8 Ways to Work Out – At Work!

Posted August 29, 2013 by Adrienne Asselmeier in Life After Five

There are a lot of reasons why people don’t get enough exercise, but one of the most common is that they don’t have time. Especially with us Career Girls always on the go, behind the desk, or running (not literally) from one thing to another, time is an issue. So what are we to do when all day is spent at the office?

Work in a workout at work

Okay, so you probably don’t want to get all sweaty (unless you have a shower, which I have to say is a big selling point!), but you can do things to keep moving and maintain your energy levels instead of melting into your chair like a blob. Lifehacker had a great list recently of “Clever Ways to Get Some Exercise at the Office (Or Any Small Space)” that I loved.

Here are Lifehacker’s ways to work in a workout in a small space:

  1.  Master small-space stretching exercises.
  2. Bring some equipment you can use (like small weights or resistance bands)
  3. Mod your workspace to be more active, like with a treadmill desk.

I think these are great suggestions, and they link to other articles addressing how to get the most out of small spaces and little time. I have some tips to add to the list: these are the ways I work in a workout at work!

  • Always always always take the stairs. Okay, you might be able to get out of this if you big-time city livin’ Career Girls work on the twentieth floor, but I’d still challenge you to do it once a week. For everyone on floors two through whatever you think is not crazy—take the stairs! Take off your shoes if you have to, but don’t take the elevator unless there is no way to walk up the stairs. I think it is just plain silly to see people taking the elevator for one or two floors. I even carry my bike up and down two flights (it’s a pretty light bike, don’t worry about me). But seriously, take the stairs and get the benefit of getting your blood moving and working your legs a bit.
  • Walk to meetings or lunch. This is a two part plan because you first have to give yourself enough time to walk. If something is a mile away, even if you walk slow, that’s only a twenty-minute walk. If you pad your schedule and make sure that you’ve got twenty minutes, then walk there! You’ll get the benefits of taking a walk, and you’ll have some time to clear your head, along with not having to pay for transit, gas, or parking. Leave some kicks under your desk and you’ll never have an excuse! (Pro tip: mailing a letter within a mile or two? Hand deliver with a smile to save a stamp and get a walk in—I do it all the time to the Chamber of Commerce and it’s an excuse to walk, get fresh air, and say hi!)
  • Do squats anywhere. Sometimes I do squats in front of the copier. Sometimes I take the bigger bathroom stall and get in twenty squats before going back to my desk. Do them wherever, or lunges if you have room. Make sure you’ve got good form, and then squat away. For fun, join a monthly squat challenge or start your own. That will give you a goal to reach and a fun and fit way to pass a minute or two, a couple times a day.
  • Squeeze! Good posture has a lot of benefits, but not slumping into your chair can help you activate your abs for support and take stress off other parts of your body. If you squeeze your abs when you think about it and keep your back up straight, you’ll notice the difference in those muscles before you know it!
  • Do calf raises. You can do these in flats, or take off your shoes and do a couple in your office. You can be standing for any reason, even talking to people, and all you have to do is rock forward slightly to the balls of your feet. Tighten the muscles in your calves and thighs and just stand like that until your legs tire. Do this a few times a day and you’ll really start to feel it!

Making small steps to get in a few minutes of exercise every day can really affect your mood and energy levels, and make you feel more alert and creative at work. You’ll be less stressed, and you can gain momentum through these small steps to making bigger changes if needed (like developing a regular exercise plan).

Even if you can’t work up a sweat at work, make sure you’re not using the office as an excuse to be lazy.

About the Author

Adrienne Asselmeier

Adrienne "Dren" Asselmeier is a writer and marketing specialist. Dren has a Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature and is a blogger, runner, over-achiever, and friend to everyone. She likes to write about science-based health and fitness, small business ownership, and motivational topics.