02-04-2020

Blog

We're sure that the vast majority of you will be reading this blog from the 'comfort' of your own home; because whilst nothing about the current situation could ever have been predicted, we are now, most definitely, all in it together. 

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Some of you will already be set up with a home office, others will have had to improvise, negotiating with the kids for table space as you go - a bit like Ian, our wellbeing manager pictured here on the right calling round our vulnerable customers.

Whatever your situation, the chances are that you are now working in more cramped conditions, and perhaps even balancing a laptop on your knee. None of this is good for your physical health, mental wellbeing or focused workflow.

Why is it so important for desk-based workers to move around?   

There is increasing evidence that sitting down too much can be a risk to your health. The UK Chief Medical Officers' Physical Activity Guidelines report recommends breaking up long periods of sitting time with activity for just 1 to 2 minutes.

Stretching, muscle-strengthening, and even short stints of aerobic exercises can be done from your desk - or dining room table! - and will all help reduce that feeling of stiffness when you stand up, and give you a burst of energy to take you through the afternoon feeling relaxed, mentally alert and perhaps even ready to tackle that Primary 6 fractions homework!

AdobeStock 201451017See the NHS website for some follow up articles: 

It will come as no surprise to learn that we're huge advocates of desk-based exercises here in the LAL marketing team and with some of the area's best instructors on our doorstep, we are lucky enough to have access to the best advice around! 

It just so happens that we had started to compile some desk-based activities at the end of February and now seemed like a great time to release these easy-to-follow videos and tips. 

How To Squat

  • Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointing forward, chin up and core engaged.
  • Hold your arms out in front of you or by your sides – but resist putting your hands on your legs!
  • Lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the ground - the best way to describe it is like sitting down on an invisible chair.
  • Go lower if you can – as long as you can keep your balance you’re OK. 
  • If you’re not sure if you’re going low enough, try squatting onto a box that’s slightly lower than knee height. Each time your glutes make contact with it, that’s a rep.
  • Stand back up - and repeat!

How To Wall Push Up

  • Face a wall, standing a little farther than arm's length away with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Lean your body forward and put your palms flat against the wall at shoulder height and shoulder-width apart.
  • Slowly breathe in as you bend your elbows and lower your upper body toward the wall in a slow, controlled motion.

How To Strengthen Your Core

Three of your favourite Live Active Rodney instructors are demonstrating core options for beginners, intermediates and advanced levels of fitness.

  • Option 1 - Standing Knees to Elbow
  • Option 2 - Seated Crunch
  • Option 3 - Burpees

60-Second Aerobics

In these strange times, everyone's exercise and gym routine has been disrupted. Ensuring that you're fitting a cardio workout into your new normal may seem daunting, but we have a few aerobic tricks to try during your next break between Zoom meetings!

  1. Do 60 seconds worth of jumping jacks.
    Low impact: Raise your right arm and tap your left toe to the side while keeping your right foot on the floor; alternate sides.
     
  2. Run or jog on the spot for 60 seconds. Get those knees up remember! 
    Low impact : March on the spot, arms swinging and knees as high as you can
     
  3. While seated, pump both arms over your head for 30 seconds, then rapidly tap your feet on the floor for 30 seconds. Repeat 3-5 times.
     
  4. Do walk-lunges around the table or up the hall for 60 seconds
     
  5. Take to the stairs - two at a time if you need a harder workout! Do this 5-7 times a day.

Feel The Stretch

Stretching exercises are a great way to ease stress - something we could all use right now! They'll also help keep your muscles from tensing up, giving you a feeling of relaxation.

  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 roll over so that your right ear nearly touches your right shoulder. Using your hand, press your head a little lower and hold for 10 seconds. Relax, and then repeat on the other side.
     
  3. Sit facing forward, then turn your torso to the left and your head to the right - hold for a few seconds. Repeat 10 times, alternating sides.
     
  4. Sitting up straight, try to touch your shoulder blades together. Hold, and then relax. Repeat 10 times.
     
  5. To ease the hamstrings and lower back, push your chair away from your desk and put your right heel up on the desk. Sit up straight, and bend forward just until you feel a gentle stretch in the back of your leg. Flex your foot for a few seconds, and then point it. Bend forward a little farther, flex your foot again, and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

Remember, it's not just during working hours that you can improve your health and wellbeing. Check out our 'At Home' page here on the website to help you and your family stay safe, well and active during this period of self-isolating - or follow our Facebook page for some great tips and fun videos from our Instructors At Home series - on everyday at 10am.