No time to fit in your fitness? We’ve heard that excuse more times than we can count. Sure, your calendar may seem jam-packed with meetings, social gatherings, and your kids’ extracurricular activities, but if you get creative with a bit of multitasking, we promise you can squeeze more fat-burning opportunities into your day.
When you ask? At work!
Worried your boss will be all up in your business (and not in a good way)? Don’t worry, these exercise sessions will be minimal on the sweat and easy enough to do while still tackling any task to come across your desk. You might even feel more energized throughout the day in comparison to staying in a sedentary zone for eight or more hours a day. More energy equals more productivity–aka big points with the boss!
How to Work Out at Work
You already know your free time at the office–before your workday starts, after it ends, and during lunch–is primed for getting fit. You can take walks with co-workers, use the company fitness facility, or self-power your commute by riding to and from your company. These are all great options and ones we strongly encourage. However, they’re typically not ones you can do at your desk while simultaneously taking calls, sending emails, solving problems, and following processes.
Instead when you’re ready to boost the activity level of your work day, give the exercises below a try. All can be done in everyday clothes (though for safety’s sake, maybe slip off those high heels when more movement is required) and without having to worry about breaking into a smelly sweat, which leads to showering and redoing your hair and makeup. If you’ve got nosy co-workers, consider giving them a heads up on what you’re up to. Better yet, make it a competition and create a challenge chart to track each person’s progress. (Bonus points if your boss views your efforts as a team-building activity!)
7 Get-Fit Exercises to Do at Your Desk
- Desk Dips: Use the edge of a stationary chair or your desk to strengthen your triceps, chests, and shoulders with a dip exercise. Place your palms on the edge so that your arms are next to
your body. Walk your feet out in front of you, and slowly lower your full body, bending at the elbow until your upper arms are parallel with the floor. Push through the palms of your hands, engaging your upper body to return you to the starting position. Work reps in randomly throughout your day as time allows.
- Angled Push Ups: You don’t need to be in a plank position to see the results of doing push ups. For a more work apparel-appropriate version, angle your body against your desk to put in your push ups. Place an open file or printed document in front of you so you can read at the same time.
- Ball Sits: Ditch your desk chair and do a balancing act on a large exercise ball. This kind of seating can help to strengthen your midsection while also improving your posture.
- Seated Knee Lifts: If you’re the clumsy type or are worried about falling off an exercise ball, keep your traditional chair and add in some seated knee lifts to work your abs. To do, sit up straight with your feet on the floor and your knees bent at right angles. Tighten your core and lift your right foot off the ground a few inches. Hold for five seconds and lower down. Repeat with the left foot. The easier these reps become, the longer to extend the holding period.
- Booty Boosters: No one even needs to know you’re exercising with this seated buns of steel move. Simply tighten your butt cheeks together and hold for at least 10 seconds. Release and repeat…it’s that simple!
- Squat Sits: Pretend as if you’re going to sit down and back into your office chair and just as your cheeks graze the seat, stand back up again. There are great when you’re on a conference call (not a video one, that is!) where you can move around and still be productive at the same time.
- Standing Lunges: Waiting for a large file to download? Step out on one leg from a standing position and lower your body toward the ground so that your front leg is in a right angle and your back knee taps the floor. Step back to return to the starting position before completing a rep on the other side.
Don’t Forget to Stretch!
Sitting at work can take a toll on your body. Often times, many of your daily desk motions are forward-facing, meaning your head, neck, and shoulders are too rounded, which can lead to strain and pain. If you do a lot of typing or computer work, your hands and arms can become irritated from repetitive motions caused by using your keyboard and mouse.
Give your body a break by taking short moments while reading or chatting on the phone to reverse the burden on your body. Roll your head, neck and shoulders. Stretch your front body by opening your arms wide out to the sides. Gently pull your fingers back to stretch out hands and wrists, and circle your fists to work tense forearms. Basically, if your body feels achy, use movement to give it some healthy relief.
What healthy activities do you work into your work day? Share with others in the comments.