Americans spend the equivalent of more than 12 hours out of a 16-hour waking day sitting according to most recent studies. Although work may be demanding, sitting for long periods of time wreaks havoc on your health. Sedentary lifestyles are known to increase the incident of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and premature death. Here are 3 simple exercises to increase your strength, flexibility and balance—and breakup the chair monotony.
1. Chair Squats
The squat is one of the best butt exercises out there; a chair just helps you do it right. Keep your face relaxed and no one will know you’re not actually sitting on your chair. To start, stand in front of your chair with your feet slightly wider than hips-width apart. Bend your knees, shift your hips back, and pretend you’re going to take a seat. Keep your weight in your heels and don't let your knees extend past your toes. Lower down until you’re almost touching the chair and hold for 20 seconds. Rest for 10, then repeat three more times.
2. Seated Core. Captain's Chair Exercise
A strong core is crucial for sitting up straight, and this exercise targets your abs and obliques. Sit on the edge of your chair, hands outside your hips. Keeping a tall, straight spine, inhale then exhale thinking about pulling your belly button into your spine. Next lean back until you feel your lower abs fully engaged. Hold for 20-30 seconds. *Alternate lifting your feet off the floor several inches to increase intensity
3. Shoulders + Chest
Upper body strength is key to lifting groceries, kids and everything else in between—not to mention a strong back. To work your chest and shoulders, place both hands on your chair arms and slowly lift your bottom off the chair. Repeat for 2-3 sets of 12 repetitions. Note if your chair has wheels place your chair against a wall and toe touch at all times