1. One-Legged Squat

Before performing this exercise, make sure your chair is stable and will not roll out from under you very easily. Sit with your buttocks towards the front half of the seat. Keep one foot planted on the floor, with the other leg slightly raised out in front. Keep your hands on the arm rest of the chair for support and balance. Slowly raise your buttocks off the chair about 6 inches, hold for one count, then slowly lower yourself back to starting position. Repeat this eight to 12 times, then repeat with the other leg. This will work all the major muscles in the thighs, as well as the gluteal muscles in the buttocks.

2. Leg Extensions

Sit upright on your chair with your hands resting on the chair for leverage. Straighten one leg out in front of you and contract your quadricep muscle as much as possible. Hold this static position for about three to five seconds, then lower back to starting position. Repeat this action between 12 to 20 times, then switch to the other leg. This is an exercise that can be repeated throughout the day at your desk without anyone ever noticing.

3. Thigh Muscle Static Contractions

Muscle strengthening and toning can actually be done without even moving the muscle at all. These are called isometric contractions, in which the muscle does not change length with its contraction. To perform this type of exercise, you would squeeze or contract a particular muscle with maximal exertion, and hold that position for a few seconds, then release. This works well to tone and strengthen muscles.

These can be done with all the muscles in the thighs. Begin by focusing on the inner thighs. Contract the inner thighs as much as you can, and hold it for 5 seconds. Relax and repeat between 12 to 20 times. Switch to the outer thigh muscles. Contract these muscles with maximal effort, and hold for a few seconds, and release. Continue this isometric contraction with the back of your thighs - or hamstrings. For your quadriceps muscles, straighten your legs out in front of you to perform these contractions. These exercises can be done periodically throughout the day at the office.

4. Hip Flexion

Sit upright in your chair with your hands on the arm rests for support. Bend one knee slightly so that it is a little more than 90 degrees. Slowly lift your leg up towards your body so that your knee is being driven towards your chest. Slowly lower your leg back to starting position. Perform 20 of these hip flexions on each leg. This exercise works the front of your hips and thighs, as well as your abdominal muscles, and can be done easily at your desk.

5. Inner Thigh Adduction

The inner thighs are a problem area for many women as they tend to be a spot where fatty tissue tends to deposit. Keep this area toned by squeezing the inner thigh muscles regularly. To perform an inner thigh press, use an object that can be squeezed, such as a rolled up towel or even your sweater. Place the object between your knees, and sit up straight with your abs tucked in. Squeeze the towel or sweater with full force, hold for a few seconds, then release. Repeat 20 times, for three sets for a great thigh workout at your desk!

1. Diamond Push-ups

While in a regular pushup position, put your hands together so that your thumbs and index fingers are touching. It should form a diamond shape in between your hands. Doing a pushup this way will put more stress on your triceps and better help strengthen the muscle. If you are unable to do regular pushups, rest on your knees instead of your toes. Try to complete three sets of ten or as many as you can do. You will be able to do more as you get stronger.

2. Triceps Extensions

While sitting or standing, take a dumbbell in one hand and raise it straight over your head. Lower your arm until your elbow forms a 90 degree angle and the weight is behind your head. Then, extend your arm back over your head and repeat this motion. Make sure not to arch your back and start with a weight light enough to control your movement. Do three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions of this exercise.

3. Triceps Press

This is a similar exercise to extensions, except that you are lying down. Lie on a bench holding a weight in each hand. Raise your arms straight up bending your elbow so that the weights are next to your head. Extend the weight straight up into the air 10 to 15 times for three sets.

4. Dips

To start, sit on the edge of a chair or low table. Place your feet flat on the ground and your hands on the surface you are sitting on. Slowly lower your body to the ground, until your arm is bent at a 90 degree angle. Then, raise yourself up by pushing against the surface. You will be able to feel your triceps supporting you. Repeat this motion ten times for three sets.

5. Kickbacks

Hold a dumbbell in each of your hands and bend at your waist so that your torso is parallel to the ground. Keep your upper arm next to your torso, while bending your elbow at a 90 degree. Then, straighten your arm so the weight is near your hip. Repeat this motion 10 to 15 times for three sets.

#1: Trade in Your Chair for an Exercise Ball

Sitting on an exercise ball rather than a chair can have many positive effects on your body. It will help your stability and posture, while strengthening your core muscles because your abs have to constantly contract to keep your body from hitting the floor. Sitting on a ball will also keep you moving throughout the day, instead of relaxing in a chair, and motivate you to do quick exercises while waiting on the phone. 

#2: Buttocks Squeeze

This very simple exercise will give you a firm and a perkier bum, without anyone having a clue you’re exercising a muscle. All you have to do is flex your buttocks together, hold for a couple seconds and release.

#3: Calf Raise

To tone your calves while sitting at your desk, make sure your back is straight and your feet are shoulder width apart with your toes pointing forward. Then raise your heals unilaterally off the ground while constantly flexing your calves. Your toes should always stay on the floor.

#4: Shin Flexes

Many people forget about working their shins, but working them out is important because it helps prevent shin splints, especially with runners. While sitting at your desk, make sure your back is straight and both feet are on the floor, with your toes pointing forward. Unilaterally flex your toes on each foot while bringing them towards your body. Make sure to keep your heels on the ground.

#5: Leg Lifts

While sitting at your desk, leg lifts can easily be done to tone your quadriceps. Sit with your back straight and your toes pointing forward. Lift each foot one at a time, while flexing your foot, to make a straight line with your leg. Then return to the starting position.

#6: Bicep Curls

When you are on the phone at your desk, try firming up your arms with bicep curls. Grab a paper weight off your desk and hold it in one hand. Next, bring your hand to your shoulder, keeping your elbow glued to your side. Then return to the starting position.

Try doing each exercise for a minute, instead of counting out repetitions. By doing this, you will be able to stay focused on your office work and carry on a phone conversation.

1. Lace up those running shoes and hit the track. Running 1 mile will burn 100 calories

2. Pop in a video or head to the gym for 10 minutes of high impact aerobics

3. Pick up a brush and paint a room in your house for 30 minutes

4. Jog around the block for 10 minutes

5. Giddy up and Ride. Go horseback riding 25 minutes

6. Unload the dryer and fold the laundry for 40 minutes

7. Bust out the duster and dust the house for 35 minutes

8. Jump rope for 10 minutes

9. Wallpaper a room for 30 minutes

10. Give your ride some love. Wash your car for 30 minutes

11. Row, row, row your boat at the park 25 minutes

12. Do Pilates for 20 minutes

13. Drop and give me ten. 10 minutes of pushups that is!

14. Get swept off your feet and sweep the floors for 30 minutes

15. Pump some Iron. Lift light weights for 20 minutes

16. Doggy paddle is fine, just swim laps for 15 minutes

17. Circuit train for 10 minutes

18. Go roller-skating for 15 minutes

19. Cook a delish meal for 40 minutes

20. Play catch with the kids for 35 minutes

21. Cruise the aisles of the supermarket for 40 minutes

22. Sing for 50 minutes

23. Play the piano for 35 minutes

24. Refinish a piece of furniture 25 minutes

25. Work out to a step aerobics video for 10 minutes

26. Throw a Frisbee around for 30 minutes

27. Bike leisurely around the neighborhood 25 minutes

28. Do jumping jacks for 10 minutes

29. Window-shop for 40 minutes

30. Down, Set, Hike! Play touch football for 15 minutes

31. Mow the lawn for 15 minutes

32. Sled in the park for 15 minutes

33. Do you do windows? Clean your windows 20 minutes

34. Give a massage to someone for 20 minutes

35. Relive the 70’s and Disco dance for 20 minutes

36. Running up and down stairs for 10 minutes

37. Karate for 15 minutes

38. Hit some tennis balls for 15 minutes

39. Power walk for 20 minutes

40. Shoot hoops on the court for 20 minutes

41. Trim the shrubs for 20 minutes

42. Pushing the baby in the stroller for 20 minutes

43. Nine holes or a little put-put. Go golfing for 20 minutes

44. Don your helmet and spandex and Cycle for 10 minutes

45. Go for a drive for an hour and a half

46. Chop some firewood for 5 minutes

47. Get a TKO! 2 rounds of boxing

48. Catch some zzzz’s. Sleep for 2 hours

49 Belly dancing for 20 minutes

50. Get a strike. Bowl for 30 minutes

51. Mr. Clean! Mop the floors for 25 minutes

52. Get in the sauna for 10 minutes

53. Go fishing for 40 minutes

54. Hoola hoop for 20 minutes

55. Play fetch with your pooch for 20 minutes

56. Splish - splash. Wash your dog for 25 minutes

57. Get on the rowing machine for 15 minutes

58. Kickboxing for 10 minutes

59. Carrying your baggage through the airport for 20 minutes

60. Have a thumb war for 40 minutes

61. Tone those abs and do crunches for 15 minutes

62. Wrestle Mania for 15 minutes

63. Text your friends for 1 hour

64. Fly a kite for 30 minutes

65. Lightly treading water for 20 minutes

66. Stretch for 40 minutes

67. Ice-skate for 20 minutes

68. Do cartwheels for 10 minutes

69. Weed the garden for 20 minutes

70. Cruise the bookstore for 40 minutes

71. Play a board game for 1 hour

72. Visit the zoo 45 minutes

73. Brush your teeth or floss them for 40 minutes

74. Have Ping-Pong match for 25 minutes

75. Read a good book for 1 hour

76. Hit a bulls eye. Play darts for 40 minutes

77. Read emails for 1 hour

78. Rake the lawn and sack the leaves for 25 minutes

79. Vacuum the carpet 25 minutes

80. Clear your mind and soul and do yoga for 25 minutes

81. Tidy up the backyard 25 minutes

82. Ballroom dance for 30 minutes

83. Set the table and prepare a meal for 35 minutes

84. Clear the table and wash the pots, pans, and dishes for 35 minutes

85. Get the wrinkles out! Iron your clothes for 40 minutes

86. Wax your car for 20 minutes

87. Enjoy the outdoors and hike for 20 minutes

88. On a farm? Bail hay for 15 minutes

89. Hit a home run. Play softball for 20 minutes 90. Rock on! Play guitar for 35 minutes

91. I said Brrrr its cold in here! Shovel snow for 15 minutes

92. Goal!!! Soccer for 15 minutes

93. Rock climbing for 15 minutes

94. LMAO? Laugh for 20 minutes

95. Billiards for 40 minutes

96. Enjoy the lake and canoe for 25 minutes

97. Surf the web 1 hour

98. Dirty? Take a shower for 40 minutes

99. Bump. Set. Spike. Play beach volleyball for 15 minutes

100. Yakety yak. Talk on the phone for an hour and a half

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • (16-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • (7-ounce) bottle roasted red bell peppers, rinsed and drained
  • large garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Place first 5 ingredients in a food processor; process until smooth. With processor on, slowly add oil through food chute. Stir in salt and black pepper.

NB: Cals per serving. Makes 8 servings.

1) Take it outside:

Summer is upon us! That means the temperatures are high, the grass is thick, and it’s time to tote that mat out of doors. Some cities offer community yoga classes in the summer months, but even if you’re on your own, find a good spot and see what an open air practice can do for you. Just don’t forget to slather on the SPF!

2) Rise and shine:

Many yoga studios have early morning offerings that you can attend before work. Let’s face it: devotion has its limits. Some of us are never going to make a regular habit out of a 6 or 7am class. I would, however, suggest trying one out even if you’re not a morning person. They tend to be much less crowded, and yoga is a truly lovely way to start your morning. Think of that wonderful, uplifted feeling you experience after a great class and imagine carrying that with you throughout your work day! I bet you’ll leave feeling refreshed, energized, and ready to take on anything!

3) Use the buddy system:

Make a yoga date! Bring a friend, parent, sibling, or partner to class with you. Introduce someone to your favorite style, or try a new one together (AcroYoga is practiced in pairs, and is sure to liven up even the deepest of yoga funks)! Hit up your favorite café afterwards to compare notes.

4) Treat yourself to a private lesson:

Many teachers offer private sessions that can take place in your home or office. They’re pricier than a drop-in class, but you can really get a lot out of that one-on-one time. Contact a favorite teacher to see if they offer private sessions, or get in touch with one who specializes in a style you’ve always wanted to try. Private sessions are a great way to focus on a problematic injury, become acclimated to a new style or technique, or simply reap the benefits of the instructor’s undivided attention. If you can’t afford a private session on your own, consider buddying up or hosting a class at your office. Many teachers offer both individual and small group rates.

5) Dream big:

Pick an advanced pose or one you’re not quite able to hit. Read up on it, and ask a teacher for suggestions on how to prep. Practice a little bit every day, and when you finally nail it, celebrate your victory! (Be sure you also know and practice a counterpose so you don’t cause injury.)

Fortunately for us, yoga has taken off big time and it’s not going away anytime soon. There are plenty of options out there to help you keep your practice fresh. Explore and enjoy!

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