Getting fit without ever leaving the desk

Sneak in a great workout anywhere — even here. (Photo courtesy of multimedia.pages.tcnj.edu)
Sneak in a great workout anywhere — even here. (Photo courtesy of multimedia.pages.tcnj.edu)

By Ruchi Shah
Columnist

As the semester picks up, you might find yourself spending most of your time studying in the library and missing out on your routine gym workouts. Students tend to choose one of two courses of action: Either they utilize exercise as a method of procrastination or forego the exercise altogether. 

Now that the first two weeks of the semester have flown by, classes have begun to pick up the pace. Don’t worry — here are a list of exercises you can do during the stressful times that are right around the corner. You can do these quick and easy workouts right at your desk during your study breaks.  

The Glute Squeeze. This is a personal favorite of mine because it’s completely inconspicuous. You can do this workout at the library or even in class. Just squeeze your gluteal muscles together and hold for 10 seconds before relaxing them. Doing a few sets of 10 every day will have your bottom looking taut in no time! 

The Chair Squat. This exercise is intended for a short study break and allows you to remain at your desk. Simply stand up from your chair, spread your legs, and squat down until your butt hovers above your seat. Doing a set of 10 will only take a few minutes and eventually leave your legs and butt looking great. 

The Trap Squeeze. This is another sedentary exercise. The trap squeeze is meant to tone your upper back. Sit up straight in your chair with your arms at either side bent at 90 degrees so your fingers are pointing forward. Then, pull your elbows back and pinch your shoulder blades. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds, release and repeat. 

Ab Work. Ab workouts are the most dreaded of all exercises, but here’s a way to work out these muscles while staying seated. Contract your ab muscles, hold for 10 seconds, release and repeat. The longer the hold, the stronger the abs. Try reading a paragraph while holding these muscles, then two paragraphs and so on.

Calf Raises. This is yet another sedentary exercise. Plant your heels on the ground and raise only your heels (your toes should remain on the ground). Do this in increments of 30 seconds and alternate with 30-second breaks. 

These exercises should ensure that you achieve both mental and physical satisfaction. Who says college students can’t have the best of both worlds? Happy and healthy studying!