Do you ever feel imprisoned by your desk? A heavy weight that holds you down from 9-5? I find myself thinking often – I need to find ways to get moving during the day.
I reached out to Tara Dion, owner of Neon Dion Fitness, to provide some awesome tips to build in a few extra moves into your day.
Tara - I spend a lot of time in the office, specifically at my desk. Any tips or tricks to get in movement/exercise throughout the day that doesn’t interrupt my day job?
The desk job, the anti-exercise, the terrible downfall of our previous fit selves, or at least that’s how I think of it. After getting my master’s degree and going back to work full time, the pounds slowly began to creep up on me! We are expected to work like crazy all day, while sitting! It leads to what I like to call FBS, Flat Butt Syndrome. Symptoms include weight gain, irritability and of course…flat butts. How to treat FBS: move around as much as you can!
Don’t spend your lunch break sitting at your desk (or going out to get unhealthy food either!! ). Bring your lunch and always have an umbrella and a comfortable pair of shoes handy to eliminate all excuses and take a brisk walk! Enjoy your lunch off-site. Even better, find a walking buddy you work with to keep you accountable.
Take mini walks around your building or floor. Try one every hour!
If you are in a more strict work environment and need to stay at your desk most of the day, there are a few exercises you can do at your desk:
- Ab Breather: Simply sit up straight, take a deep breath in contracting your stomach muscles, hold for 15 seconds and breathe out in 4 long breaths. This will help to build your ab muscles. Just try to do this silently if you share an office or are in a cubicle.
- Magic Carpet Ride: Sit up straight, cross your legs, lift yourself up onto the arms of your chair (see example below). This will build serious arm strength. When asked what you’re doing, tell your coworkers you are taking a magic carpet ride. Watch them back away slowly, they probably won’t be making any more requests from you for the rest of the day although don’t be surprised if you’re contacted by HR in the next couple days to check and making sure you’re “feeling okay”. ha!
- Desk Pushups: Simply stand about 4 feet from your desk and support your hands on the edge of your desk. Your body should form a straight line. Stand on your toes and do pushups! Do 20 at a time until your coworker walks in and you can pretend as though you were casually leaning over to look at something under your desk and say “Oh, here’s that pen I was looking for!”. I guess step one should be place a pen under your desk just in case.
Mia attempting the Magic Carpet Ride…
One of the biggest excuses I hear, and I’m at fault myself, is that we don’t have enough time to work out. Between work, errands, maybe kids and housework…exercising falls short. Do you have any tips to get small workouts in?
I would say that is very important to try not to let you exercising fall short! Make sure to schedule time into your day for working out! Self care is so very important to ensure that you have more energy and are less stressed when dealing with all of your other responsibilities throughout the day. That doesn’t mean you have to schedule two hours into every day to go home from work, get dressed, drive to the gym and then go home to shower. For me, it means waking up 35 minutes earlier than normal and pushing play on my dvd player to get in my morning sweat session!
If you have kids with you throughout your entire day, involve them in your workout! Think of it as bonding time and show them that you value your health and fitness so they grow up with those same values! Toddlers can make great weights (ha!) or do a fun dvd workout with your older children.
Also, as you run your errands throughout your day, just try to get in as much movement as possible! Don’t choose the parking spot up front at the store, pick that one way off in the back! I personally like to go stock up on sparkling water once a week on my lunch break and I park way at the back of the parking lot, don’t grab a shopping cart and carry the cases picturing the calories melting off! Ha! Make it a game for yourself, exercising should be fun!
Tara – these are excellent tips and good motivation to at least try and get a little bit in every single day! I’m not only going to try and get myself moving – but see if I can get a few coworkers to join in!
*This post was underwritten by Neon Dion Fitness.