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1. Commute on your bicycle — This one is almost a no-brainer. It’s called multitasking (commuting and working out in one) and saves you money to boot (no bus fare or gas money). 2. Brownbag your lunch — The benefits here are two-fold. You control the quality (low-fat vs. whatever’s available to you) and quantity (normal-people portions as opposed to what restaurants and nearby delis think is normal) of the food you eat. Brownbagging also saves you moolah. Less Money + Less Pounds = Big Gains. 3. Drink oceans of water — The recommended eight to 10glasses a day may seem like a lot, but your skin and digestive system will thank you for it. The obvious benefit? It flushes out your system. The hitch? It keeps the toilet flushing, too. 4. Stock up on healthy snacks — Keep healthy snacks at your desk for impromptu hunger pangs. The benefits? Keeps you satisfied and saves you trips to the snack machine where temptation lurks. Ideal boosts for midmorning blahs include portable fruit like bananas, oranges and apples. Also keep a stash of dried fruits like raisins, apricots, pears, and peaches in your desk. For 3 p.m. stomach rumblings, dip into a bag of precut carrots and dip them in low-fat cottage cheese or salsa. Or the oft-appreciated container of yogurt. 5. Stretch your quads at your desk — Flextime at the office takes on a whole new meaning. If you’re feeling tense, do a few shoulder shrugs or rolls. Fitness instructor at Equinox Fitness Centers, Peyton Bryant, suggests good ol’ fashioned butt squeezes. “People don’t realize what a difference simply squeezing your butt can do.” In fact, she also recommends you squeeze your butt when trying to fit into a snug pair of pants or dress. It works like magic. Just do it! Try these exercises right now! Here are three sample exercises from Desk Workout for Beginners compliments of Thrive Online. FINGER FLICKS: Put your hands out in front of you. Make a fist, then spread your fingers wide. Open and close your hands quickly. Repeat eight to 12 times. DESKTOP PUSH-UPS: Sure, you might look silly, but if anyone dares mess with you, just give them an upper cut with your newly beefed-up biceps. Here’s how to work ‘em: Stand a few feet away from your desk. Place your hands on the desk, shoulder width apart. Keep your back straight. Lower your chest toward the desk, then push out. Don’t rush. Repeat eight to 12 times. COMBO ROCK CALF CALISTHENICS: Sitting down, put your feet comfortably on the floor in front of you. Keep your heels on the floor and lift your toes up. Then put your toes down and lift your heels up. Feel the stretch. Repeat eight to 12 times. “Stretching at Your Computer or Desk” by Bob Anderson offers some interesting desk-side fitness. For example, do a quad stretch while you wait for copies at the copier machine, upper-body stretches while waiting for a file to download and stressed-out stretches like head rolls and wrist flicks (the punching bag as boss’s head exercise was suspiciously absent). Stretch your body and your dollar by saving $5.00 when you purchase both the book and its companion software StretchWare — “The software that reminds you to stretch” at Shelter Publications. Beachside workouts from your desk. Warm up on Montara Beach or in the Redwood Forest in Muir Woods, do some low-impact aerobics on the Golden Gate Bridge and then finish up with a cool-down in Alcatraz. All from the comfort of your desk. It’s easy. Visit OfficeWorkout.com, and work your body to the sights and sounds of crashing surf. Not a gym rat and don’t intend on becoming one? You’re in luck. Participants in two separate studies who learned to fit more moderate activities into their daily routines — such as brisk walking, taking the stairs, and yard work — achieved about the same health benefits as those who engaged in traditional gym workouts, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. Attention, Equal Opportunity Employers! We know what you’re thinking. And it’s been documented. The taller, prettier and skinnier prevail. � Tall men earn 10 percent more than short men � Tall women earn 5 percent more than short women � Handsome men earn 15 percent more than their less attractive counterparts � Attractive women earn 10 percent less than their plain-Jane counterparts � Thin women earn 5 percent more than heavier women The salary gap between obese men and average-weight men is negligible. And last, Italians work harder for a good-looking employer. In a Europewide study on workplace practices, 95 percent of Italians placed the importance of physical appearance at the top of their list.

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