Between carting the kids to school, cooking dinner, working a full-time job and the million other things that need to be done on a daily basis, who really has time to workout? If this lifestyle sounds familiar, or your gym clothes have gone unworn for far too long, you know that exercise falls at the bottom of the to-do list, if it even makes it on there. Unfortunately, busy schedules prevent many people from staying active even though it’s a crucial element for a healthy lifestyle.
The Mayo Clinic recommended you get 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week. Even at just over 21 minutes per day, it can still be difficult to find time to workout. However, that doesn’t mean you should skip it. Just fit it in where you can, and the office is a great place to do that. Here are three exercises you can do at work:
“Walking is a great moderate aerobic activity that can be done while at work.”
1. Replace your desk chair with an exercise ball
Big, bouncy exercise balls are becoming the new office chairs. Without a back to lean into or armrests to slump over, you can focus more on how you’re sitting, which means you may end up with better posture. Additionally, you can get a mini workout in all day long. After all, there is a reason this equipment is found in nearly every workout facility. Physical therapist Cheryl Soleway explained to NBC News that your trunk and abdominal muscles contract to keep your balanced on the ball – otherwise, you’d fall off! Utilizing these muscle groups throughout the day is just one extra thing to promote a healthier lifestyle and get in a few more minutes of exercise.
2. Work your legs under your desk
The lower half of your body is covered by a desk when you’re in the office, which provides the perfect opportunity to get in a discreet workout. Try doing leg lifts every afternoon. To perform this exercise, extend one leg out directly in front of you while you sit in your office chair, holding this position for two seconds, Forbes explained. Then, raise the leg as high as it can go and hold for another two seconds. Do this 15 times on each leg to work your lower muscles.
You can always leave a pedal exerciser under your desk, too. By just pedaling away while you type, you can get your workout in while you’re doing your job.
3. Go for a walk
Walking is a great moderate aerobic activity that can be done while at work. Find every opportunity you can to get in a few steps. Take the stairs rather than the elevator when heading to lunch. Walk across the office to talk to someone instead of picking up the phone. Or simply stroll around the office every hour or so.
Kill two birds with one stone by exercising outside. You not only burn some calories, but you’ll also get that much-needed breath of fresh air. To do this, you may have to rearrange your schedule a bit. For instance, save room in your afternoon break for a walk outside. You may benefit from bringing a more practical shoe option to change into before taking your walk.
Need some encouragement to get that at-work exercise into your daily routine? Always have a personal massager on your desk. Not only will it deliver neck and back pain relief to the tension built up from slouching in an office chair all day, but it also makes for the perfect post-workout reward.