We’ve all been there before: hunched over our desks in the middle of the workday, sore and stiff after too many hours at the computer, too busy to grab lunch.
Now Tracy Anderson and California Pizza Kitchen have teamed up to create a new kind of “power lunch” aimed at people who want to get their blood flowing and consume a nutrient-rich, energizing meal. The fitness guru, who counts Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Lopez and Lena Dunham among her A-list clients, has come up with health and exercise tips to beat the midday funk to accompany CPK’s new power bowls.
“If you’re sitting at your desk and you’re having a stressful day or you just need a change of scenery,” says the creator of the Tracy Anderson Method, “taking a few minutes to reconnect with your body and move is really quite effective and healthy, even just for your mental health.”
Anderson’s desk-side moves also focus on arm-toning and stretching. “Dynamic stretching for me is for me what it’s all about,” she says. “Anytime you’re moving your own body weight and your limbs as a force of resistance against the core of your body, you are expanding and contracting your body in a way that stirs up movement and motion. It’s like oiling the Tin Man’s joints, really. It’s so key — and quite energizing.”
Below are Anderson’s health and fitness tips for your workday.
Standing Desk-side Twisted Arm Lift
Stand at your desk with your feet shoulder-width apart and lean into your right hip. The right hand should be placed over the left, both resting on the desk. From there, lift your hands overhead, twisting in towards your right side. Repeat 16x before starting a second set of 16 reps on the left side.
Tip: Keep your core tight, with your abs actively engaged for added intensity.
Plank Arm Lift and Elbow Pull
Stand at your desk with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Place your hands on the desk in front of you with your back flat and lower your hips in a plank position. Stretch your right arm back overhead as you twist in the waist. Next, replace your right arm and pull your left elbow back. Replace and repeat 16x before starting a second set of 16 reps with left arm as your leading arm.
Tip: Be mindful to extend through your full range of motion.
Elbow Desk Plank and Palm Reach
Stand at your desk with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, placing your elbows and forearms on the desk while holding a plank position. From here, reach your right arm straight down toward the ground, bending through the elbow to extend out to the side as you rotate your palms to face back. Repeat 16x before starting a second set of 16 reps on the left side.
Tip: Keep your shoulders square, and your lats “tucked down” toward your back pockets to ensure your form is correct.
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Standing Desk Reach and Arm Press
Stand at your desk with feet your shoulder-width apart. Extend both arms straight out to your sides with your palms facing backwards. From here, the right arm reaches towards the desk, then bend through to press arm back behind the body at shoulder level. Return to center and lift the left arm up to a high V-shape before returning to the center. Repeat 16x before starting a second set of 16 reps on the left side.
Tip: Remember to breathe. Oxygen flow increases mobility and promotes circulation.
Anderson says doing these exercises throughout the day, along with making small changes — like taking the stairs instead of the elevator — can “make quite a difference in your body and your health.”
Feed your need for a nutrient dense meal
The other part of the daytime equation? Lunch. Nothing is more important than having a satisfying and nutrient-dense meal with high-quality ingredients like fresh veggies and fruits, lean proteins and super grains.
That’s why Anderson is a fan of CPK’s new power bowls.
“If you’ve got any kind of weight to lose or you’re just trying to be healthy, and if you’re an office snacker, is it’s really important that you choose something really flavorful for your lunch,” says Anderson, whose favorite CPK power bowl, the Sante Fe Bowl includes lime chicken, chicken, tomatoes, sweet corn, black beans, red cabbage, fresh avocado, poblano peppers and toasted pepitas. “I think a lot people make this mistake where they’ll just have a sandwich or a simple salad or a yogurt and it’s not a flavorful experience so they find themselves snacking on [sugary treats like] gummy candies in the afternoon.”