Six Ways to Incorporate Exercise During the Work Day
The studies are in, sitting at a desk 8+ hours a day is not good for your body. Humans were once long-distance walkers. We would walk everywhere, and we'd do everything while walking. We would eat, talk, and raise children all on the move. Today, there's a reason you want to stretch and walk around during the work day: your body craves that daily exercise.
Of course, that doesn't mean your busy work-week is any less demanding. So how can you sneak some rewarding exercise into your work day without interrupting your flow of thoughts and personal productivity? As it turns out, exercising at work every day is easier than you think.
1) "Take the Stairs"
Walking 30 minutes a day reduces risk of coronary heart disease by 19%, reduces symptoms of depression by 36%, and risk of obesity by 25%. Taking just a few extra minutes of walking in your daily routine can boost your overall fitness and the related health benefits. "Take the stairs" or, if there aren't stairs, take routes with a few extra steps.
2) Deskercise: Exercises that Take a Few Seconds At Your Desk
Deskercising is a silly word for an essential part of modern careers. These are the exercises you can do at your desk, often just a few seconds at a time. These won't draw attention to yourself as you workout while on the phone or taking a short break.
- Desk Dips
- Face away from your desk. Brace yourself with the heels of your hands on the edge of the desk. Lower and raise yourself like a backward push-up.
- Calf Lifts
- Lift on your toes and lower. Tense your glutes and, if necessary, balance with a chair or wall.
- Small-Weights Curls
- Keep small weights at your desk and do curls when your hands are free, like on phone calls or conversing with colleagues.
- Resistance Bands
- Use seated resistance band routines to exercise while you work
- Isometric Flexing
- Tense each muscle mindfully as you work. This is a slow toning exercise and increases blood flow.
3) Go Running Before Lunch
If there are some nice trails and grounds near your work, take a quick jog or power walk during your lunch break to boost your afternoon performance. Make sure your run is always before lunch to tell your body how to get your metabolism into gear and tell your body how to use the calories. Be sure to bring along a water bottle, running is thirsty work.
4) Take Walking Meetings
If you spend a lot of time on the phone for your job, consider taking walking meetings. Get a good headset and pick a route with strong signal to pace while you roll calls. This will keep your blood moving and increase your health while you get the job done.
5) Catch 15 Minutes in the Office Gym
- Elliptical Machine
- Rowing Machine
If your work building has a built-in gym for employees, make use of it. All you need is 15 minutes of elevated heart rate for a workout that will boost your daily energy and overall health. Arrive early or stay a little late. Catch a workout, or even a gym-hosted fitness class during lunch. If your business dress code is business casual or more formal, or if you work up a good sweat, bring a business-style gym bag to hold both your laptop and change of clothes for the day.
6) Standing Desk Flexing
Finally, a standing desk is a constant-exercise compromise. Standing desks allow you to do constant calf-lifts, knee raises, and flexing as you work. Many people combine a standing desk with a balance board, for example, or glute bands to double the value of their standing time for exercise.
Which one of these quick tips do you plan to implement first? Comment below! 👇
Lunch walks are my favorite! I also try to take 2 10min walking breaks – one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Just walk around the building or take a parking lot loop!
I will definitely start walking during lunch time! It’s so easy to forget to move when it’s work work work.