Now students can keep in shape and study at the same time

    Studying or sitting in front of the computer for long hours can be strenuous on the mind and also the body. A college student’s sedentary lifestyle can oftentimes lead to much stress, fatigue and stiffness in the muscles. No time to hit the gym? No motivation? There are some easy solutions to help keep you in shape during your busy schedule. For those students who suffer from the previous symptoms after spending hours upon hours at the desk, there may be an answer ó desk fitness.

    The fundamental mechanisms to effective desk fitness include proper breathing, stretching (flexibility exercises), and strengthening exercises, which loosen the muscles and make them stronger. A simple set of stretches conducted before the study period can help prevent or alleviate joint and muscle stiffness. Setting an alarm on your computer or on your desk helps you remember to exercise at least five times a day.

    The following simple exercise techniques found out http:://WWW.AAROGYA.COM, a Web site dedicated to personal wellness, can all be performed at or near the desk. The exercises enable you to reduce stress, build endurance, tone muscles, and take a quick break from that horrid paper or math homework.

    Sandra Martinez, a third year John Muir College student, is a typical hardworking student who does not have a lot of time to go to the gym. She performed the following set of exercises and offers her feedback about the effectiveness of each one.

    Full Body Stretch at the wall

    For this exercise, stand up. Face the wall and reach your fingers up as far as you can. While you stretch upwards, place your feet firmly on the floor. Firm up your legs, extend the side of the torso and bring your shoulder blades toward the wall. Breathe normally as you stretch, walking your fingers up the wall.

    Move back a few inches away from the wall so that your torso is diagonal to your hips and press both palms onto the wall equally. Press into the ground with your feet, firm up your legs and release your tailbone away from the wall. Lift up your ribs and let your head drop slightly.

    “”I’ve done the first stretch before, sometimes before I work out. I have never thought about doing it before I work at my desk. The second stretch felt really good. I felt it especially in my arms and upper back.””

    Posture

    To maintain good posture, practice sitting with an upright torso. For this exercise, sit upright with the sides of your torso extending and your head resting comfortably on your neck. Bring your hands down to the seat of your chair and roll your shoulders back, bringing the shoulder blades into your back.

    “”Most of the time, I don’t sit up straight when I am seated at my desk. I know that is really bad for my posture and back. This exercise helped loosen my shoulders and especially my back. I even heard some cracking, probably a sign that I havenít done a lot of physical activity lately,”” Martinez said.

    Opening Your Chest

    Interlock your fingers behind your back with your palms facing your torso. Rotate your shoulders back, but avoid keeping your ribs from poking forward. Stretch your elbows and arms while exhaling and hold it for a few breaths. While exhaling, bend your elbows and bring your wrists to the right side of your waist, gently pressing the right elbow toward the left. Release and do the other side, then repeat yet again with your fingers interlocked with the opposite thumb on top.

    “”I liked this stretch a lot,”” she said. “”This exercise, like the previous one helps me maintain a proper posture while at my desk. I am also stretching out my arms. I would probably reduce my tendencies to slouch if I do this prior to every study session. The upper half of my arm feels good while I do this stretch.””

    Shaking Out Tension

    Shake out your wrists and arms, letting them dangle from your shoulders. Rotate your shoulders forwards and back.

    “”I feel weird doing this. However, it is really stress-relieving like I am shaking away everything that’s bothering me.””

    Back/Stomach

    In a seated position, raise both your arms; then while lowering and raising your chin, bend your chest backwards.

    “”I actually felt more pain because I felt a lot of strain in my neck, which made the lowering and raising of my chin difficult.””

    Neck Push

    This is an isometric exercise that will strengthen your neck muscles and prevent tension in that area. Grasp your chin with the palms of both your hands. Bend your head forward as far as possible. Try to push your head back with your hands, while resisting it with your neck muscles. Very slowly, against the tension, push your head backwards all the way. Resume the original position. Repeat so your body can fully experience the stretch.

    “”I can see how this will strengthen my neck muscles, but it was uncomfortable. The lower back of my neck kind of hurts after the exercise.””

    The arm press

    With your elbows bent, push your palms together as hard as possible. Hold this position of maximum tension for 10 seconds, then relax and repeat.

    “”It sounds so simple. But if you do it repetitiously, it gets tiring. I think this will help me tone my biceps. I don’t like weight lifting, so this is a nice exercise to do. My arms felt a lot of strain because they had to support most of my body weight. I can see how this can really work out the arms,”” Martinez said.

    Chair Step Ups

    Step up with your right leg to full extension on a chair. Step back down; repeat with your left leg. Alternate your legs, stepping up and down with increasing speed. Try to do this nonstop for a minute. Gradually, try to increase the amount of time you do this exercise for. Make sure your chair is stable and your seat is not too high.

    “”This exercise gets my heart rate up. I am even sweating. I feel the burn in my legs. I donít recommend doing this at the library or at work but definitely in the privacy of your own room,”” Martinez said.

    Use these helpful exercises to stay healthy and rejuvenated throughout the year.

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