Made a resolution to whip yourself into shape this New Year? Congratulations — that’s a big next step! Still if you’re limiting yourself to exercising in your off-time, you’re missing out on a big opportunity. In fact, there’s lots you can do to get fit in the office and save yourself time, too; after all, when you’re sneaking exercise into your everyday office routine, you can cut down on your gym routine, saving that time instead for family, friends, and plain old fun.
So, how can you hack your office workday to put fitness at the forefront? Let’s take a look.
Use a Standing Desk or a Treadmill Desk
Chances are, you’ve probably heard all about how sitting for many hours each day can kill you, and that using a standing desk can help mitigate some of these risks. But what you might not have considered are the ways in which using a standing desk can help you shed pounds and stay fit. It’s a simple yet powerful idea: when you’re standing, you’ll need to engage the muscles in your legs and in your core to keep yourself upright. This in turn builds more muscle, which burns more calories, keeping your heart pumping nicely and relieving pressure from your musculoskeletal system.
Results are even more pronounced when you use a treadmill desk, which gets you walking slowly throughout the day. In fact, if you were planning on getting fit this New Year by walking, there’s no need to save it for your post-work routine. Just walk while you work!
That said, going from sitting to standing or walking all day is a big shift, and you’ll want to train up so that you don’t injure yourself as you go. Start by doing just 15 minutes at a time, taking ample breaks to sit down, and then build up from there, just like you would when training for a running race. Wear good shoes, and make sure to stretch throughout the day to challenge your muscles into moving in new ways and keep the blood flowing throughout your body. Pretty soon, you’ll be making your very own desk workout videos.
Sit on a Medicine Ball
Sitting on a medicine ball as you type the day away on your wireless ergonomic keyboard may be great for your posture, but only if concentrate on making it so. In fact, if your core is relatively weak, you’ll find yourself hunching, thereby negating all of the good the medicine ball can potentially do.
Instead, consider the medicine ball a fantastic opportunity to strengthen your core, just like you would at the gym. Stay strong as you sit, and try out any one of these medicine ball exercises when you’re looking for a break. You’ll have no time to snack on those leftover holiday treats in the breakroom when you’re busy working out at your desk!
Speaking of which, even if you don’t opt for a medicine ball, there are plenty of ways to deskercize. Lunges, calf raises, and shoulder rolls will all build your muscles and stretch you out, while a good pair of dumbbells stored beneath your desk will allow you to sneak in a few curls as you navigate that important sales call. Who said finding time for exercise was hard?
Go for a Spin on Your Bike
Sick of the daily car commute? Swap it out for a spin on the bike. You’ll love getting to see the city or countryside as you go, and your body will appreciate the morning pump up and afternoon wind down. You’ll work so much better with endorphins pumping through your body, and your heart and musculoskeletal system will enjoy the daily challenge.
Pedal the Day Away
Can’t bike to work? Not a problem. Just place a DeskCycle beneath your desk and pedal the day away without your cubicle neighbor having knowledge of what’s going on. Alternatively, try our a mini-elliptical. While these items won’t get you as fit as an intensive and dedicated workout session, they’ll build your muscles slowly throughout the day, and keep your energy levels high. Just another benefit to working out while you work.
Hold Walking Meetings
Ever nodded off in the middle of a meeting? That’s a lot harder to do if you’re walking while you’re talking. Walking meetings are a great workout for your cardiovascular system and your brain. What’s to lose? Alternatively, try walking rather than driving to lunch, and taking the stairs rather than elevator whenever you can. Sneak movement into unexpected moments in your day, and you’ll be surprised how fast it all adds up.
In fact, with all of this surreptitious office fitness, you’ll probably want to invest in a FitBit or another kind of movement application tracker, so you can have a good sense of just how much you’ve really pumped it up, Arnold Schwarzenegger style.
Do you have great fitness goals for the New Year? How do you plan on accomplishing them? let us know your master plans in the blog comments!