Whether you’re in busy season, or really any other time of the year, making time for exercise is often swept under the rug when work is piling up on your desk and deadlines rapidly increase. If you’re worried about missing out on the exercise you need – or want to mix up your day with a few healthy movements – check out these easy exercises you can do without leaving your office.
1. Start strong on stairs. Give yourself a burst of energy in the morning by walking past the crowded elevator and into the stairwell. Beginning the morning with a bit of extra movement can set the tone for the rest of the day.
2. Find another floor. Go ahead and grab your morning coffee, but try to hit that stairwell once more and find a coffee machine on another floor. Your legs will thank you, and you may just discover a cool new work spot, and as a bonus, perhaps meet new people you never even knew worked in your building.
3. Stretch it out. When the folders, papers, and deadlines pile up on your desk, your body feels it, too. Try releasing some tension by doing slow shoulder rolls backwards and forwards, which will give those fingers a short break as well. Next, treat your neck to some relief by rolling it both directions. To effectively feel the stretch, imagine placing your ear on one shoulder and drawing full circles with your chin. Your head will follow, resulting in a full neck roll and eased tension. Your desk may look the same once you’re done, but your attitude towards tackling those piles will be different.
4. Dip those triceps. Give your legs a break from all that stair climbing and try to work your arms. Grab both sides of your chair and lift yourself out up of it, relying solely on your arms for strength. Push yourself up, and lower back slowly, not allowing yourself to find a fully seated position within the chair. Set a certain number of goal reps for yourself, and try to increase that number every day. If your chair is not stable, modify the movement and use your desk as a base.
5. Under desk leg raises. Want to get a leg workout in without drawing the attention of the entire office? Sit at the edge of your chair and raise one leg parallel to the floor under your desk. Hold straight out for 10 seconds, followed by 15 slight pulses upwards. Switch legs. Do this every day, and soon you’ll be using that strength to hold your legs up for minutes at a time.
6. Love your lunch break. Instead of driving to the local sandwich shop, bike there or find somewhere within walking range. If you pack your lunch, take a brisk walk around the neighborhood or office once you’ve finished eating. Not only will the walk be helpful physically, but it can provide your state of mind with a refreshed outlook when you return to your office.
7. Invest in exercise equipment. With more and more people working 40-hour plus work weeks, accessible and helpful workout equipment can be incredibly beneficial. Between standing desks and under desk ellipticals, there are plenty of options to help support your office workout quest.
While it’s not running miles around the track or lifting heavy weights, sneaking a few of these subtle exercises into your work day can make a huge difference in maintaining your physical well-being, as well as balancing your mental health during your most stressful time of the fiscal year.