When most of us think of exercise, we think of a brisk 30-minute walk or a strength-training routine. But small bits of exercise throughout the day — even just five minutes at a time — can have lasting health effects, especially if you sit all day.
If you’re at home on the couch or working at a computer, get up and take a short break from exercise. Kenta Seki, a head coach at FitOn, shares five simple moves that can boost circulation and energize your mind and body.
A standing, low-impact bodyweight workout
Start with your feet wider than hip-width apart. Raise your arms in front of your chest. Rotate your torso to the right and thrust your right arm straight across the body at shoulder height. Come back through center and rotate your torso to the left, hitting your left arm straight across the body at shoulder height. Continue alternating back and forth, performing 10 punches on each side.
Stand with your feet as wide as your hips, get ready to work the backs of the legs. Bend the right knee and pull your heel toward your buttock by engaging the back of the right leg. At the same time, pull your elbows back and squeeze the shoulder blades together. Put your foot down and move your arms forward. Repeat on the left. Continue to alternate legs and make 10 curls on each side.
Start with your feet shoulder-width apart, with your hands behind your head. Concentrate on keeping your shoulders back and your core muscles engaged. Take a deep breath in and on the exhale, hinge forward at the hips and lower your chest toward the floor so that your body forms an inverted “L” shape. Stop when you feel a slight stretch in the back of the hamstrings. Slowly move back to a standing position on your exhale. To repeat.
Body weight inverted flying
Start with your feet shoulder-width apart (if you have low back pain, step one foot forward and the other foot behind you in a high lunge). Hinged around your waist, lean forward at a 45-degree angle and let your arms reach toward the floor. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull your arms out to the sides as high as your shoulders. Return to the starting position and repeat 10 times.
Standing chest opener
Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart. Lock your fingers behind your back and press your hands away from your body as you move your chest forward. Hold and take a deep breath, release and repeat as many times as you like.