They’re calling it deskercise, and it’s time you take it up. To help out your metabolism, you need to move throughout the day, even if it’s just a little bit. Unless you’re a personal trainer or up on your feet for most of your workday, you’re probably low on daily exercise.
Even if you make it to the gym after work, a sedentary workday can still have highly negative effects on your health. According to a University of South Carolina study, the more time men spend sitting around all day, the higher their chances of death from heart disease are. Even if they exercise regularly. This is because we’re not made to sit around all day. We’re made to move. Even a few minutes per hour, AKA mini-breaks, will improve your life.
Working out at work isn’t as hard as it may seem. Here are a few go-to tricks to workout throughout your workday:
Stand at your desk.
This one’s easy. Buy a standing desk. Most are extendable so you can sit for a while and then stand for a while, off and on. Standing isn’t going to burn a ton of calories, but it’s better than sitting by a long shot.
Take the stairs, as often as possible.
Even if you don’t need to go anywhere, take a break to sprint up and down the stairs a few times. Spurts of activity are great for your heart.
Run in place, do squats, or jumping jacks.
These are all activities you can do in a small space, even in a cubicle.
Take up wall sits.
They’re a great challenge, and you’re definitely surrounded by walls – no need for any equipment whatsoever! Sit and hold your position at 90 degrees to the wall for as long as possible. Start at 30 to 60 seconds.
Try out standing calf raises.
It’s easy: you stand, and you push up on your tiptoes, hold it for a second, and lower yourself down again. This is one of the easiest ways to strengthen your calf muscles. If you want to challenge yourself a little more, hold books on your shoulders to add a little extra weight.
These are similar to wall sits but easier to hide. Literally all you’ve got to do is flex your glutes while you sit. Do it until your butt hurts, take a break, then do it again off and on. Yes, it’s a very small activity. But it’s much better than nothing. Same goes for your abs. Flex away!
Bring your arm weights.
Arm weights are easy to keep under your desk. Oftentimes at work, you’ve got to stop to read through emails or instructions. While you’re reading, lift.
Lean back on your desk with your hands on the edge and your legs straight. Use your arms to lower your body, then straighten them again. Your arms are going to start lookin’ good!
They don’t take up much space, and they make next to zero noise.
Lunch break walks.
Take just ten minutes out of your lunch break to go outside and get a good walk in. The sunshine will do your mind good, too.