Secret Exercises

Even if you’re chained to a desk most of the day, you can perform some exercises from the comfort of your chair… without anyone even knowing. And while you won’t be dropping significant pounds or reaching body-building status, you can subtly improve muscular control and strength.

Abdominal isometrics: Posture, sleeping surfaces, and physical condition all play a role in the health of your spine, but many back pain symptoms can be alleviated by simply strengthening your core. Isometric abdominal work helps promote stabilization and firm up the midsection. Activate your abs by pulling up from the belly button and tensing. Hold for 30-second intervals while you’re at your desk, driving, or just sitting in front of the television.

Kegel contractions: Thanks to pregnancies, childbirth, and just the onset of age, most women experience occasional weak-bladder moments… but men aren’t exempt. Fend off incontinence by strengthening your pelvic floor. Practice engaging the muscles in charge of controlling urinary function when you use the bathroom. Hold each contraction and then release. As you develop proficiency, you’ll learn to do the exercise anywhere, anytime.

Toe taps: If you’ve ever experienced shin splints, you know they smart. But resting your feet on the ground and lifting only your toes up and down several times will strengthen the affected tissues. Draw invisible letters with each foot to develop ankle stability.

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