8 Great Moves to Stay Active at Work
Would you love to lose some weight?
Can't find the time?
We all know how a full day at work can leave us feeling tired. Even sitting at a desk can be an exhausting task, despite not doing any physical activities during our day.
"How" I can hear you ask, "can I do any exercise when I am already tired from work? I just want to relax!" Well I hear you. As an ex retailer followed by ex office worker (I was never meant to work for someone else), I was physically and emotionally drained by the end of the day.
I knew that I needed to do something to keep fit, so I picked up a few exercises that I would sneak in to my day here and there.
1. Calf Raises
Waiting for the photocopier? Kettle? Toaster? Why not work those calves at the same time!
Rise up onto the balls of your feet, squeezing the calves.
Hold for a couple of seconds and slowly lower back to the floor.
Aim for at least 10 repetitions.
Need to unpack a box of stock? Remember the phrase "lift with your knees"? Well that is essentially a squat (or a dead lift but we'll focus on squats today). If you really want to, keep the box on the floor and squat down every time you want to pick something up.
Again if you're waiting for something, photocopier, kettle, toaster; knock out some squats while you wait. Focus on form and aim for 10 reps.
How To Squat:
Imagine that you have a chair behind you.
Place your feet, shoulder width apart, toes pointing slightly out and knees following suit.
Keep the chest up and look forward.
Tilt the hips backwards and "sit" on the imaginary chair.
Remember... keep the knees behind the toes and your weight evenly distributed over your feet. No rocking onto your toes or heels.
3. Seated Leg Lifts
Do you spend a lot of your day sitting behind a desk? Try these leg lifts. You can do this throughout the day when you remember and nobody in your office will even notice!
Sit upright in your chair and tense your stomach muscles (yes we all have them) to keep your body steady.
Hold your stomach muscles tight for the whole exercise.
Start with your feet flat on the ground and knees at 90 degrees.
Keeping your knees at a 90 degree angle, slowly raise one leg off the ground as high as you can.
Hold for 10 seconds.
Slowly lower the leg to the ground and repeat with your other leg.
After raising your leg, straighten your leg out in front of you.
Hold for 10 seconds
Slowly bend your knee and lower to the ground.
Repeat on other leg.
4. Seated Flutter Kicks
Here is another great one for sitting at your desk! Do you remember swimming lessons as a kid? Can you hear the tutor telling you not to make a splash when you kick? This exercise uses the same principle.
Just like in the Seated Leg Lifts, sit upright in your chair and pull your stomach muscles in.
Raise both feet off the ground, point the toes and keep your legs straight.
Keeping your legs straight, move your legs up and down as fast as you can for 20 seconds (or slowly if you want to go undetected). Imagine you are doing backstroke in a pool. Don't make a splash!
Rest for 10 seconds & repeat. 4 times.
5. Glute Squeeze
Yes it does sound funny, but this is another great exercise that you can do, without anyone noticing. It can be completed while sitting or standing.
Slowly squeeze your bum cheeks together.
Hold for 10 seconds & release.
Repeat 6 times, rest for 1 minute and repeat.
Aim for 5 rounds.
6. Invest In A Swiss Ball
Swiss Balls are great for strengthening your core muscles! Swap your regular office chair for a Swiss ball and sit on it for as long as possible.
Aim for at least 30 minutes in the morning, and 30 minutes after lunch to start with.
As you sit upright on the ball, focus on keeping your body stable and balanced by drawing those stomach muscles in towards the spine.
7. Take The Stairs
This is probably the most straight forward thing that you can do.
Do you work in a high rise and take the elevator? Get off a floor below yours and take the stairs. Progress by taking 2 flights, then 3, before you jump in and try to climb the whole building.
Need something from upstairs? Don't rely on those vacuum pods, or a colleague to bring it down for you. A lot of the time, it's faster for you to go upstairs rather than calling and waiting for them to answer the phone.
Already take the stairs? Try running up instead, or lunging 2 or 3 steps at a time.
8. Walk To Work
OK so this isn't something that you do at work, but every little bit helps right? One of my old jobs was a 30 minute walk away, or a 10 minute bus ride. Money was a little tight back then, so I chose the walk. Apart from the exercise, walking helps you to unwind after a long day.
Whether you drive, bus or taxi to work, try these options.
Drive: Park as far away as possible from the door. If you park in a multi-story, remember number 7 and Take The Stairs.
Bus: Get off 1 stop earlier and walk the rest of the way. You can do this on the way to and from work.
Taxi: Get your driver to drop you off around the corner from your work and walk the rest of the way. Again, this can happen on the way home too.
I hope that you get some use out of this little list. I would love to hear any other exercises that you like to do at work.
Please leave your comments below!