5 Ways to Use Fitness to Reduce Stress

Jobs are a necessary part of life, but they also contribute to much of the stress we experience. Although exercise is a proven way to reduce stress, squeezing exercise time into a busy workday can be difficult. However, if you work in an office, these fitness techniques are easy to incorporate throughout your day and can help release and relieve work-induced stress.


Image via Flickr by Hernan Piñera

If you have a sedentary job — one that sees you sitting most of the day — it’s important to occasionally stretch your muscles and get your blood moving again. One simple stretching exercise to complete while still sitting is lifting your legs up and stretching them out for 30 seconds. This stretch cuts the risk of blood clots associated with sitting in one position for too long.

If you’re feeling tightness in your neck and shoulders, put one arm behind your head and push back on your elbow using your other arm. Hold this stretch for a few seconds before switching sides and repeating.

Little Workouts Throughout the Day

Although the office isn’t the ideal place for a workout, there are simple exercises you can complete during the day while still taking care of business. If you have a few minutes available while you’re waiting for your papers at the copy machine, you can get in a few toning and strengthening exercises.

While holding on to the machine for balance, lift one leg out to the side while keeping it straight. Slowly lower it back down, then repeat the same action on the other leg. To finish, bend your knee and swing it forward and back for 30 seconds, then repeat with your other knee. Do each exercise about 10 times.

Do Yoga at Your Desk

When you stay seated at a desk for hours during the day, you place a lot of strain on your spine and upper back. Help relieve some of that stress and tension with yoga poses you can do at your desk. The Seated Crescent Moon pose can help with discomfort in your neck and shoulders.

While seated, lift your arms over your head, press your hands together, interlace your fingers, and point your index fingers up. Then lean to your right and take two or three deep breaths. Come back to center, lean to your left, and take another two or three deep breaths.

Practice T’ai Chi at Your Desk

T’ai chi, once a form of self-defense, has been modified into a form of exercise that connects mind and body through fluid motion. There are two exercises you can complete right at your desk. With leg cycling, you stay seated in your chair and keep your knee bent as you raise one leg. Then you circle the lower part of your leg clockwise and counterclockwise. Switch legs and repeat the action. Finally, use your ankles to complete the circles.

For the pouring exercise, stand up with both feet flat on the floor. Slowly “pour” your weight to the right side, holding it there for 10 seconds. Slowly return to the center position, then pour your weight to the left side. Repeat this exercise a few times every hour.

Wear a Fitness Band

A fitness band is an ideal way to track your activity and make sure that you’re moving enough throughout the day. One of the many features of the Apple Watch Sport is that it’s a wearable device that can track fitness and that can help you monitor your movement and heart rate throughout the day.

This type of fitness band can sense when you stand so that you can strive to get up and move for at least one minute every hour. You can also set goals for how many calories you want to burn or how much you want to exercise. You’ll have a visual reminder on your wrist all day to help you increase activity and reduce stress.

Even if you love your job, you can still suffer from work-induced stress and lack of physical movement during your workday. However, these fitness techniques can help you get in quick exercises and release stress while you’re at work.


Todd Green is a freelance writer who specializes in technology and business. When he’s not writing you can find him on a boat, fishing pole in hand. To read more of his work visit Techiereport.com

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