With long working hours and a busy lifestyle, often the last thing you want to do after work is to spend hours pounding the treadmill. That’s why, for the third instalment of ‘The Experts’ we’ve teamed up with Olympic Athlete, Samantha Murray, to devise a morning workout that will leave you feel refreshed, reinvigorated and ready to take on whatever the day brings.
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With a recent study by Harvard Health Publications revealing that too much sitting is slowly killing us. Long hours sat at a desk combined with lack of physical exercise has been linked to diseases such as osteoporosis, heart disease and diabetes. Further, with ever expanding work hours and the need to always be online, it’s becoming harder than ever to fit that much-need workout into your day.
“This workout should take you between 10 – 15 minutes. It’s a great workout that will help you feel refreshed, invigorated and energised for the rest of your working day.”
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Ironically, whilst it’d often the last thing that you feel like doing exercise is actually proven to massively increase productivity at work and can actually make us smarter. Engaging in physical exercise repairs our brains and triggers the birth of new brain cells in our memory centers, whilst acting as an insurance policy that our brains will be healthy for years to come.
“Starting the day with a workout can really help you increase your productivity at work. It will help increase your oxygen blood flow to the brain which will help you more alert and ready to take on whatever the day brings.”
Step 1: Sun Salutations
“This is my take on simple yoga. This will start with bending the knees and stretching up, opening our arms, putting our hands up to the ceiling, stretching up, opening our arms and going up on to our toes – taking a deep breath in as we do this.”
Then bend forward into a bend and repeat this process about five times.
Step 2: Spider Stretch
“For this, have one leg bent out in front and one leg stretched our behind. This is going to stretch your hips and open out our glutes. To incorporate the arms, use a thoracic rotation which will help to open up the chest and back. Do this on both sides of the body so that you’re equal and balanced.”
Step 3: Glute Bridges
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“Lie on your back, place your feet in front of you. Then, engage your core muscles and slowly squeeze with your glutes and press up as far as possible, then breathe out and roll your back on to the mat. Raise up and down ten times.
To challenge yourself, bring one foot in to our mid-line and extend the other foot out in front of us. It’s really tough but can really help to tone your legs and glutes. Do this five times on each single legs.”
Steps 4: Slide Board Lunge
“This is a great exercise for anyone who is typically sat down all day.”
“It’s a sideways movement that will engage your core, glutes, quads and the hamstrings. Start by placing one leg which will slide out to the side which we will slide our laterally. To do this you can use a flannel, towel or if you’re on a carpet you can use a plastic bag to help you slide along the floor.
As you push out with your sliding leg, lean back as if you’re sitting on a low bench or a chair. This requires a lot of focus while you try to balance your glutes and abdominal muscles. Squeeze everything as you pull the sliding leg back up to centre. Repeat five times on each leg.”
Step 5: Straight Arm Plank
“Drop down into a plank position, engaging your shoulders, scapulars, core, lower-back, glutes and legs. From here we’re going to take a breath and do a three knee tuck on each side, raising each knee out to the side first, before bringing back to the centre. From here, take a deep inhalation and press down into a deep press up. Here, the aim is to get our skin, nose and chest to reach the floor. Repeat five or six times.”
Expert tip: For everyone struggling, drop to your knees and cross your knees over at the back.
Step 6: Side Plank
“Move on to your side into a side plank position. Hold the position and do five or six straight leg raises. These are great for working the side of your legs, calves, glutes and will really challenge your oblique’s – giving you great tone across the top of your core and sides. Repeat five times on each leg.”
“I love this exercise, it can make you really strong and help with balance.”
And for the locker room…
Don’t forget to look after your skin after your workout. Discover Sam’s favourites below: