Fit Check: The Office Workout

Think you’re too busy to work out today? Trainer Tanya Colucci has a simple in-office workout even the biggest workaholics can find time for.

When you’re working a nine-hour desk job and staring at a computer, time can get away from you. Pretty soon it’s lunchtime, and rather than get up and move around, you take another gulp of coffee, munch on some chips, and continue typing away.

Local fitness-and-wellness trainer Tanya Colucci says this hardworking lifestyle does more damage than good. “Not only can your body develop pain from sitting without taking breaks throughout the day; it can also affect you emotionally or mentally,” she says. “Our energy levels and our productivity can actually decrease if we don’t move around.”

Lucky for Washington workaholics, Colucci has eight stretches and exercises you can do without ever leaving your desk. Work your way down the list and do one each hour throughout the day.

Exercise 1: Standing Hip-Flexor Stretch
Muscle area: Hip flexors, left and right sides of the body
Reps: Two sets of 30 seconds
Place your left foot back, and turn it in slightly. Extend your left arm above your head. Lean forward. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch to the right.

Exercise 2: Standing Overhead Arm, Side, and Full-Body Stretch
Muscle area: Forearms, sides
Reps: Two sets of 30 seconds
Stand with your feet hip width apart. Interlace your hands and extend your arms out in front of you, palms facing outward. Raise your arms over your head and stretch. Add a side bend, leaning to the left for three seconds, then switch to the right. Repeat.

Exercise 3: Standing Single-Leg Squat
Muscle area: Quads and glutes
Reps: Two to three sets of eight to 12
Stand on one leg a few feet away from your desk. Extend your arm over your head. Bending your knee, slowly reach down toward the desk. Stand and repeat.

Exercise 4: Kneeling Ab Chair Roll-Out
Muscle area: Abdominals, core
Reps: Two to three sets of eight to 12
On your knees, hold the arms of a rolling chair. Squeeze your glutes and draw your stomach in as you push the chair forward and pull it back.

Exercise 5: V-Sit on a Chair
Muscle area: Abdominals, core
Reps: Two to three sets of eight to 12
Sit on the edge of a chair, keeping your back straight and abs tight as you lean back. Extend your arms out in front of you and lift your left foot off the ground. Hold for a few seconds, then switch legs. Repeat.

Exercise 6: Desk Push-up
Muscle area: Arms, core, glutes
Reps: Two to three sets of eight to 12
Place your hands on the edge of a desk slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Stand about 3½ feet away from the desk on your toes. Drop into a push-up. As you come up, lift one leg back. Repeat, then switch legs.

Exercise 7: Lunge With Straight-Arm Core Twist
Muscle area: Core, quads
Reps: Two to three sets of eight to 12
Stand with your back facing a rolling chair and place one foot on the seat. Extend your arms out in front of you. Go down into a single-legged squat, rolling the chair back. Do one set, then switch legs.

Exercise 8: Alternating Nostril Breathing
Muscle area: This technique increases blood flow to the brain and can help relieve anxiety and stress as well as improve concentration and focus.
Reps: Five to ten cycles of three to four seconds
Keep your back straight while sitting in a chair. Inhale through the right nostril while pushing the left one closed with your finger. Then exhale through the left nostril while blocking the right one.

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