With the winter months in full swing, it’s easy to feel cooped up and lethargic when stuck in the office all day. When it’s dark when you leave for work and dark when you get home, it can be draining on your motivation to work out. If you don’t have the option of going to the gym or a workout class, that basically leaves you to fend for yourself on how to get that daily burn in.
It’s suggested that you should get at least a half hour of physical activity in every day, more if you are looking to lose weight. At the minumum, 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity 5 days of the week or shorter bursts if you are doing vigorous activity. This means doing enough to increase your heart rate and labor your breathing. If you are one of the millions of people on the Fitbit craze, setting a goal for yourself of at least 10,000 steps a day is a good start. However, if you are relatively sedentary at the moment, any increase in your daily physical activity should have a small benefit on your overall health.
The problem many parents face is that they have to get up early for work, make their kids lunch, get them ready for school, get themselves ready for work, and then commute to work. Then they work all day, drive home, have to make their family dinner, help the kids with homework, walk the dog, and get the kids ready for bed. Even if you don’t have kids, it’s still hectic to fit everything into the day that you would like to.
The solution? Use your time wisely! Which may be easier said than done, but it’s doable! Trust me! Try fitting little exercises into your workday. Most people are required to take a lunch break and even 10-15 minute breaks in the morning and afternoon. Instead of blowing off these breaks, use them to your advantage! Sitting all day isn’t good for your health and can make you feel sluggish and irritable. In fact, if you are looking for ways to become more productive, adding exercise into your day is the perfect solution! Just getting up and moving more during the work day is shown to boost brain cells, increase your energy levels, and release endorphins that can increase your ability to prioritize tasks. Sound like a win-win? It is!
It’s beneficial to get up and walk around at least once an hour, just to get your blood moving. Simply standing at your desk periodically is also a great way to just get off of your bum! Try investing in a standing desk or even a little mount to just boost up your keyboard. Or even a yoga ball chair is a great way to keep your core engaged. Walking in place is also an easy one to do while you work.
Here are some exercises to do in your office or at your desk. Try doing 3 sets of 15, with a 30 second to 1 minute break in between sets.
Doing this exercise with your toes pointed in different directions works different muscles.
Simply step back from your desk and into a lunge, repeating for both legs. (Don’t let your front knee go past your toes!)
Desk plank or desk push-ups
Really keep your abs engaged for these.
Squats or chair squats
This is as simple as it sounds. While you’re sitting at your desk, simply squeeze your cheeks together and hold for 10 second intervals. Best part about it is that no one can tell you are doing it – so feel free to do it at all your work meetings!
Side leg lifts
While seated at your desk, bend sideways and reach towards the floor with your hand. Repeat with the other side, trying to keep your obliques (side muscles) engaged.
Kick your leg back, trying to squeeze you butt muscles as you do. Repeat with both legs.
Rocking on your heels
Simply rock back and forth from your toes to your heels.
Hold for as long as you can, take a one minute break, and then repeat again.
Standing mountain climbers
Bring one knee up as you bring your opposite arm up.
Grab some books and straighten your arm back, bend them forward, and repeat again
Roll your shoulders back and forth (good for stress!)
Writing with your toes
Write the alphabet with your toes while sitting at your desk
Chair/desk tricep dips
Punch across your chest
Just make sure not to punch your neighbor or customers!
Grab a book and bring it up above your head. Hold it straight and slowly lower it down behind your head, repeating. You should feel the burn in your triceps as you continuously work those muscles.
And there you have it! Hopefully these give you some ideas about how you can add some simple exercises into your workday! Have anything to add to this list? I’d love to hear from you!
Please consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program. As always, never push your muscles farther than what you think you are capable of doing without hurting yourself.