This 5-minute midday workout will get you out of your chair

This 5-minute midday workout will get you out of your chair

You’ve been chained to your desk working remotely day in and day out. Schedule this mini break in the middle of the day and call it a meeting!

You’ve probably heard by now that sitting has been called the new smoking. With negative health effects from long-term sitting such as increased blood pressure, increased risk for obesity, high blood sugar and even cancer, too much sitting has become a cause for concern for people everywhere. In fact, research has shown that increased sitting time is linked to a higher risk of death from all causes.

Couple that with the fact that people are working from home with fewer walks to and from the copy machine, bathroom and conference rooms plus no commute time/ Our bodies can become even more sedentary as a result of the pandemic and working from home.

Even if you start your day off with a workout or our five-minute morning yoga routine, after hours of sitting your body is more than ready for a break. Not only does taking a break from sitting help improve circulation, but it also helps improve joint mobility. Joint mobility exercises lubricate the joints and help you feel warm and limber. Working on joint mobility is also great for older adults with arthritis or joint pain.

This five-minute midday workout is designed to get you up out of your chair and use it to improve mobility, get your heart rate up and stretch out your entire body.

For this workout routine, you’ll only need your desk chair as a prop.

READ MORE: Try this 5-minute yoga routine for better sleep

Moving side lunge with glute tap

This exercise improves mobility in the hips and inner thighs while strengthening the glutes, quads and hamstrings.

Stand in front of your chair with your hands on your hips. Step over to the left of the chair. Step your right foot to the right and bend the right knee into a side lunge.

Reach the glutes back to tap the chair with your right glute. Keep your left leg straight. Press down through your right foot to come back to the starting position.

Repeat 10 times, and then move to the right of the chair and do 10 side lunges with glute taps to the left.

Moving side lunge with shoulder dip

This exercise improves spinal rotation of the upper thoracic spine while stretching the shoulder joint and neck.

Repeating the same exercise as above, you’ll now add a shoulder dip to stretch the upper back, chest and shoulders.

As you lunge to the right, dip the left shoulder down and turn the right shoulder up to the right. Then press down through the right foot, bring the shoulders back to center and come back to your starting position.

READ MORE: Improve your balance: A 5-minute home workout for stability and focus

Open-toe wide-leg squat with reach

This exercise works the core, inner and outer thighs and glutes.

Standing directly in front of the chair, open your feet wider than your hips. Turn the toes out to the sides.

Bend the knees and tap your glutes onto the chair, then reach the arms up as high as you can and stand up. Pull your naval in toward your spine to engage the core throughout the duration of this exercise. Repeat 10 times.

Chair toe taps

This cardio exercise improves mobility in the legs and hips while also increasing the heart rate and circulation.

Stand and face the chair. Lift the right foot up and tap the edge of the chair with your right foot, then place the foot down and repeat with the left foot.

Repeat this 20 times with each leg for 40 taps total.

READ MORE: Try this 5-minute workout to crush burnout

Chair lunge and lengthen

This stretch opens up the hip flexors and hamstrings, which can help prevent and heal low back pain.

While facing the chair, place your right foot on the chair with your hands on your hips.

Bend the right knee over the right ankle and lift your chest (see photo at top). Press down through the left heal and feel a stretch through the front of the left hip.

Take one deep breath in, and then straighten the right leg. Flex the right foot and lean forward over the leg. You’ll feel a stretch behind the right leg in the hamstring and calf.

Repeat five times with the right leg, and then switch to the left side.

READ MORE: 5 exercises to offset too much sitting

Hands behind the head stretch

Placing the hands behind the head improves circulation in the chest, shoulders and armpits, and it improves energy and breath.

Place your hands behind your head and repeat the chair lunge and lengthen exercise.

Do this five times on each side with the elbows reaching out to the sides to really open the chest and armpits.

Perform this workout daily, or if you really want to step it up you can set an alarm on your calendar to perform this hourly throughout the workday!

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