Workplace Fitness - 5 Ways to Stay Fit at Work

Office Workout?

You know it’s important to exercise during your working day but how do you go about it? Do you find it awkward to break a sweat while at work? Does it come easy  or do you lack motivation?

Photo by Alex Kotliarskyi

Photo by Alex Kotliarskyi

Many people are struggling with a sedentary office lifestyle. And although we all know this isn’t healthy we tend to exchange the minimum of training we can do during our break time, for desk lunches and scrolling aimlessly on our phones. It isn’t easy to break through old habits. It isn’t easy to change rituals (think of your lunch break routine). It isn’t easy to give up internet browsing.

How about if you try to workout during office hours? Have a mild training at workplace? If you just try it out and only focus on how you’ll feel after only one week? Make it a short term goal, no promises, and pay attention to your energy levels and general feel.

BUT. What kind of training can you follow when you’re office-bound?

Here are a few ideas and tips:

Photo by Geert Pieters

Photo by Geert Pieters

1. Cardio

Think of teamwork or team sports if it’s even possible to motivate at least a couple of colleagues and go out and play soccer or something you enjoy.  Another one is fast-paced walking, going up and down stairs for sets of time, have a nice 30’ run, and do some squats and lunges to top it up. If walking or running isn’t possible to try the squat and build endurance by increasing the sets. If you’re starting now and you have no previous training experience, start with 9 squats x 3 sets and 9 lunges x 3 sets as well. The repetitive movements of large muscle groups help when adding some cardio work.

2. Resistance training

You could bring your dumbbells to the office and keep them in your drawer. This could also work as a reminder for you to pick them up and do the work. Or if dumbbells are bulky for your space, how about elastic bands that can even fit in your pocket, let alone in your desk’s drawer? Elastic bands are a great invention giving you something to work with to create resistance. Not to mention you can use them even when you’re brushing your teeth or washing your hands-give a new meaning to office breaks. 

3. Pilates 

Work on your core right there right now. If you can keep a small mat in your office and have some private space to do some core exercises you’ll be doing yourself a favour. Core training is very important for our future balance and strength so make sure you can go down on your mat.  If this isn’t an option stand tall and do a standing Abs workout. Keep a calendar and cross out the sets you’re doing daily. Do you remember we mentioned you’ll give office workouts a week to feel the results?

Photo by Form

Photo by Form

4. Yoga Flow Moves

We know that already, yoga is beneficial for our body and mind, and like with the rest of the training work it doesn’t only positively affect us on a physiological level but also improves our psychological well-being. Incorporate some beneficial yoga moves in your day in the office and take some time performing shoulder release exercises and hip work to improve your blood flow and energy levels. Short sun salutations will clear your mind and help you get your energy back after sitting all day. 

5. Meditation

Breathing is very important because it connects our physical body with our mental state. Yes, we don’t consider conscious breathing as being important for our physical condition as much as we consider cardio work. What you can do when you take a break in the office is listening to short guided meditation podcasts. Another option is to meditate while you’re walking outdoors. People think of meditation as being a grounding practice, and it is, but you can practice mindfulness and be in the moment by paying attention to your breath and your feelings while at the same time enjoy some body movement. 

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Here you have it. And although it’s all a matter of personal motivation and willingness, to get up and move, context, surroundings and circumstances also play a big role. And that’s why we need to find ways to “manipulate” the way our minds work by using props we like, by coming together with colleagues who wish to stay fit as well, and by treating ourselves to something beautiful once we’re done with a training day in the office. To thank ourselves for investing this time to make good to our body and mind.