Making Time for YOU

Kahlil Carmichael MAPCC, MDIV, CPT is the pastor of Live Well Church, in Somerset, New Jersey. He is a fitness specialist at The Fitness Doctor, a fitness and wellness consulting company; and the author of 50 Tips for a Better You. He is a contributor to Guideposts magazine. His first publication, Living Longer Living Better, is available now. Go to for more information.

March is Women’s History month; let’s celebrate all of the beautiful, hard-working women in our lives. As I make rounds at the hospital, I see women immersed in assignments, in the same place for hours–sitting at their desks. I witnessed my very own wife on a Zoom call from 8am to 6:30pm! My God, I don’t know how you do it! These powerful women deserve our honor. “She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.” (Proverbs 31:17 NIV)

We all need to work, and some tasks are urgent. How can you fit in the recommended 30 minutes of exercise daily when you can’t step away? The Fitness Doctor has the answer! I have developed an eight-minute routine designed for the office environment and you can repeat it multiple times during the day to meet your fitness goals. It will also help eliminate stiffness, neck and back pain, and the dreaded hip spread.

Start with these seated stretches:

• Put your hands flat on the desk in front of you then tuck your chin into your chest while rounding your back. After holding for several seconds, arch your back while looking up. Repeat.

• Then, holding both hands shoulder level and shoulder width apart, raise hands over your head while arching your back, then return to the original position. Repeat.

• Next do a side stretch. Reach across your body with one hand and grasp your outer hip. Lift your other arm and lean sideways, holding for 30 seconds. Repeat.

These stretches will mobilize the spine and reverse hunching, reducing fatigue by increasing blood supply and nutrients to your muscles. Stretching wakes and warms up the muscles. No more standing up after hours of sitting and almost collapsing from back spasms! Chair exercises are not just for seniors, add more to get a complete workout!

• Chair crunches will engage and strengthen the core

• Knee extensions will strengthen your quadriceps and loosen the knee

• Single-leg calf raises will contract the calf muscle and stretch the ankle

• Seated marches or knee raises to stretch the leg

• Sit and stand several times, waking and strengthening your leg muscles

• Investigate getting a standing desk for your workstation

• Go for a stroll; inside or outside! Working from home and sitting in front of a camera all day can be exhausting. But remember, movement and physical exercise is medicine. Do take a few moments and start moving right in the comfort of your office. Here is a YouTube link to a 12-minute workout you can do 3 days per week. Live well and prosper.

Fitness training is available through the Live Well Church FITCARE program, offered at the Fitness Doctor Studio in Somerset, New Jersey. Please call Karen Beasley at 732-912-4435 to schedule a free assessment

Disclaimer: The information contained in this column is of a general nature. You should consult your physician or health care professional before beginning any exercise program or changing your dietary regimen.