Newswise — For many Americans finding time to get in the recommended 30 minutes a day of exercise can be almost as difficult as discovering the lost city of Atlantis. According to the Loyola Center for Fitness just because you’re glued to your desk doesn’t mean you can’t exercise.

“Taking a break from work for even a few minutes can help you feel better and increase your energy level,” said Kara Smith, special programs coordinator for the Loyola Center for Fitness.

Here are some exercises that allow you to work out in the three main fitness categories, cardiovascular, strength and flexibility, at or near your desk.

“If co-workers give you a strange look while you’re exercising ask them to join you,” said Kara.

Cardiovascular1. Stand whenever possible. Standing opens the front of the hips2. Take the stairs. Five to seven times a day is a good goal3. March in place or take a brief walk around your office to increase your energy and blood flow4. Increase your heart-rate:a. Pretend you have a jump rope and jump on both legs or try alternating legsb. Do jumping jacks. Lower impact version: raise your right arm out to the side while tapping your left toe out to the side, then switch sidesc. Bring your knees towards hip level and transfer your weight quickly to take marching in place to the next leveld. Do the football shuffle. With feet shoulder width apart, slightly bend your knees and take quick steps with your feet

Strength1. Strengthen legs by standing feet hip width apart. Sink your hips back as if sitting in a chair. Lower slightly, return to standing2. Strengthen your arms, shoulders and chest. Sit in a chair without wheels and place your hand on the arms. Use your arms to lift your bottom off the chair seat and lower yourself back down. Aim for 15 repetitions3. Work your knees by sitting tall in chair. Lift one leg and straighten, hold for 2 seconds and lower. Repeat with other leg.4. Stretch your back and shoulders by squeezing your shoulder blades together and away from your ears, hold for three seconds and release. Repeat 15 times.

Flexibility1. Sit in a chair and reach both arms overhead, stretching them back. Hold for 10 seconds. Grab your right wrist with left hand and stretch deeper through your right side. Hold for 10 seconds, repeat opposite side.2. Hold your arms in front of you and gently circle your wrists in both a clockwise and counterclockwise motion. Stretch your hands by making fists then opening them as wide as you can3. Sit tall in a chair keeping your weight even in both hips. Gently turn your body to the right. Deepen the stretch by using your left hand to hold the right chair arm. Hold for 15 seconds, switch sides4. Release neck tension by sitting tall in your chair. Release your right shoulder down, you can even sit on your right hand, and tilt your head so your left ear is going towards your left shoulder. Hold for 15 seconds, switch sides.

Based in the western suburbs of Chicago, Loyola University Health System is a quaternary care system with a 61-acre main medical center campus, the 36-acre Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus and 28 primary and specialty care facilities in Cook, Will and DuPage counties. The medical center campus is conveniently located in Maywood, 13 miles west of the Chicago Loop and 8 miles east of Oak Brook, Ill. The heart of the medical center campus, Loyola University Hospital, is a 561-licensed-bed facility. It houses a Level 1 Trauma Center, a Burn Center and the Ronald McDonald® Children’s Hospital of Loyola University Medical Center. Also on campus are the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, Loyola Outpatient Center, Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine and Loyola Oral Health Center as well as the LUC Stritch School of Medicine, the LUC Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. Loyola's Gottlieb Memorial Hospital campus in Melrose Park includes the 264-bed community hospital, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness and the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Care Center.

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