The workplace isn’t the greatest space to flex your muscles and strengthen your core, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up your regular routine in favor of that 9 to 5 hustle. The average person spends about 9.5 hours a day sitting on their bums, driving to work, grinding in the office, or relaxing at home. Then you spend another 7 to 8 hours asleep, laying in your bed. Pretty scary, right?
Whether you lead an active lifestyle or are trying to make good on a New Year’s resolution, cramming some exercise into your lifestyle can make a world of a difference. Don’t let that sedentary life get the best of you, these tips for incorporating a gym routine into your workday will help you feel rejuvenated and get those muscles moving in no time.
Tip #1: Stretch it Out
Believe it or not, stretching is an incredibly important part of a balanced active lifestyle that is often left on the backburner. Because you can’t see the health benefits of stretching as clearly as you can see results from an activity like bodybuilding, you likely underestimate the value of a good stretch. A simple stretch sesh can increase blood flow and circulation, sending oxygen to your brain for a quick mood refresh.
Even if you’ve hit the gym in the early morning or plan to squeeze in your favorite lift routine once you clock out, stretching works wonders for to keep your blood flowing and your body fit.
Other benefits of stretching include:
- Increased flexibility
- Corrected posture
- Stress relief
- Back pain prevention
- Increased blood flow
- Heightened range of motion
- Bettered physical performance
Tip #2: Exercise at your Desk
Ok, so you want something a little more active than stretching? Upgrading to exercising at your desk may be your answer. Kick off those women’s flats and lace up your trainers, these exercises will get your blood flowing without taking you away from your lengthy to-do list.
Exercise #1: Calf Raises
Perfect for the standing-desk employee, calf raises simply require you to raise your heels off the floor until you are completely balanced on your toes. Slowly lower yourself back down to a flat-footed position and repeat.
Exercise #2: Lateral Lunges
If inconspicuousness is what you’re looking for while stationed at your desk, a quick set of lateral lunges could be the low-key exercise for you. Stand up from your desk and spread your legs about shoulder-width apart. Lean from side to side to side until you feel a nice stretch in your hamstring and groin.
Exercise #3: Wall Sit
Find the closest wall to you and prop your back flat against it. Lower yourself into a squat position so your legs are positioned at a near perfect 90-degree angle. Hold that position for 30 seconds at a time and feel the burn.
Exercise #4: Squat
Bodyweight squats are a great way to get your blood flowing while tied to your desk. Pop up from your desk and lower yourself into a nice squat position. Check out our guide to the perfect squat if you need some extra help. Squats help fight glute atrophy which is caused by degenerating glute muscles. Whip that booty into shape!
Exercise #5: Chair Dips
You may feel a bit more awkward doing chair dips at your desk, but trust us, the payoff is huge. More on the difficult side of the exercise spectrum, chair dips require you to position your hands shoulder-width apart on your chair and extend the rest of your body forward. All of your body weight should be supported by your hands on your chair. Keep a slight bend in the elbow and lower yourself down and back up. The slower, the better!
Tip #3: Take a Break
Quit spending your lunch breaks eating your lunch at your desk and get up and out. Sometimes even a simple walk away from your desk is enough to get your juices up and running again. If you have timed breaks, try dedicating 50% of that time to moving around. Whether it’s a walk around the block or a quick 10-minute mini-workout, take the time to keep your body happy— your brain will thank you later.
At the end of the day, how your body feels is a direct result of how you treat it. Give it something to sing about by incorporating these three tips into your daily workday!