After a long day at the office, the last thing you probably want to do is go to the gym and lift weights. And chances are you don’t want to wake up at 5:00 a.m. for a spin class before work either. It’s understandable.
So, what can you do during the work day to stay active? Here are 10 easy ways to get exercise in throughout the day, even if you work a desk job.
1. Add a workout to your lunch break.
Instead of checking emails through your lunch break, take that hour and add a workout to your day. If you work near a gym, head over and do 30 minutes of cardio. If not, do a short circuit of pushups, crunches, and jumping jacks in the break room.
2. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Instead of taking the elevator to your office on the fifth floor, use the stairs for a simple way to get your heartrate up on your way to work. You’ll start to see results quickly if you make this a habit.
3. Start fun exercise challenges with your coworkers.
Don’t worry about your coworkers staring at you as you do lunges across the hall. Invite them to join in! Most people, especially those who work desk jobs, are always looking for ways to stay fit and healthy. Start the trend and create a fitness group with your coworkers to do wall sits every hour or a short yoga class during your lunch break.
4. Park your car further than usual to have a nice walk to work.
If you don’t walk or ride your bike to work, you may want to consider parking your car further away so that you can actively commute to work. Simply adding more walking to your routine can lead to a healthier you. Plus, you’ll no longer have to fight with Bob for the closest parking spot!
5. Switch out your desk chair for an exercise ball.
Sitting on an exercise ball forces you to maintain core stability and keeps you from falling into that midday slump in your comfy office chair. Just making the switch inspires many office dwellers to be more active at their desks and they’ll bounce or do leg raises to burn more calories.
6. Do squats into your chair or lunges to the coffee machine.
When you come to a stopping point in your work day and want to take a break, instead of browsing Facebook or mindlessly snacking, try little workouts right at your desk. Do some squats at your chair or lunge your way to the break room and back. Your coworkers may look at you strangely, but they might get inspired!
7. Walk while you’re on the phone.
If possible, take walks while you’re on the phone. As stated earlier, adding walks to your work day can help more than you think. So, if you’re able to walk and talk and still get your work done, choose that option and stay active.
8. Stretch at your desk when you come to a breaking point.
Just as important as cardio and strength workouts, stretching is something you can do anywhere. Throughout your work day, make it a point to stand up and touch your toes. Reach your arms across your chest to stretch your shoulders and take some neck circles to release tension and improve flexibility.
9. Power walk when running errands.
When running errands for the office, try power walking instead of taking a leisurely stroll. You’ll get your heartrate up which is great for cardio health and your boss will probably be impressed that you’re so speedy.
10. Take active breaks.
Experts say it’s good for our brains to take breaks at least every 90 minutes throughout the work day. But instead of checking emails or chatting at the water cooler, try to take active breaks. Walk the stairs a few times or do a minute-long plank. You’ll feel good about resting your brain and activating your body.
Exercising throughout your work day will not only help you maintain an active lifestyle, it can also help improve your productivity. So, it’s a win-win!