Most of us work in offices these days. That’s nice in the sense that the coffee maker is close at hand and someone usually brings doughnuts. Plus the air conditioning. It’s not possible to sing enough praises about the wonders of air conditioning. The downside though, is that we don’t really have a lot of opportunities to get much in the way of exercise during the course of a given day, and no, trips to the break room to get another doughnut don’t count. Below, you’ll find a number of things you can do throughout your workday to get a bit of a workout in.
Ditch the Elevator
Let’s start with the most basic and obvious one. If you are in the habit of riding the elevator up to your cozy little corner of workplace Nirvana, stop. Take the stairs instead. If you work in a highrise, stop four floors below your office and walk the rest of the distance. Gets the blood pumping and gets your day off to a good start!
You have to be standing to do these, but if you’re at the copier or scanner anyway, it’s as good an opportunity as any. Simple to do, really. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and stand on your tip toes. Hold that position for a five count, then slowly lower. Give yourself 20 reps of that each time you do it.
This one can be done without anybody even noticing. While sitting at your desk, just raise and straighten both legs out in front of you. Hold for a ten count and lower. Start with ten reps and work up from there.
An isometric exercise that can also be done at your desk. While sitting, simply tighten your abdominals as tight as you can, and hold for a ten count, then release. Do 10-12 reps of these for a start, increasing as you’re able.
The “Secret Handshake”
Clasp your hands together as though you were shaking your own hand, with one thumb pointing up toward the ceiling, and the other, down toward the flood. Then pull. Try to break your own grip by pulling out of it, but resist. You’ll feel your biceps responding. Hold for a count of twenty. Do as many reps as you’re comfortable with to give yourself a benchmark, then move up from there as you’re able.
Desk Chair Ab Swivel
Obviously, this one only works if you have a desk chair that swivels, but if you do, why not use it to your advantage? With feet off the floor, and holding the edge of your desk with fingers and thumbs, use your core muscles to spin the chair back and forth. 15-20 reps to start.
Rolling Chair Pull
If your chair has wheels, you can strength your core by rolling back from your desk until you can just barely touch it, then, gripping with fingers, pull yourself forward until your chest is touching the desk, then slowly push yourself back out again. Ten reps for a start, and watch for people behind you!