Being stationary all day in front of the computer screen not only adds strain to the back, wrists and eyes, but it can lead to unwanted weight gain. Abs may be made in the kitchen but are certainly maintained with consistent exercise and a good diet. Having to spend all day in the office isn’t ideal and after putting in the hours, sometimes the gym can seem like a place of torture after a stressful day. Be creative in order to keep active and use your working hours to get moving and engage your muscles. Here’s our simple and stealthy exercises to use wherever you’re working.
Stress is a major disadvantage of work and once you walk in the door, your body can often default to tightened shoulders and neck if you’re not at your most comfortable in the work environment. Kick off each day (and end it too) with a full-body flex, which will stretch the muscle groups and relax you – making you more productive and focused. Turn your head clockwise and anti-clockwise, roll your shoulders, wrists and ankles and flex your legs and arms to wake all your muscles up.
Form is everything so simply make sure your sitting properly and not slouching, which can be difficult to adhere to. Set yourself a challenge of having perfect posture for 30 minutes and see what a difference you feel (or how much of a struggle it was to get there!) Read our post on 10 tips for office ergonomics to ensure you’re getting the best out of your desk set-up.
Fight Each Flight
Take the stairs. Cuts out the annoying lift small talk and increases the heart rate instantly, even if it’s only a flight or two. Take two at a time for extra ass-kicking effects; your thighs will thank us.
Spend lunch going for a long walk outside and fill your lungs with fresh air. Try to avoid eating at your desk, or worse, working through your lunchbreak as you wolf a sandwich and fizzy drink. The change of environment will add extra focus and concentration when you return later.
Instead of picking up the phone to a colleague two floors down or sending 20 emails to get something sorted, why not walk down and speak face-to-face or agree on a meeting to crunch out ideas. Better yet, talk and walk on a walking meeting!
Wall sits will really test your endurance and strengthen the legs. Standing against a wall, lower your back and knees until your thighs are perpendicular to the wall; hold for 30 – 60 seconds before relaxing upwards, repeat.
Keep Calf & Carry On
Calf raises are the ideal icognito exercise at work. Do them while the kettle boils, take a minute or two after completing each task to practice these. Keep feet shoulder-width apart and raise your weight onto your toes, then slowly back down again. Do sets of 15 – 20. Make it harder by doing one foot at a time.
With your backside glued to the seat and chained to your desk, your glutes will absolutely suffer and lose their shape. Why not keep them engaged and toned by squeezing and holding for 10-15 seconds, releasing and then repeating. Who knows, do this enough and you could soon have a far more comfortable, cushioned seat.
Weights are not only found in the gym. If looking to stay pumped, use a filled litre bottle or heavy stapler and knock out a few reps of bicep curls, holding exactly how you would a dumbell. Get creative and mimic your arms and shoulders circuit at the gym and get them guns blazing.
Seal the deal. Clasp both hands together, with one hand’s thumb pointing to the ground and the other upwards, and pull against each one. You’ll feel the resistance in the biceps and traps at the shoulder blades. Hold for at least 10 seconds each time.
Shrug It Off
Grab hold of two paper reams or two same-weight heavy items with either hand and working in unison, lift using the shoulders. Great for tension relief!
If you have a swivel chair, use your thumb and fingers to grasp the edge of the desk and engaging your core, swivel from side to side.
Engage the abs while crunching out spreadsheets or catching up on emails. Using good breath control, and tighten the abs towards the spine as you push out air with each exhale. When at their most tightened, hold for 5 seconds before breathing in and releasing.
Lucky enough to have a shower at work? Bring in your gear and go on full on work-out mode and take a 30 minute jog at lunch or do a bit of a circuit in the nearby park. No need to sacrifice your free time, limit it to 30 minutes of your hour lunch break two to three times a week and you’re guaranteed to feel better and begin to see results.
Keep focused and change it up each day. Set calendar reminders. Make post-its your personal trainer. Needless to say snacking on the right stuff, like fruits and fresh vegetables, is key to maintaining fitness and a healthy diet, which we can help with!