Working out or any form of physical fitness is essential especially for those working in an office all day. As silly as it may sound, there are some people who do small workouts in their offices during the day. It not only justifies a Snickers bar after lunch but is also a great way to keep your energy levels up throughout the day and keep your sanity while working in a mundane office environment. Most people are hesitant to start ‘working out’ in their office space, but after they try a few of these small exercises, they start doing it out of boredom.
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When standing up to stretch a little, why not do a discrete workout session that benefits your calves? While standing tall, rise up to your toes as tall as you can, and keep this position for a few seconds. You can hold the desk or chair for balance if you need to. Slowly lower yourself back to the ground, and repeat a couple of times. Over time this will help your calves, but even doing it a couple of times a week can be beneficial for your health, as sitting all day is not only bad for your muscles, but your posture and blood flow as well, and these standing workouts go a long way.
Everyone knows about squats. They’re the ultimate peach-booty workout. When you have a couple of minutes alone, just do as many as you feel comfortable with. If you can find a minute per day when you can comfortably do this, you’re doing a lot of good for your body. But remember, these office workouts are not meant to make you sweaty and exhausted, don’t go overboard.
Another basic classic workout move is the wall sit. This engages your core and helps your balance at the same time. Find an empty space on the wall, and press your entire back against it. Once your entire spine is flat against the wall, lower yourself until you’re in a ‘seated’ position with your legs too. Just stay in that position for 10-20 seconds, and slowly stand back up. You can implement the calf raises too, if you slowly rise on your toes after standing up from the wall sitting. If you’re brave enough, you can even try working like this for 1-2 minutes to really challenge your core. Just set your chair aside for a little bit and pull your desk closer to the wall.
This can be done anywhere, anytime. Oblique twists use the best feature of the rolling chairs: their 360-degree turn capabilities. Sit with your back straight – just like your mom taught you -, grab onto the edge of the desk, and turn from one side to the other 10 times. This helps a lot with your waistline and stretches your core. If you want to make a deep stretch out of it, take a deep breath in before you turn, and exhale while turning to one side. While in that position, take five small breaths, each time going deeper into that turn. Do this on both sides a couple of times, and your waistline will thank you later.
The founder of the office workout, and the ultimate stealth fitness, is simply taking the stairs any chance you get. This can even start at home when going to work. And if you’re working on the 22nd floor and don’t fancy yourself a masochist, just get off two floors below your own and walk that small amount. And remember: floors work both on the way up, and the way down, so try to implement both directions into your day.
This is one of the best workouts to do if you work in a crowded office and don’t want to get caught. Sit tall in your chair with your pelvis positioned slightly forward. Pull your belly button up and in, and brace your core. Imagine that you’re about to get hit in the stomach, and you’re trying to prepare yourself. Hold this for 10-20 seconds, and then release for a few breaths. Repeat as many times as you feel comfortable with.
A little more advanced than the ‘secret core’, but just as stealthy, the ‘leaning core’ starts with moving to the edge of your seat. Engage your core, just like in the exercise before this one (get ready to be punched in the stomach), and with your back completely straight, start leaning back. Lean as far as you can, and stay in that position for 10-20 seconds. If that isn’t challenging enough, you can make it harder by lifting one of or both your feet off the ground as well.
Keeping your posture as straight as possible, while seated, squeeze your inner thighs together as much as possible. Imagine that you have a million dollars between your legs and you don’t want to drop it. While keeping your thighs squeezed, straighten one leg and pulse it a few inches upward 20 times. Switch legs, and then take a breather. Repeat as many times as you feel is enough.
These basic and easy exercises may not seem like the tasks that will grant you your desired summer body. But doing it just a couple of times a week can help your blood flow stay healthy, it can stretch your core, help with your balance, and correct your posture, which are all things that can make your everyday life that much easier. And if you do these every single day, and implement a couple of full workouts every week, believe it or not, they can help you reach a goal weight or form as well.