We can always do more to be more active – until we get to the office. Right?
There, we’re tied to desk chairs, computers and phone lines for what can be house, which means there’s no time or place for a workout.
It turns out that pioneering fitness buffs before you have successfully incorporated little exercise routines into their workdays, and there’s no change of clothes required. Instead, they’ve thought up moves that are easy to perform at just about any desk and amid just about any office environment without causing a scene.
Here are five of the best, easiest and most fun moves you can do at the office. Choose the one(s) most in tune with your fitness goals and start working toward them while you work:
Take the Stairs — Two at a Time
Everyone always mentions taking the stairs as a quick and easy cardio workout, and that’s true. What’s mentioned less often, though, is how to tackle your climb. One way to walk up is to take two stairs at a time. As you raise your leg a bit higher to reach the next stair, you’ll feel the extra stretch that comes with the extra step.
Desk Chair Ab Swivels
Once you reach your desk, you can take a few minutes to work out your core. Most desk chairs swivel, which means they’re the perfect place to chisel your abs.
Sit up straight, lightly hold the edge of your desk and let your feet dangle over the floor. Then, using your core, swivel your chair from side to side. Try to hit each side 10 times per set — three sets per day should have your abs feeling the burn.
Desk chairs aren’t always known for their comfort level, which means your neck might get a bit sore while you work. Rather than simply dealing with the pain, add this move into your daily desk workout routine to strengthen and tighten the muscles of your neck.
All you have to do is lift your chin and your head all the way back without moving your shoulders. Then, reverse it and return your head to a normal position. You can repeat this motion for 30-60 seconds.
Head curls are one of a handful of great pre-work exercises, too, which warm up your facial and neck muscles for a day of meetings, in-person conversations, collaborations, etc.
Water Cooler Workout
Sometimes at work, you’ll look at the clock and realize you’ve been anchored to your desk for multiple hours. Even if it’s just to fill up a water bottle — and water’s pretty good for your body, so it’s important to fill up that bottle — head to your water cooler and get a little movement in. You could also make it a social activity, catching up with a co-worker by taking a quick walk around the office. Some people even hold mobile meetings, walking and planning at the same time.
After your brisk walk, you could add a little oomph by doing a few leg raises while you fill up your water or coffee mug. Stand up (optionally holding onto the counter for added balance) and kick one leg straight back, squeezing your leg muscles as you do so. Alternate sides for a complete lower-body workout.
Just keep an eye out for anyone coming up behind you. They may not appreciate a swift kick, even if it is because you were working out.
Office-Supply Arm Curl
Is there something weighty on your desk? Be it a heavy-duty hole punch, full water bottle, paperweight or laptop, grab it and get ready for a quick bicep workout. All you have to do is hold the item and bend your arm at the elbow, pulling it up toward your shoulder. One set equals anywhere between 12 to 15 reps per arm.
Of course, these are only five moves you can incorporate into your workplace workout routine. There are plenty more. With the right combination, though, you’ll be doing more than whistling while you work — you’ll be whittling your muscles and creating a fitter, healthier you.
Savannah Hemmings is a lifestyle blogger and personal stylist. She has a passion for equal wages, guacamole and chickory coffee from New Orleans. When she isn’t writing about her favorite design trends, you can most likely find her training for her latest marathon.