Simple Workplace Exercises That Slim Down the Tummy

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Busy work days often leave little time for the gym.
Busy work days often leave little time for the gym. (Image: Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

If you are like many women today, your work days are busy and leave little time for the gym. Additionally, many working women are fighting excess weight around the mid-line from stress and eating on the go. Fortunately, there are several simple exercises that can be done right from your desk in just a few minutes a day to help you stay toned and slim down the tummy.

Chair Crunches

This exercise provides an intense abdominal workout right in your seat. Begin by sitting upright on the edge of your chair. Make sure that, if your chair can roll, the wheels are locked or the back of the chair is braced against a wall. Inhale deeply and lean back slightly while raising your legs together off the floor. Exhale, and bend your knees, bringing them in to the chest. Inhale and straighten the legs again, then exhale and crunch. Repeat this process 10 times initially, but work up to 20 or more repetitions.

Plank Pose

This exercise can be done with a chair or desk. Again, if using your office chair, make sure the wheels are locked or it is braced against the wall. Face your chair and rest your palms or forearms on the seat, keeping your upper arms straight and your shoulders strong. Walk your legs out behind you, until you come into an inclined plank pose. Keep your legs straight and together. Breathe deeply and hold for up to one minute. Rest, then repeat two or three more times. Hint: the closer your body is to the floor, the more challenging it is. Try lowering the chair as your abdominal muscles get stronger.

Seated Twists

This gentle stretch is yoga-inspired and helps tone the sides while relieving tension in the low back. Sit upright in your chair, with your feet flat on the floor. Cross the right leg over the left. Inhale and reach the right arm overhead, then rest it on the back of the chair. Exhale and twist to the right, looking over the right shoulder. Press your left arm against the outside of the right knee for a deeper twist. Breathe deeply and hold for one to two minutes. Rest, then repeat on the opposite side.

Yoga twists help lengthen the side body and relieve tension in the lower back.
Yoga twists help lengthen the side body and relieve tension in the lower back. (Image: Thomas Northcut/Lifesize/Getty Images)

Side Stretch

This classic yoga move can be done discreetly while sitting at your desk. Again, sit upright on the edge of your chair. Inhale and reach both arms overhead, interlocking the fingers, and pressing the palms toward the ceiling. Exhale and stretch the whole body to the right, keeping the arms straight. Inhale and come back to center. Exhale again, this time stretching the whole body to the left. Inhale back to center. Begin with 10 repetitions for both sides, and work up to a total of 20 repetitions. Side stretches help lengthen the side body and tone the external oblique muscles.

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