Seven Simple Exercises for Work or Home

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Before engaging in any physical activity program it is recommended you consult with your primary care physician.

With warmer weather still a few weeks away, you may find it challenging to get in the daily exercises you normally do outside. Try these seven simple exercises that you can do at home or at work.

Start out by performing one set of 8-12 repetitions of each of the first five exercises. Over time, if you feel comfortable, you can perform up to three sets, two times per week. Perform exercises number six and seven three-to-five times per day, especially if you sit for long periods of time.

Seven Simple Exercises

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1. Marching In Place

March in place, around your home, or down the hall a few times to get blood flow to the working muscles. Keeping your body upright with your belly button drawn in towards your spine, without holding your breath.

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2. Sit-Stand (Legs)

Start standing with your back to your seat. Slowly sit down into your seat, using the arm rests if needed. Stand back up. Try to not use the arm rests. Just use your legs, and return back to your seat slowly. Be sure to keep your belly button drawn in towards your spine without holding your breath. Repeat eight to 12 times for one set. If your chair has wheels, place it against a wall for safety.

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3. Dips (Arms)

Start seated in your chair. Place your hands on your chair's arm rests with your feet flat on the ground. Raise yourself up out of your chair just using your arms (use legs to assist arms if needed) and slowly return to your chair. Be sure to keep your belly button drawn in towards your spine without holding your breath. Repeat 8-12 times for one set. If your chair has wheels, place it against a wall for safety.

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4. Leg Extensions (Legs)

While performing this exercise, sit upright in your chair with your feet flat on the floor and your belly button drawn in towards your spine without holding your breath. Slowly raise your right leg into the air so it is parallel with the ground. Hold for two-to-three seconds, then return your leg to the floor and switch legs. For added intensity, try and raise your leg up off your chair for an additional two seconds and then return it to the floor. Repeat on both legs eight-to-12 times for one set.

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5. Shoulder Lateral Raise (Arms)

Start standing upright with your feet shoulder width apart and with your belly button drawn into the spine without holding your breath. With your arms down and your palms against the sides of your legs, slowly raise your straight arms to the side until they become parallel with the ground. Hold for a second and slowly return your arms to the sides of your legs. Repeat this exercise eight-to-12 times for one set.

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6. Back Extensions (Back)

Standing with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width, place your hands on the back of your hips. Slowly lean back while lifting your chest into the air and hold for five seconds. DO NOT TIP YOUR HEAD BACK. Repeat five times.

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7. Shoulder Stretch (Arms)

Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, raise one arm in front of you and bring it across your body. With the opposite hand, pull your elbow across your body until you feel a stretch in the back of your shoulder. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat two sets on each arm.

Be sure to stay hydrated eat well throughout the day, especially days when you're more physically active. The takeaway is to be active, whether it's getting up every hour to go get a drink of water or go talk to a family member, friend, or colleague. Every bit counts.

Corey Cenate is a wellness health coach in the EFAP & Wellness department at Fletcher Allen.