18 Ways to Exercise at Work

18 Ways to Exercise at Work: Smart Approaches to Stay in Shape

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Have you ever glanced at someone in the office and thought, “How are they so fit when we spend so many hours sitting at our desk?” The answer is simple, either they allocate time at the beginning or end of their day to exercise, or they’re one of the many people who take advantage of the 18 ways to exercise at work.

The idea of exercising while at work might sound strange at first, especially if you don’t have access to a company gym, but you can guarantee that it’s going to transform not only your physical health but your mental health as well.

In fact, more employers are encouraging their employees to do some brief exercises throughout the day as it can help boost productivity and company morale.

With the help of this comprehensive guide to unique exercise tips for when you’re at the office, you’ll not only have more energy at work, but you’ll also be working towards your body goals.

What are the benefits and positive lifestyle impacts of working out at work?

Most people know the benefits of working out in general, but there are plenty of benefits to exercising at work that you might not think about.

1.  Increasing productivity

The more energy an employee has, the more they’re going to accomplish. When you start taking more time to yourself during the day to stretch, walk away from your desk, and clear your mind, you’re going to start feeling the energy flow right through you. Exercising boosts plenty of hormones, but it can also give you that extra boost you need to make it through the rest of the day.

2.  Improving self-confidence

Wearing the same work clothes can diminish one’s self-worth, especially if you are ready to finally be proud of who you are and your appearance. As soon as you start improving your life by exercising at work, you’re going to feel a surge of self-confidence that was never there before. This can help you take healthier risks, make better decisions, and become a more well-rounded employee.

3.  Giving your mind a break

It can be terrible to stare at the same screen for hours at a time or to find yourself wanting to pull your hair out because of a difficult task. However, by taking a break from your work and focusing on your body, you’ll have that mental break you need to help you gain more clarity.

4.  Influencing your workplace environment

You can guarantee that as soon as you start working out, others around you will as well. This in itself can be quite beneficial for the entire workplace as more people are going to wonder how they can use their own desks, chairs, and office supplies to their benefit. Before you know it, you’ll be the leader of the fit crew, and the positive results will all be attributed to your efforts.

5.  Healthier eating habits

There’s plenty of other things that go into a healthier and happier you than just working out, especially when it comes to the food you eat. The more active you are at work, the more likely you’ll be to stay away from sugar-filled and fat-packed meals and opt for something lighter and healthier. You certainly wouldn’t want all your hard work to go to waste, and the more you do at work, the healthier you’ll be at every meal.

So, what do I need to start exercising at work?

The first thing you might ask yourself is, "What do I need when I decide that working out at work is the right thing for me?" There are plenty of great tips and tricks that you can use to your advantage to get ready for an in-office workout without worrying about sweating through your clothes or ruining your brand-new sports jacket.

1.  Comfortable Shoes

First and foremost, it’s always best to have a pair of comfortable shoes at your desk, or kept in a drawer, for when it’s time to start exercising. Whether you decide to go for a 30-minute walk during your lunch break or if you want to take a casual stroll around the office, there’s no need to put your feet through any more torture.

You can easily find a pair of unassuming walking shoes from your local big box store or sporting goods store, or you can grab a pair from home. Depending on the dress code policy of your office, you might want to avoid attention-grabbing colors such as neon.

2.  Portable Fan

It can get pretty uncomfortable to do a couple of stretches at your desk without any air circulation, so a portable fan will quickly become your best friend. Not only does it help to keep you cool and comfortable, but it can also be useful for the people around you as well.

Most businesses shouldn’t have any qualms about small portable fans on your desk, but if you have your own enclosed office, it would be easier to use a larger oscillating fan.

3.  Deodorant and a Washcloth

You can never guarantee when you’re going to push your body to the point of sweating, and as a result, you want to make sure that you don’t raise any health and safety concerns because of your body odor.

Having a washcloth on hand gives you the ability to wipe away any sweat in the bathroom discreetly, and you can also reapply deodorant, so you feel as fresh as possible. Remember, these 18 ways to exercise at work is to get toned easily, not to sweat and disrupt your coworkers.

Now that you know the top three important things to have in your desk when you’re ready to start exercising at work, let’s talk about some great DIY exercises that are equally as easy as they are effective.

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Did you know there are also simple ways to do cardio?

Not everyone is a fan of cardio, especially if you have low endurance, but with the help of these unique exercises, you’ll be well on your way to becoming more fit in less time.

1. DIY Stairmaster

If you’re fortunate enough to work in a building that has a set of stairs, be sure to use them to your advantage. Not only should you take them to get up to your floor, but you can also use them during your lunch break to get the perfect amount of leg burn. When you’re feeling particularly risky, take two steps at a time to accelerate the number of calories burned.

2. Under-the-Desk Dance

Similar to a common soccer drill that you might have seen before, flexing your toes and calves can be a great toning method for your leg muscles. While sitting down, place your toes on the floor and tap them repeatedly to help move your legs.

Another great alternative is to stand in front of your desk and go up on your toes then lower yourself slowly and repeat this motion.

3. A Quick Jog

When lunchtime comes around, and most of your coworkers are away from their desks, there’s nothing stopping you from using your area as a personal jogging path. Take a few minutes to jog in place and if you’re looking for a really intense workout, lift your knees up to your chest as you go.

4. Taking a Brisk Walk

No matter how you slice it, there’s plenty of opportunity for a brisk walk around the office either indoors or outdoors. If you’re not in a position where you can leave the building, you can wander from cubicle to cubicle to catch up with friends or to even introduce yourself to a new employee. You can even try giving personal face-to-face memos instead of sending a bland email to all of your coworkers.

If you have a little more freedom, get outside and enjoy a breath of fresh air and some sunshine to calm your mind, rejuvenate your body, and get your blood flowing! Plus, it’ll be a welcomed change to the same indoor settings as the other 18 ways to exercise at work.

Leg and butt workouts are easier with the help of these exercises!

Sitting down all day might seem comfortable, but it certainly won’t do anything for your legs and your glutes! Use these great exercises to improve your lower body strength with ease.

5. Standing is Key

There’s a reason as to why standing desks are as popular as they are, so instead of sitting down at your desk all day, try alternating between sitting and standing. According to experts, sitting can lead to a wide variety of ailments ranging from cardiovascular disease to diabetes, and so take the time to stand as often as you can.

6. Silently Squeezing Your Seat

Just because the cushion on your chair is soft and mushy doesn’t mean that your glutes need to be as well! With the help of this great exercise, you can tone your butt within a matter of 10 seconds. All you need to do is that while you’re sitting down, squeeze your glutes as hard as you can for 10 seconds, release, and then repeat.

7. Under-the-Desk Leg Raise

As another great workout that you can do unbeknown to your coworkers, the next time you’re in front of your computer, hold your legs out in front of your body until they are straight as a board. You can then hold them in the air for up to 10 seconds at a time, release, and repeat. If you don’t have a lot of space under your desk, you can start by doing one leg at a time.

8. On-the-Wall Seat

There are plenty of places in the office where you can practice the on-the-wall seat since all you have to do is to make sure that your back is against the wall, bend your knees, and gently slide down the wall until your knees create a 90-degree angle. You can then hold that position for 90 seconds (or 60 seconds if you’re a beginner), then stand, and repeat.

Let’s talk about shoulder and arm workouts while we’re here!

Your shoulders and arms need a little bit of tender love and care as well, which is when these at-work exercises will surely become useful.

9. Office Supply Curl

Identical to a typical bicep curl, you’re going to want to find the best office tool that is weighted comfortably for you to lift repeatedly, such as a stapler. While you’re sitting at your desk (or standing), hold the stapler down to your thigh and then curl your arm upwards, bending your elbow until the stapler reaches your chest.

Continue this process until you start to feel the burn; you can also opt for a water bottle or your purse if you want some extra weight.

10. Zen Press

If you’ve been having a particularly tough day and your mind is all out of sorts, it’s time for you to try the Zen press to find your center. By placing both of your hands together in front of your chest as if you were praying, push both hands against one another so that the muscles in your arms contract. You can either push them together in short bursts for up to 20 reps or push them together for 20 seconds at a time.

11. Excited Fist Pump

Are you ready to celebrate an accomplishment at the office? Well, here’s a great workout that you can do throughout the day. By pumping your fist into the air, you’re engaging plenty of muscles in your upper and lower arms. For this, you’ll want to focus on working one arm at a time for 60-second intervals.

12. Wall Stretching

You would be surprised at how useful stretches can be for building your overall strength. The next time you’re leaning against a wall waiting for your morning coffee or to enter your boss’ office, try supporting yourself with only your forearm for 60 seconds and then repeating this motion on your opposite side. This will not only help strengthen your arm muscles but your shoulder muscles as well.

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Let’s not forget about your chest, neck, and back as well!

For three more areas that you can target with easy at-work exercises, here are some great examples for focusing on your chest, neck, and back.

13. Shrugging Your Shoulders

As a motion that you’re sure to do at least several hundred times in your lifetime, shoulder shrugs are a great way to work your upper body muscles. All you have to do is raise both of your shoulders as high as you can, hold this position for 10 seconds, and then release.

14. Wall Push-Ups

Similar to how easily you can do wall stretching, you can use a solid surface for standing push-ups as well. By facing a wall, place both palms on it and then bend your elbows, bringing your face closer to the wall. You then push yourself outwards until your arms are straight and repeat this motion for 15 reps.

15. Necktie Shaper

There’s nothing better than having a strong neck underneath a fashionable tie, and with this great exercise, you’ll be able to tone your neck muscles in just a few minutes.

By clasping your hands together behind your head, you can then push your head backward and add resistance by pulling your clasped hands forward. Hold this position for five seconds and then repeat five times.

Is it even possible to exercise your core at work? Of course, it is!

As something that might seem impossible at first glance, you can guarantee there are some unique and inspiring ways to get killer abs without having to leave your desk.

16. Chair Swivel

Did you ever enjoy swiveling in your chair as a child? Now you can do it at work in a more controlled fashion for an insane abdominal workout. By twirling your desk chair side to side using your hands and holding your legs slightly above the ground, you’ll start to feel the burn in your obliques.

17. In-and-Out Wheel

As another fun way to work your core while sitting at your desk, grasp the edge of your desk with both hands, then, raise your feet slightly above the ground, and pull yourself in under your desk. Then when it comes to pushing yourself away, still use your hands and keep your feet raised as this will surely engage your core.

18. Perfect Sitter

Having perfect posture is important for every area of your life, and you can start building your core muscles for a straighter spine right away. Ensure that your desk chair is adjusted to where your hips are at a 90-degree angle to the floor, and this will help to straighten your back and prevent slouching.

18 ways to exercise at work is just the beginning!

By starting your fitness journey at work, you’re slowly building momentum not only with your physical capabilities but your mental motivation as well, so consider the 18 ways to exercise at work as just the beginning of your health overhaul.

By starting with these easy yet effective tasks, you’ll soon be able to find the time to either workout before or after work as well as do your quick in-office pick-me-ups to build the physique and endurance you’ve always dreamed of.

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