This morning we kicked off our April Anti-Sedentary Challenge to show you a few ideas for getting those arms outside their modern day T-Rex zones on our keyboards, our phones, and our steering wheels. In the spirit of April Fools Day, we even sported a T-Rex costume:-)
Here’s the video (Learn more about the Excy Anti-Sedentary April Challenge)
Upper Body Fitness is Critical to Becoming Less Sedentary
We know that being sedentary and sitting too much will shorten one’s lifespan, diminish quality of life and contribute to the development of chronic diseases. Yes, we want to you pedal your legs during these moments, but so often in life, functional problems start in our upper bodies first. With 80 percent of contemporary jobs being sedentary or involving only light activity, it’s imperative to not just get our legs moving, but also getting more disciplined in performing upper body fitness.
Why Upper Body Fitness Matters
As we get older, we don’t push, pull, or lift things as much. A strong trunk, trapezius, deltoid, biceps and triceps muscles will make a difference in being able to do basic tasks. This includes things like carrying groceries, gardening, or picking up your kids or grandkids. And, the weaker our upper body is, the more prone we are to injury. Also, when our upper body fitness starts to fail, even small tasks like buttoning or removing a shirt can become challenging.
Make Time for Upper Body Conditioning
Even if you work an office job and sit at a desk all day, your core, back, and arms are going to be performing some form of movement and thus need to be strengthened. Our April anti-sedentary challenge is the perfect excuse to take more exercise breaks during the day and to find a balance between upper body and lower body exercises.
There are so many convenient wonderful upper body fitness movements you can do at work, home, or while on the go! Here are a few ideas.
Pedal Excy as an Arm Bike
At work, you can take a quick, intense break for 1 or 2 minutes with Excy as an arm bike and get your heart rate pumping without sweating. Then, take Excy home for a longer duration cardio and strength training workout. Often times when we think of wanting to burn calories or build muscle, we go right for exercises that impact the Gluteus Maximus (glutes) because it’s the largest muscle in the human body. But, a very close second is the bilateral latissimus dorsi muscles, which are your “lats” and one of the widest muscles in the human body.
So, we can’t forget to put our “lats” to work, especially after keeping our upper body confined all day working at a keyboard or holding our phones with our arms in a Tyrannosaurus Rex position! We typically suggest increasing the resistance levels to double-dip both cardio and strength training, whether pedaling arms or legs.
Performing Arm Circles
Arm circles are a wonderful way to wake up the upper body and burn a handful of calories. It is not an intense workout and is unlikely to yield major muscle development, but it will get your blood moving. You can also do things like arm raises (above head, to the side, etc.). Take frequent breaks and consider doing 20 forward and 20 backwards.
Use Small Hand Weights
Sneak in a few bicep curls, overhead triceps extensions, extend arms overhead for a military press. Do reps for 1 to 2 minutes.
Explore resistance bands
Get creative. From shoulder flossing exercises to scapular band flyes, there are small motions movements you can do at your desk, while watching TV, or on the go to work on stretching and upper body fitness.
Use your own body weight and nothing else (just bring some sanitizer from having your hands on the floor). Pushups are a great all-round upper body exercise. If pushups are too hard, you can consider a wall push-up.
Keep a kettlebell nearby and do 30-60 seconds of swings, cleans, snatches, or your favorite chosen repetitive movement with good form.
We’re all well aware that sitting at a desk all day isn’t a healthy way to live, but many of us have to do it anyway. Throughout the month we invite you avoid inactivity and give yourself a big pat on the back for any amount of exercise performed during a time when you would otherwise be sedentary. Just don’t forget upper body fitness!
If you’re ready to spring your health forward and throw up roadblocks to a sedentary lifestyle, tune into our Facebook, YouTube, and Excy Live channels! All workouts will be at spontaneous times and locations.