Fitness Friday 1/29: 4 Easy Ways to Move More At Work

Happy Friday to you all!  How's your week been?  Today I'm taking a different approach to the Fitness Friday mini workout series and giving you all some ideas for adding more movement to your workday without adding specific exercises.  There are a million ways you can move your muscles more while you're at work, and I hope these ideas help you think outside the box when it comes to combating the sedentary nature of a desk/office job.  I hope you can incorporate at least 1 (or maybe all 4!) of these today, and that over time, adding more movement becomes natural and habitual for you.

Fitness Friday 1/29: 4 Easy Ways to Move More At Work

Fitness Friday 1/29: 4 Easy Ways to Move More At Work

1 | Take the stairs - I know, I know, you probably hear this one all. the. time. but it really is a great way to add more movement to your workday.  Especially if you're carrying slightly heavier bags, your legs will get much more muscle activation than they would just standing in the elevator.

2 | Go 1 floor up or down for water - this one is a great one if you can force yourself to do it. When it's time to refill your water, use the bathroom, make copies, etc., go to the next floor up or down that has what you need.  Don't take the elevator though.  Combine this with tip 1 and take the stairs.

3 | SEE the person you need to talk to - I remember when I worked in my old office I would force myself to walk up to the second floor to see the person I wanted to talk to instead if just calling them from my desk.  Granted the "office" I worked in was a house-turned-research-lab, but you get the idea.  If there's someone you need to speak with, make it a point to get up out of your chair and walk to their desk to have the conversation.

4 | Set a timer - I like this one because you'll have a constant reminder to move your body throughout the day.  Set a timer for every hour, and if you can, make sure you stand up, stretch, and walk around a bit.  (Sidebar: one thing that's useful about the Apple Watch is it reminds you to stand every hour, which is great for a desk job!)  You can set a calendar reminder, timer on your computer/watch/phone, or even bring in a timer of your own.  The point is, don't stay seated for too long!

Hope those tips help you think somewhat outside the box when it comes to adding movement to your workdays.  If you need ideas for some other exercises you can do on your lunch break or when that timer goes off again, check out the other Fitness Friday mini workouts!

Readers: chat with me!  Do you do any of these things during your workday already?  Do you think you can try to incorporate at least one of these today?  What are your jobs like?  Are you constantly moving, always seated, or a mix of both?  Any fun plans for the weekend?

Fitness Friday 1/22: Use Your Desk

Happy Friday!  Today's mini workout is a continuation of last week's where the exercises were mainly from your chair.  This week, we're taking it out of the chair and using the edge of your desk to do the moves.  Again, these probably won't make you sweat, nor will they help you make any real muscle gains, but that's not the point of these (hence "mini workout").  The goal for these is to make you conscious of working your muscles throughout your work day, and to help you move a little more.  So grab a coworker and the edge of a desk, and get a-movin'!

Fitness Friday 1/22: Use Your Desk

Fitness Friday 1/22

2 x 3 (2 rounds, 3 times today)

Stand up out of that desk chair and let's move that body!  For these 4 exercises, all you need is a small space at the edge of your desk to place your hands.  Let's get started!

Inclined High Knees (30 seconds) - place your hands on the edge of your desk and lean into them slightly.  From this position, alternate bringing your knees to your chest quickly for 30 seconds.

10 Incline Push Ups - keep your hands at the edge of your desk, and do 10 push ups, bringing your chest as close to the desk as you can.

10 Incline Side Plank Dips - start in a side plank position with one hand on the desk, the other on your hip, feet stacked, spine straight to start.  From here, dip your hips down toward the floor, then raise them up slightly higher than neutral.  Do 10 dips on each side.

10 Tricep Dips - face away from your desk with your hands placed on the edge, legs either bent at 90˚ with your feet flat on the floor, or out straight on your heels.  From here, lower yourself down toward the floor.  Go only so far as you're comfortable.  Do 10 dips total.

Repeat that sequence once more for the full workout, and try to get in at least 2 more of these workouts in your day today.  If you don't have a desk, you can easily use a chair, bench, table, or really anything sturdy that will elevate your arms/upper body.

Readers: chat with me!  Do you 'work out' at the office?  Have you ever used your desk for a workout before?  What's everyone up to this weekend?  Any fun, active plans?

Fitness Friday 1/15: Exercise from Your Desk Chair

Happy Friday, everyone!  It's the first Fitness Friday mini workout post of 2016.  For those of you who are new to the Fitness Friday series here, or are new to the blog in general, my goal for these posts is to remind you to get up and move your body during your workday.  These mini workouts are designed not so much to make you sweat, but to move all the major muscle groups in some way, and to give you some ideas of easy exercises you can do right in your office, cubicle, or on the go.  They're quick, effective, and can easily be done on your lunch break or for an afternoon pick-me-up.  Even better if you get your coworkers involved, too!  Keep reading for today's mini workout, which is one that you can do without even leaving your desk!

Fitness Friday 1/15: Exercise from Your Desk Chair

Fitness Friday 1/15

2 x 3 (2 times through, 3 times today)
For each of the exercises, stay on the same side for 30 seconds, then switch.  The first 2 exercises are done seated at your desk, and the last one requires you to stand up out of your chair briefly.  Let's go!

Crossover Leg Lifts - from a seated position with your back pressed against the back of your chair, cross your right foot over the top of your left knee, opening up your right hip as much as possible.  From here, either keeping your left knee bent (easier), or extending that leg out straight (harder), lift your left leg up so your abs engage.  Lower back down to start, lightly tapping your foot to the floor.  Keep raising your leg to feel your abs work for 30 seconds on each side.  Trainer Tip: if that top leg position is too much for your hips and lower back, cross one on top of the other lower down on your leg at the ankle or shin.

Opposite/Opposite Desk Crunch - stay seated in your chair, with the desk close to your body so your elbows can rest on it easily.  From here, press your left knee and right elbow together (desk in between) as if you're trying to squeeze them together through the desk.  Hold that position for 30 seconds, engaging the abs, then switch sides.

Single Leg Stands - this one will require you to stand up out of your chair briefly.  Start seated with one leg lifted slightly off the floor (or extended out straight if you can).  Keeping that leg raised the entire time, stand up out of the chair.  Lower back down to sit.  Keep going for 30 seconds on each side, focusing on keeping your shoulders stacked over your hips (i.e. you're upright, not leaning forward to stand).  Use your glutes and your quads to raise and lower yourself, not momentum.  Trainer Tip: if the single leg version is too much, keep both feet on the ground.

There you have it!  Remember to go through that once more for your first mini workout round, and repeat that 2 more times throughout your day.

Readers: chat with me!  If you're new to the Fitness Friday series, how did you like it?  If you've been trying them out for a while, how are they going?  Do the posts remind you to get up and move during your workday (or at home)?  Any exercises or other content you'd like to see in these posts?  How are you staying active this weekend?