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7-minute wellness break

Do you find yourself sitting at your desk for long periods of time? Paige Jones, ACSM CES, an exercise physiologist at Piedmont Atlanta Fitness Center, demonstrates the perfect way to get moving and take a seven-minute wellness break.  

How to exercise at your desk

  • Trunk rotations: Put your arms up in front of you. Stand with feet shoulder width apart.  Rotate your trunk side-to-side for 15 to 20 seconds.
  • Hip circles: Place your hands on your hips and rotate. After 20 to 30 seconds, reverse your rotation.
  • Side bends: Stand tall with your arms by your side. Bend your trunk to the side. Slide your hand down your legs for 15 to 20 seconds.
  • Shoulder rotations: Rotate your shoulders backwards and down. Maintain that rotation for 15 to 20 seconds.
  • Leg circles: Standing on one foot, take your leg out to the side, making nice small circles to loosen up the hips. Reverse your rotation. Switch legs after 15 to 20 seconds.
  • Chair squats: Stand in front of your chair. Lower yourself down into the chair and stand back up. Perform 10 chair squats before stopping.
  • Side leg lift: While holding onto the desk, kick your leg out to the side. Lift the leg up as high as you can manage. Switch legs after 10 to 15 repetitions.
  • Heel and toe raises: Holding onto your chair for balance, push up onto your toes. Then rock back to your heels. Repeat this movement for 10 to 15 repetitions. 
  • Seated leg lifts: Sit in your chair, stick your leg out with your toe pointed up. Lift your leg up and lower it down. Switch legs after 10 to 15 repetitions.
  • Seated crunches: Sit on the edge of your chair. Put your fingertips behind your ears. Lift your knee to the opposite elbow. Switch knees and repeat for 10 to 15 repetitions.
  • Wall pushups: Place your hands against the wall at shoulder level. Step backwards and lean forwards into the wall. And then push back. Repeat for 10 to 15 repetitions.
  • Seated Hamstring stretch: Turn and extend your leg out, toe pointing up. Reach for the foot, hold this stretch for 20 seconds.
  • Upper back stretch: Extend your arms forward.  Interlock your hands together. Round your back. Drop your head and push your arms and shoulders forward to stretch behind your shoulder blade. Hold for 15 to 20 seconds.
  • Figure four stretch: Cross your ankle over your opposite side knee, so your leg is parallel with the floor. Lean down towards your legs. Hold this stretch for 15 to 20 seconds. Then sit up.  
  • Quad stretch: Hold onto your chair.  Grab your foot with your knee pointing straight down and pull it into your rear end. Hold it 15 to 20 seconds. And then you will change legs.
  • Calf stretch: Step back with one leg. Lean forward into your chair, stretching the back calf. Hold for 15 to 20 seconds. And then switch legs.

For more fitness and exercise tips, click here.

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