The majority of Americans struggle with weight issues, yet find it difficult to make the changes necessary to achieve their objectives.

The leg muscles become very weak with too much sitting, which can lead to knee, hip and low back problems. Here, performing a few simple squats, getting up from your chair and sitting down again without using the armrests, goes a long way. For the midsection, sit toward the front of the chair, lean back, keeping both feet on the floor until you feel the abdominals tighten, pause for a few seconds and return to an upright position. To strengthen the upper body, hold onto the armrests of your chair and try pushing yourself up with little to no use of your legs. Pushups can be performed standing, using a wall, desk or other sturdy surface.

These are just a few of many ways to get back on track, with no need for a gym membership or setting aside hours on end. Along with greater activity levels, reduced calorie consumption is easiest met by substituting junk foods for quality nutrient dense foods.

Due to the postural changes that occur with prolonged sitting, it is also important to take time to stand up and stretch out throughout the day. This only takes a minute here and there and does wonders for joint stiffness and stress relief.

Marjie Gilliam is an International Sports Sciences Master certified personal trainer and fitness consultant. She owns Custom Fitness Personal Training Services LLC. Send email to

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