You might exercise in the hope of building muscle and getting a healthy glow, but did you know that regular sweat sessions could make you more productive, professionally? Yep, studies have indicated that exercise undertaken during work hours could boost your overall performance.
Knowing that the average person sits for an average of nine and a half hours a day, the people behind back and muscle pain relief products Voltarol want to encourage you to get on the fitness bandwagon and take a couple of minutes to move.
So, HuffPost UK spoke to former professional tennis player and personal trainer, Roxanne Ekhaese, about why little doses of exercise are a good idea when it comes to nailing your goals - and the moves that she swears by.
“One of the main things that short bursts of exercise affects is your mental health,” Ekhaese says. A review of existing studies examining the relationship between exercise and happiness showed that all indicated a positive relationship between the two.
And what are the benefits of quick exercise blasts, before work or in the park on your lunch break? “Short bursts of exercises - like press-ups to standing to squats - give you energy,” she says. It doesn’t end there - in fact, studies show that shorter, consistent bursts of exercise could be just as beneficial for your overall health as longer sessions, so long as they ultimately add up to the Government recommended 150 minutes of movement a week, total.
Ekhaese notes that it’s better to do quick, tough workouts more frequently than an hour-long session three-times per week, where you’re not really pushing yourself. “High-intensity exercise means you gain more benefits in a short period of time. By combining cardio and resistance exercises in a two-minute workout, you will work more muscle groups. That’s exactly what busy people need.”
Not only could bursts of movement make you more productive at work, self-confidence is another factor, here. “By taking care of yourself, you will have greater levels of self-esteem,” says Ekhaese. “You’ll also feel a great sense of achievement if you set yourself short and long-term goals. When you hit these, it feels really good.”
Ekhaese recommends doing functional movements which may train your muscles to work together and prepare the body to perform normal daily tasks. Try these exercise for two-minutes at a time when you need to seriously focus.
Plank. Try a 30-second elbow plank, two 30-second side planks (on each side) and then a 30-second hand plank. They are great for strengthening your core.
V-Sits. These are better than sit-ups because they engage and strengthen the deep abdominal core muscles, creating more tone and giving you a flatter stomach. Work up to holding for two-minutes.
Slow, controlled burpees. These might sound easy but they are actually really hard. Slow down the burpee process and see how many you can do in two-minutes.
Use resistance bands. These are great for all kinds of muscles groups, including glute work, which also strengthens your back muscles. There are plenty of ideas on Ekhaese’s Instagram which you can try lying down. You can also use these bands to work your shoulders and improve your posture.
Press-ups. How many press-ups can you do in two-minutes? Test yourself and build upper body strength in no time.
Voltarol Back and Muscle Pain Relief 1.16% Gel contains an anti-inflammatory ingredient to help relieve pain and reduce inflammation at the source. We are experts in body pain, so whether it is joint or muscle pain, Voltarol can help you get back to doing the things you love. Movement can also help reduce your joint and back pain by 25% - did you know, the average person in the UK sits for 9 hours a day? Find out more about how you can take two minutes out of your busy day to move with our Take 2 To Move campaign. Voltarol Back and Muscle Pain Relief 1.16% Gel contains diclofenac diethylammonium. For relief of pain and inflammation. Always read the label. Find out more at voltarol.co.uk.