Office Exercise: How to be fit at work | Gooding's Guide To Fitness
June 15, 2011 · 9:32 AM
If you are desk-bound at work, it may be hard to exercise between the hours of nine and five. Then, after a long day at work, you may feel drained and may skip your exercise session in the evening.
If so, consider making exercise a part of your daily routine. Getting exercise during your work day will help improve circulation, concentration, and may even help you feel energized enough to stop at the gym after work.
Consider these creative ways to make exercising at the office part of your daily routine.
1. Commute by foot or on two wheels
If possible, walk or bike to work. If you ride the bus, get off a few blocks early and walk to your office building. If you drive to work, park at the far end of the parking lot.
2. Take the stairs
If you don’t work on the first floor, take the stairs instead of the elevator. In addition, when you need a bathroom break, climb the stairs to a bathroom several floors up or down from your own floor.
3. Stretch while at your desk
It only takes a few moments to stretch a muscle group. While waiting for your emails to download, stretch your neck by rolling your head from shoulder to shoulder, or while concentrating on a conference call, reach your arms toward the ceiling and bend from side to side.
4. Use a fitness ball instead of an office chair
Using a fitness ball as a chair will force you to use your core muscles to stabilize your trunk. In some cases, the fitness ball can also help improve posture, balance, and coordination.
5. Avoid Emailing Coworkers
Instead of emailing a coworker that works in your building, walk to their office or cubical to speak with them directly.
6. Keep exercise bands in your desk drawer
Exercise bands are small, flexible, and can be stored in your desk drawer easily. During a phone conversation, or during a break from working, you could use them to do bicep curls, tricep extensions, overhead presses, and a multitude of other simple exercises.
7. Stand up
Instead of sitting during a phone conversation, stand up or walk around your office, if possible. In addition, while standing and waiting for the copy machine to reproduce your copies, do calf raises.
8. Start a lunchtime or after work walking group
Even if the walk is short, get out during lunchtime. Talk to other workers in your office about organizing a group to make it more fun, and to offer accountability.
9. Have meetings on the go
For meetings where you do not need to take notes, need a computer, or easel, take a walk while discussing the topic at hand.
10. Organize a company exercise competition
See if your coworkers are willing to participate in an exercise competition. I’d recommend making it collaborative and fun.
For example, set a walking goal for your entire office. Perhaps, collaboratively, you and your co-workers could set a goal of walking 200 miles in a month. Have each person keep track of how many miles they walk, and once this office goal is met, celebrate with a healthy food-only potluck.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to get your job done, and work toward getting — or staying — fit. Just because you work in an office setting doesn’t mean you are forever attached to your chair on wheels.
Please feel free to email me with other ideas for staying fit at the office, and also let me know how it goes. I enjoy hearing from readers.
Angie Gooding is a certified educator, ACE certified personal trainer, IFPA professional figure competitor, published author, wife and mother. Please find her on Facebook, AngieGooding.com, or inspirefitnessandtraining.com.