A few months ago, I felt pretty proud of myself for my at-work workout routine. I squatted and planked whenever I pleased and lost a few pounds while working my 8-hour a day desk job.
But, then my office downsized and moved across the street.
I swapped a comfy room all to myself for a windowless closet with another co-worker, so finding ways to exercise hasn’t been easy, and I often feel gross and groggy by the end of the day.
I’m still doing well on my Aerobic April workout plan, but 30 minutes at the end of the day is barely a drop in the bucket compared to 23 hours of inactivity. In the last few weeks, I’ve gained several pounds – and it’s been a frustrating fight to lose it.
However, I’m finding a good groove in my work routine now, and I’m learning how to be sneaky with my at-work exercise.
Get a Desk Bike
I bought this Folding Desk Bike from Amazon last year as an attempt to be healthier.
However, when I got the thing, the tension was so terrible I never wanted to use it again. It’d be tight and difficult to move one second and then loose and unresistant the next.
My husband even tried fixing the tension on the bike – he took out all the screws and was ready to pull it apart, but the bike wouldn’t budge. The screws didn’t hold the bike together; the bike held itself together with or without the screws. So, we were stuck with a bad bike.
I used it once at work and decided to create by at-work workout routine instead. The bike was cheap, but didn’t seem worth it to me at the time I bought it.
That was months ago, when working out was easy.
Now, I’m desperate – and the bike is becoming a better alternative.
The bike still has terrible tension, and it squeaks loudly if I use it for too long at a stretch. But, it keeps my legs moving. The more I move, however so slowly that may be, the more calories I burn. And, the movement takes away some of the frustration of having to sit all day.
It’s possible I just got a bad product, but I think the concept is a solid one. If you can find a good desk bike that fits well under your desk, and if you have a co-worker who doesn’t mind if the bike squeaks, then a this little tool might be what you need to stave off the pounds.
Squat Before You Sit
When I started thinking about how often I sit throughout the day, I came to an important realization: every chair is an opportunity to squat. It could be your office chair, your couch, or even your porcelain throne – if you can sit, you can squat.
Many fitness experts recommend visualizing a chair behind you in order to squat deep enough until your thighs are parallel to the floor. But why visualize? Use the chair you’ve got as a subtle way to exercise.
Every time you sit, squat for a few seconds before relaxing into your chair.
If you feel uncomfortable knowing that your co-workers could catch you squatting, then the restroom is a great way to sneak it in.
The stall might not be big, but there’s room enough to squat before you *ahem* squat, so to speak – and there’s a little extra privacy and room if you pick the handicap stall.
Calf Raises When You Stand
Just like sitting is an opportunity to squat, standing up is an opportunity for a calf raise.
Instead of simply standing up, keep going by slowly raising your heels until you’re on your tiptoes. Use the balls of your feet to balance your weight. If know one is looking, lower your heels to the floor and repeat as often as you dare.
If you feel particularly edgy, try balancing on one foot as you raise up on your toes.
Take the Stairs as Much as Possible
My company has a break room with a water cooler just down the hall. Right outside the office itself is a drinking fountain.
I’m not using either of them.
Every time I need to fill up my water bottle, I go down a flight of stairs and then fill my water bottle at the drinking fountain there. I’d probably do the same every time I needed to use the restroom if I knew where the restroom was on that floor.
It may seem like a bit of a hassle, but taking the stairs whenever you can is a great way to sneak in a little extra exercise.
The more flights of stairs, the more calories you burn.
Walk During Lunch
This is my favorite way to sneak in some at-work exercise.
My lunch break isn’t long, only about 20 minutes.
But, I only need 15 minutes to eat. During the remaining 5 minutes, I use that time to take a quick stroll around the office building.
The path is nice and the weather is finally warm enough for me to not need a jacket. In fact, now that spring is in full swing, my lunchtime walk is positively gorgeous. It feels great to pull myself away from the computer screen, even if it’s only for a few minutes.
Of course, 5 minutes might not seem like much, but when you add the 5 minutes of walking with the trips up and down the stairs with the squats and the biking, it all totals to a healthier body.
Due to FTC requirements, I need to specify the arrangement I have with a company. I receive a commission for users who click on advertised links and product referrals, including books I review and apps I enjoy. If you see something that interests you, feel free to click on them – though please don’t click on everything as this becomes fraud and disqualifies me for commission. Anyways, this commission keeps my site up and running and my content free. Amazon, Paypal, or Google do not tell me what to say or what links I should put in my content – it’s all me, based on my personal experience.