If you work in an office setting, you know how many hours of your week are spent glued to a chair and hunched over a desk. Even if you hit the gym before or after office hours, you still get little physical activity at work, and it can have a negative effect on both your physical and mental health. Although you may have a hectic schedule and a stack of assignments, you can still sneak exercise into your daily routine! Here are five ways to sneak some exercise during your work day.
Turn your morning commute into a morning workout.
Instead of driving or taking public transportation to work, try walking, jogging, or riding a bicycle. This may give you the energizing start that you need to get through your day. Make sure to check ahead of time to find a safe route and see how much time you need to travel.
Try taking the long way.
This could apply to anything—like walking the scenic route to your office, parking farther away from the building, or using the stairs instead of the elevator. Whenever you need to go somewhere, there’s always an opportunity to add in some physical activity.
Get active during your lunch break.
If you don’t have time to go to the gym before or after work, you could use some of your lunch hour to work out. If the gym is too much, try speed-walking or jogging to your lunch spot, and walk back to the office afterward. You’ll not only sneak in some exercise but also help avoid that “food coma” or afternoon slump later! You know what we’re talking about.
Walk around to talk to people.
Instead of emailing and instant messaging your coworkers, how about using conversation as an excuse to take a walk in the office? Walk to your coworkers’ desks and catch up with them (even if it means walking past all those snacks in the kitchen). Do you find yourself on a lengthy phone call? Go for a walk while you talk on the phone. You won’t even notice that you’re putting in the effort to stay active at work.
Do subtle exercises at your desk.
There are plenty of subtle exercises you can do at your desk that won’t draw unwanted attention. In fact, you can exercise one of the largest muscle groups in your body while sitting at your desk: squeeze in your glutes, hold for 30 seconds, and release. Start with 10 repetitions and build from there. Or try the “desk chair swivel” by holding onto the edge of your desk while seated, raising your legs out in front of you, and swiveling the chair using just your abs. Or think about replacing your desk chair with a fitness ball; it will help you strengthen your abs as you use these muscles to compensate for changes in balance.
You might be surprised how fast all these small changes can add up to big results.
It’s time to get to work!