We know you’re a go-getter. We know that you’re probably up before most and hustling until sundown. In all the chaos that sometimes ensues as plans stack up and days fly by, it can easy to let your physical fitness slip by the wayside. At the end of the day you may be too tired or too busy (After work cocktails, anyone?) to find your way to the gym. What if we told you that you could put your health first, as it always should be, and still ace your busy day with time to spare?
When you need a break at the office or feel like having a super-productive lunch hour. If your 9-5 leaves you tight on time try these quick hacks that will bring the gym to you.
Core: Sit on an exercise ball in your cubicle.
If your desk is in a relatively private area, your bosses won’t likely mind you sitting on an exercise ball. Be sure to sit up straight and engage your core. Without the backrest and seat of a chair to hold you up, the work of balancing yourself on the ball is all up to your stomach and back muscles. You can sit, send e-mails, and still be doing an exercise akin to a stationary sit-up all at once. Even if only for an hour a day, this passive form of exercise yields excellent results that tone and improve your posture without even having to take off your blazer!
Legs: Take the stairs in your building!
Imagine a perfect world where you didn’t get stuck in the elevator with your least favourite co-worker or awkward supervisor. Imagine not holding your breath all the way up to your floor because a bike courier forgot to wear deodorant that day. Imagine not being crammed in with sneezy co-workers during flu season! How? Take the stairs! Work those legs, tone your butt, and get your heart rate up a little by climbing the stairs at a slow and steady pace. You’re doing yourself the double favour of simple exercise and a little alone time to mentally unwind. Feeling extra limbre? Do two stairs at a time.
Arms + Back - Lift and Lower
Our arms and backs likely get the least amount of exercise in an office setting. There are few occasions where we really need to work our upper body in day to day work settings. To counter this, lock your office chair’s wheels so that it doesn’t roll away on you, and use it to lift and lower your body using only your arms for support. Hover yourself over the edge of your seat with your palms planted on the seat, fingers gripping the edge. Bring your knees to a table top position and bend your elbows to lift and lower yourself, floating your lower body in a seated position from the chair to the ground and back up. This is a great low impact upper body workout that will have your arms and shoulders toned with a few sets of reps each day.
Full Body: Stretch
After sitting in front of a computer all day, your muscles may be more stressed that you know. The repetitive motions of reaching for files, being seated, and even resting your wrists on your desk or mouse pad start to take a toll on your body which naturally likes it when you switch things up. Find a quiet area in your office like a boardroom that isn’t in use for example, and have a good stretch. A gentle back bend will help your spine and core. Or bend your knee with your heel touching the back of your thigh in a standing position and give your leg a gentle pull to stretch the muscles in the front of your legs and open up the hips to counteract being seated for so long. Take deep, mindful breaths as you do so. Stretching is a natural rejuvenator and deep breathing decreases stress.