze in that 30-45 minutes of exercise we need daily.

Well, the excuses stop now.  Here are some of my favorite “in-office” exercises:

“After-Call Cardio” (use your cellphone timer) – After every phone call:

  1. Do a minute’s worth of jumping jacks.
  2. Do high-knee (football-like, running in place), simulated jump rope moves or shadow box drills for a minute or two. (Get those knees up!)
  3. Do walk-lunges.

“Slow Day Strength-building”– During down times, control your movements and repeat these activities 15 times each:

  1. To work your chest and shoulders, place both hands on your chair arms and slowly lift your bottom off the chair. Lower
    yourself back down but stop short of the seat, hold for a few seconds.
  2. To stretch your back and strengthen your biceps, place your hands on the desk and hang on. Slowly push your chair back until your head is between your arms and you’re looking at the floor. Then slowly pull yourself back in.
  3. Standing, put your hands on the desk. Walk backward, then do push-ups against the desk.

“Pre-Meeting Meditations”Before your next meeting, simple stretches are great for de-stressing and relaxing especially when combined with calm affirming thoughts:

  1. Sitting tall in your chair, stretch both arms over your head and reach for the sky. After 10 seconds, extend the right hand higher, then the left.
  2. Let your head loll over so that your right ear nearly touches your right shoulder. Using your hand, press your head a little lower (gently, now). Hold for 10 seconds. Relax, and then repeat on the other side.
  3. Sitting up straight, try to touch your shoulder blades together. Hold, and then relax.

“Set-it and Forget It”Simple all-day boosters

  1. Wear 1.5lb wrist weights and 3 – 5lb ankle weights
  2. Drink water out of a visibly measured container.  Set an intake goal and meet it daily.
  3. Get fully dressed with comfortable shoes.  (A commonly perceived perk to working solo is the ability to roll out of bed and into your work chair with no dress code.  If you are “guilty” of working in your PJ’s all the time, challenge yourself to get to dressed and wear comfortable shoes.  You’ll find that your energy and productivity level increase just by the “feeling of preparedness” that comes with getting dressed for the day ahead.)

Check out this video that illustrates similar desk exercises to those mentioned above.

After a week or so of incorporating these simple exercises into your day, you may find that you feel energized enough to commit time in your schedule to a slightly more focused “exercise-time”.  Here is a link to an article from Essence magazine, I keep posted over my desk:  “The 15 Minute Workout”

Here’s to your wealthy healthy living! Best wishes!

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