Here’s an age-old conundrum: it’s summer, when we’re all hoping to be our healthiest and fittest – but how can you achieve that when you’re trapped inside the office all day?
Well, good news: there’s actually a lot you can do. We’ve got a cure for the common workout—and we’re not talking zinc gluconate or cold remedies. To those cubicle prisoners, suffering from preset thermostats and fluorescent light-syndrome, fear not! We’ve compiled a list of the top office exercises that will help make you feel healthier both at work, and outside of it, too. You’ll be ready to don a bathing suit or hike and swim just as the change of the season calls for it!
Be the person who volunteers to take the mail down to the mailroom, go over to a coworker’s desk instead of emailing or calling them, head over to the cooler frequently to hydrate. Keeping your heart rate up (it doesn’t have to be heavy intensity cardio) throughout the day fires up your metabolism, ensuring that you’re burning more calories than just sitting at your desk for hours on end.
Buy a yoga ball.
You might have heard this one before, and for good reason. Yoga balls require that you stabilize your body with your abs and your back. A small tweak like this can make a big impact – on your posture, your muscles, and your overall fitness – when you consider that you sit in an office chair for 8+ hours a day.
Find your magic carpet.
For another core stabilizer, consider the Forbes-recommended magic carpet exercise. Here’s how to do this: sit in your chair with your legs crossed (keeping your feet on the seat). Placing your hands on the armrests, tighten your belly and raise yourself a few inches above the seat. Hold this for 20 seconds. Repeat five times, three times a day. You’ll see—and feel—the difference! It burns up to ten calories per minute.
Master of multitask.
Making a million copies? Waiting for the fax machine to fire up? Standing at the printer? Now is the time for some leg lifts. Simply lift one leg until it’s straight and parallel to the ground; hold for a few seconds, and then lower. Repeat 15-20 times, and then switch legs. This works on toning your leg muscles and improves your balance.
Your new workout partner…your chair.
And when everyone’s filed out for the day, you can borrow someone else’s chair (remember, you’re using a yoga ball!) to perform chair dips. First step? Make sure to grab a chair that’s stationary—we don’t want you rolling around! With your back facing the chair, squat down so that your hands are on the seat of the chair, palms down. Then slowly lower your body downward, making sure you’re using your arm strength (and not momentum!) to control the body movement. And then raise your body upward—again, ensuring it’s your arms that are doing the work. That’s one rep. Start off by trying up to 8; then increase to 3 sets of 12. Pretty soon, you’ll be trying to work overtime to have the entire gym—err, office—to yourself
Between your abs, your back, your arms and your legs, we think we’ve got you pretty well covered for staying healthy this summer season! Tell us – what are your secret tips for getting fit when you’re inside the office?