“No time to exercise.” Isn’t that excuse as old as our grandmothers? We know that physical activity is essential for our health. But, more often than not, we go days (and sometimes months) without sweating it out. And we blame this on our busy schedules. Of course, most jobs require us to sit typing away for hours together or just plonk ourselves and put our neurons to work. But that doesn’t mean we lie dormant the whole day and let our bellies take the shape of a balloon, right?
There are plenty of exercises that you can do while you’re sitting to keep the belly flat (1). Exercising doesn’t mean picking brawn over brains, but, in fact, it can aid in building your muscle memory (2). Aiming for at least 150 minutes of exercise a week can elevate your mood, make your social life better, and also keep health problems at bay (3). So, here are a few quick belly-burning exercises that you can do anytime and anywhere:
As kids, we all played with the chair — rocking it, pushing it, ducking under it. But you will be surprised to know that the chair is enough equipment for you to work those belly muscles. Unlike the conventional pull-ups, this pull-up requires you to sit back on a chair (do not take chairs with wheels or reclining abilities). Once you have sat yourself down, position your arms on the armrest and lift yourself up. Make sure you suck your core in while doing this and pull your knees up. Once you have pulled your knees up hold the position for as long as you can. Remember to breathe properly.
2. Knee Pull-Ups
You don’t necessarily need a chair for this variation of a seated pull-up, but if the situation doesn’t permit you to sit down on the floor, you can use the chair. Seat yourself towards the edge of the chair and place your legs at hip-width apart. Now, all you have to do is alternatively lift each knee to your abs. Sounds as easy as “ABC,” right? Well, it really is. Go ahead, and pull those knees up!
3. Floor Reaches
The love handles are great to grab you by the waist, but they aren’t really pleasant when you need to slip into your favorite bodycon dress, right? So, this is an easy way to tame those love handles while you sit. Begin with keeping your feet hip-width apart on the floor. Now stretch your arms horizontally and lean in with each arm to touch your feet. Make sure you stretch your right arm towards your left foot and the left arm towards your right foot. That’s one count. Repeat this several times, and you will feel the pinch on your love handles.
4. Double Knee Pull-Ups
Double knee pull-ups are easier – way easier! – to do while you are seated on a chair. Just place your arms on the armrest, put all your weight on it and pull your knees up towards your abdomen. Then, push it back towards the floor, but don’t drop your legs down. Do this for a couple of times, and you will love how wonderfully it works for your belly and abdominal region. You should make sure that you are not straining your knees though. Pull your core in while you are doing this exercise.
5. Oblique Pull-Ups
Just like the knee pull-ups, oblique pull-ups require you to pull your knees towards your abdomen. But make sure you pull your knees towards one side at a time. This works on your obliques wonderfully. Care should be taken to keep your buttocks on the edge of the chair, else the move doesn’t work.
Bonus Tips For The Lazy Ones:
1. Walk And Talk
We know there are some of us who really cannot take the time out to move a muscle, and we understand the lethargy that comes from sitting in one place all day. So, here’s a quick tip for you: Take frequent walk breaks. Walk to your colleague instead of pinging him a silly doubt. Or, walk to the coffee machine instead of asking the office boy to get you a cup of coffee. If you are someone who needs to answer a lot of calls at work, walk around while you talk. Increase your pace, and just pace back and forth for 15 minutes. It will activate your muscles and make you feel better.
2. Plan Your Exercise To Lose Belly Fat
Just like you have a set time to eat, sleep, and work, set some time aside for exercise. It could be as little as 5 minutes for starters. Once your body gets used to this routine, you will begin to incorporate more and more exercises and minutes every day.
And voilà! That’s a list of simple belly-burning exercises that shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes of your day. Have you got any simpler exercises that we can engage in from the comfort of our chairs? Do let us know!