Easy Office Exercises
I’ve been feeling a bit stiff lately. A lack of exercise and daily 9 to 5 period of mostly just sitting at a desk—without much of a break to stretch—makes my muscles feel like rubber bands ready to snap. As a dedicated athlete, regular trips to the gym or hitting the pavement for a run was part of my routine. It kept me healthy, in shape, and clear minded. Lately though, I am ashamed to admit that it has been two months since I’ve seen the inside of a gym or went on a good, long run. What can I say? I’m a fulltime workingwoman. (I realize that’s no excuse… Right?)
Anyway, before I renew my gym membership and add another item to my lengthy list of expenses, I thought I’d first investigate the concept of exercising in the office. Is it possible? Yes. Convenient? Absolutely. A little embarrassing when someone walks in and sees you doing lunges? Um, yeah.
Sure, there are pros and cons to working out in the office, but it’s certainly doable, especially if you’re a combination of busy and stingy. So basically, if you’re like me.
Fight off that mid-afternoon craving, put down the candy bar, pick up a weight or an alternative (like a water bottle), and get some solid reps in. And of course, don’t forget to stretch first!
Here are suggestions to get you started:
Target Area: Hips and Thighs
Place your back straight up against a wall and squat down as if you were sitting in your chair. Do this exercise for 30 seconds four or five times in a row and you’ll be feeling the burn.
Target Area: Arms and Shoulders
If you have no storage room for weights, I suggest using water bottles or another easy office accessory, like a heavy book or stapler. Who cares if you’re not lifting 5-10 pounds? Find something that works for you. Another option is the desk push-up. Just as if you were doing a regular push-up except you’re leaning against your desk.
Target Area: Forearms, hands, wrists, fingers
If you’re having a particularly rough day and feel the need to alleviate your frustration, try using stress balls and handgrips. Both exercise accessories serve two great purposes as exercise equipment and stress relievers. Two birds with one stone!
Target Area: Abs
If you have enough room in your office or under your desk, invest in a medicine ball or a yoga ball. I wouldn’t suggest getting down and doing crunches unless you have your own office and a door without a window; instead, tighten your abs for 10 seconds at a time.
Missing out on your daily jog? Take the stairs. I’m on the 18th floor of a building and know how much of a hike it is to run down when the fire alarm goes off. (Not fun, but great exercise!) Go as far as you can and take the elevator the rest of the way, if necessary, then try to gradually the number of levels climbed.