Entrepreneurship means long hours. Standing and speaking, logging time in front of the computer, sitting in the car -- it all adds up. Using your workstation for frequent and sporadic exercises can be a great way to boost your energy naturally, spark your creativity and even improve your health.
Here are five easy ways that every entrepreneur can turn their workstation into a workout station.
1. Stretch. Taking a break at least every hour to stretch and move is crucial. Try a series of stretches to really help your physical stamina. Your back starts to tighten up and your shoulders start to slouch over the longer you’re seated in an office chair.
Set an alarm to remind you to stop and stretch. Start by doing a seated twist. Gently reach for the back of your chair or arm of your chair to the right. Hold it and take in a few deep breaths. After this deep breathing let it go and twist to the left following the same process.
Next, try interlacing your fingers and stretching your arms over your head. Do plenty of deep, slow breathing as you do this. Finally, try rolling your shoulders forward 10 or 20 times, backward 10 or 20 times and then softly rolling your neck back from side to side.
These are great ways to release built-up tension in your back, neck and shoulders caused by sitting.
2. Stand. Even if you can’t afford one of the electronic, adjustable standing workstations, you can still try standing for 30 minutes to an hour a day at your workstation. This is a great way to change your body’s posture and get the benefits of standing to keep your body aligned.
Just like a seated workstation, make sure your body is in a comfortable and neutral position and you aren’t straining, stretched out or crammed too close to the computer. However, enjoying the right standing position while working can be a great adjustment to the entrepreneurs often seated lifestyle.
Also try doing your next staff meeting or brainstorm standing up.
3. Roll. Take a tennis ball and keep it at your desk for sporadic use during the workday. Take off your shoes and put the ball under one foot at a time. Gently roll the ball under and around with your foot to stretch out the balls of your feet, roll and stretch your ankles and use various pressure to roll the ball forward and back to stretch out the soft tissue in your foot (called the fascia, which you’ve probably heard before from conditions like plantar fasciitis, when the soft tissue that runs from the toes to the heels gets stiff and makes walking painful).
4. Lift. Try doing some dead lifts from the desk with a very low-weight item to stretch out the back and strengthen the core. Again, make sure this is a very low-weight (three to five pounds) object, such as a few books or a large water bottle that’s filled. Lifting slowly and controlled with the right breathing can really strengthen the core muscles in your body, which need to stay strong to support you during the hours of sitting process.
It doesn’t take a lot of reps or weight, but lifting done properly around your workstation can actually increase your mobility if you approach it correctly.
5. Squeeze. Those little stress balls exist for a reason! Typing and writing all day can lead to hands that need care. Stop what you’re doing throughout the day and stretch your hands. Try squeezing a stress ball or even your tennis ball gently and releasing to increase your hand and finger strength.
Interlace your fingers and stretch them gently to provide an alternate stretch and relief from typing.
Take good care of your hands and the rest of your body during your workday and they’ll be sure to return the favor.
Do you have exercises you do at your desk? Let us know in the comments section below.