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Make your desk work for you!!!

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In the 24 hour, 7 days a week society that we live in we are forced to spend more and more time at work. A survey by the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) showed that one in six people surveyed in the UK said they were working more than 60 hours a week.

Leading sports nutrition company Lamuscle.com has teamed up with personal trainer Ben Lauder Dykes to come up with the perfect fitness plan that will help you to tone up, drop a few pounds and get into shape without even leaving your desk.

The following exercises are simple to do and can be done at work or at home

Chair twist
This yoga-derived exercise mobilises and relaxes the spine as well as stimulating the digestive system and easing bloating. Sit sideways on your chair, with the chair back on your right. Make sure that your feet are flat on the floor and your knees are in line with your hips. Grasp the sides of the chair back, one hand at each end, and gently rotate your torso towards it, pushing the right hand away and pulling the left hand in towards you. Look over your right shoulder and hold the posture for 20-30 seconds, breathing freely. Repeat facing the other way.

Cushion squeeze
This strengthens the innermost thigh muscle, the vastus medialis, which is often a factor in knee problems. It's also good for firming the bottom. Place a cushion between your knees, keeping feet flat on the floor and hips square. Squeeze the cushion while clenching your buttocks, so you feel the inner thighs and bottom muscles contracting. Hold for five seconds andslowly relax, without letting the cushion fall. Repeat six times.

Hands and arms
Two main exercises that are important for those who spend all day at a computer. Place an elastic band around the middle of all four fingers and the top of your thumb. Now draw away your thumb, working against the resistance of the elastic band. Hold for a count of three and repeat thisfive times on each hand. The wrist and forearm stretch is great forpeople who use a keyboard regularly. Hold your right arm straight out in front of you with your palm facing up. Use your left hand to pull your fingers back and down to the floor. Feel the stretch on the underside of your forearm and wrist. Now turn the arm palm down, and draw the fingers back towards the forearm, keeping them straight. Swap sides.

Spine stretch
Ideally, you need a chair with a low back to do this exerciseor a chair with a back of some description, or you'll end up on the floor. With your arms crossed over your chest and feet on the floor, lean against the chair back and allow your back to curl over, lifting elbows up to the ceiling and allowing your head to follow your neck. Hold for a moment, then return to your start position.

Core strengthener
Sit upright on your chair, with weight evenly spread on both feet. Without letting your pelvis tilt or your back slump, lift your right foot off the floor, bringing the thigh towards the torso and keeping tummy muscles engaged. Pause, then lower and repeat with the left leg. Alternate for two sets of eight repetitions.

Neck mobiliser
If you use the phone frequently and don't have a headset, your neck flexibility is likely to be poorer on one side than on the other. This exercise helps to stretch out the muscles on the sides of the neck. Try to work to the less flexible side more often. Take your left ear over to your left shoulder to stretch the muscles on the right side of your neck. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat on the right, aiming for two to three repetitions each side. Then, with chin tucked in, slowly turn your head to the right and left, five times to each side.
Even if you don't use the phone you can still try these exercises.

Get up
Research by the British Chiropractic Association found that 32% of people spend 10 hours or more sitting down each day - and 50% don't even leave their desks at lunchtime. Take regular breaks and never sit in the same position for more than 40 minutes. Get up and stretch.

To help enhance energy levels Ben suggests including a natural supplement into a balanced diet. A great product for helping your body to burn more calories throughout the day and accelerating fat loss is Shaper by LA Muscle. It contains Calcium Pyruvate, studies have shown this can help to increase fat loss by 48%! It causes an increase in ‘cell respiration' causing your body to burn more calories throughout the day.



By LA Muscle
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