Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Working out...at Work?



Running. 

It's something most of us do.

Most of us, however, do not have the luxury  to run everyday or whenever the urge presents itself. 

That's right. Most of us have a life outside of our running shoes. We have families that need our attention and household dwellings that do not clean themselves.  I'm going out on a limb here, but  I am guessing the majority of the people reading this also have jobs outside the home (in some capacity). 

To be a good runner, we need to run. To be a great runner, though, we should also be doing other things. 

So, without further ado, here are some "mini workouts" you can do, while at work or even at home.  These are not meant (in any way) to replace a real, more thorough workout, but  you can use them to ease away a little stress or tension throughout the day. Your mental well-being may get a little recharge, and your muscles will not be sitting idle.



1- Squatting 
Instead of sitting on the toilet, try squatting over it (that's right, I'm going there). You probably (hopefully?) make at least one trip to the restroom during your work day, why not take advantage of those precious moments away from your desk? Squatting very closely resembles the chair pose (from yoga), utilizing the quads (tops of thighs) and core as you hold the position. Try not to rest your arms on your legs, and instead hold them over your head, or just keep them raised above your legs...this will work your core a little more effectively. Try to hold for 20-30 seconds. Done!

2- Single-leg balances 
While in the restroom, you'll probably need to wash your hands. Have you ever tried balancing on one foot while you're lathering up? And then, balancing on the other as you're drying? Balancing on one foot is difficult enough, but doing it while engaged in another activity makes it even more challenging. Try to balance on each foot for 10 seconds.



3- Seated leg lifts/holds 
Back at your desk (seated), you can alternate lifting each leg, keeping it parallel to the floor. Flex each foot and hold for a few seconds. Alternate with pointing your toes or rotating your ankles. Sounds simple, but it will work your calf muscles and shins, and also your thighs and buttocks. That's a win-win. You can also simply just hold each leg up (parallel to the floor) without flexing or pointing...the longer you're able to hold it, the more you'll need to tap into your core to maintain your balance. 



4- Counter push-ups
Does your place of work have a kitchen or break room? Do you find yourself killing idle time, waiting for something in the microwave? Do a few push-ups against the counter! Granted 30 push-ups on the floor would be more effective, but doing 10 quick push-ups at the counter is better than doing zero. I do them near the sink...if someone happens to enter the room, I can pretend to be picking up something from the floor (I have invited people to join me, but no takers).

5- "Barre" work
 Not comfortable doing push-ups in public? You can use the counter as a makeshift barre, and (instead) do a few leg lifts while you're waiting for the microwave to do its thing. Face the counter, and do 10-20 reverse lifts (works the glutes and hamstrings), turnaround and do 10-20 forward lifts (works the quads).





6- Ab work
Do you ever contract your abs, just because? Your ab muscles gain strength (and get toned) by flexing. You don't necessarily need to be in a crunch position to work them either. Simply sitting at your desk, tightening your abs and slowly twisting left and right will enhance your abs over time. As most of us know, there is no quick fix for achieving flat or toned abs. Like all other muscles, they only gain strength by being worked.

7- Calf raises
I was blessed with a convertible stand-up desk about a month ago. Oh my, do I LOVE having the option to stand! It's no secret that sitting for extended periods of time is not good for the body, so standing is a great "booty relief" maneuver. And, while standing, it's easy to sneak in a few calf raises...on both feet, or balancing on each foot intermittently.



8- Flex and hold
Do you find yourself standing over a file cabinet or drawer, as you file away important papers? That's a perfect opportunity to "flex and hold" the thigh muscles without looking conspicuous. You'll be amazed how much of a burn you'll feel in 30 seconds of filing. 

Now, let me clarify that I do not spend my entire work day doing these numerous little moves. I do them periodically, depending on my job-related tasks. I have several emails to read and respond to, so I'm able to do some of the desk moves depending on the level of concentration needed (obviously, I am not flexing/contracting while reading complex, detail-orientated information), and I do not make any unnecessary trips to the bathroom just so I can reach a daily squat quota.   After all, I go to my job to "work," not to "workout" around the clock.

How about you? Do any of these moves look like something you would try? Does your job have you sitting a lot, or do you have several tasks that allow you to move around?  



I'm linking this with the gals from the Running Coaches' Corner (Rachel and Suzie and Lora and Debbie ), and also the gals from the Wild Workout Wednesday (AnnMarie and Nicole and Michelle and Jen)

 I invite you to checkout the awesome hostesses and their blogs, and pay a visit to some (or several!) of the blogs in the link-ups. 





***This is a modified (updated) version of a previous post, which first appeared on May 20, 2015, written by yours truly.


40 comments:

  1. All great ideas. Sitting gets really old fast.

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    1. My hours (at work) have increased in the past 4-5 years, I'm working an average of 30 hrs/week...and, that's about how long I've been battling the glute/hammy/piriformis stuff. I don't think that's a coincidence....I'm glad they got me a convertable/stand-up desk ;-)

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  2. Yup yup yup. Keep it moving, people!

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  3. I admit I don't do any of this. I guess I'm bad at multi-tasking! My room at school is right next to the cardio room that holds treadmills bikes and elipticals and I can use it when ever I want. Unfortunately I only took advantage of it once.

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    1. I can multi-task...to a degree LOL If I tried to balance on one leg while reading a detailed piece of correspondence and also tried pointing my toes...I'd be on the floor (with no recollection of what I just read).

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  4. I love all of your ideas! I was just talking to a few women at my job about how we need to move during the work day so we now walk laps around the office floor during lunch.

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  5. on your #6 I used to try to contract my abs when I was driving my kids around. I have no idea why I stopped -lol probably explains a lot. Great tips and love the boots :)

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    1. I know, right? Contracting the abs is mindless...yet, that's probably why I forget to do it LOL

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  6. Yea. I sit most of the day. And yes I could do these. COULD....

    In my last job, the women used to take walk breaks - that was motivating. Here everyone sits. They think I'm crazy to even go for a walk in the cold at lunch.

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    1. It's certainly a lot easier to be motivated when others are motivated as well...maybe you should be the wellness initiator gal? ;-)

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  7. I love this! You can always find me doing little workout at my work. I do squats every time I'm in the elevator (alone).

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    1. Ha HA HA....I wish we had an elevator for that reason (though, I'd probably take the stairs LOL)

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  8. These are great tips, and as I'm at my desk at work, I see myself now tightening my more and doing those leg lifts!

    One legged balance is definitely an area I'll think about incorporating at the office more often!

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  9. I do keep an old pair of running shoes under my desk and on the rare occasion when I have time for a walk--yes! But my job keeps me on my feet and wrestling with reluctant toddlers is really underrated as a workout!

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    1. Ha! I bet those wrestling matches are crazy!

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  10. What great ideas to get moving at work- I am guilty of sitting too long sometimes!

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    1. It's easy to sit too long and not realize it...I'm guilty, too!

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  11. I've definitely done single leg squats at work. I also try to keep my abs contracted while sitting and will head out for lunchtime walks as well.

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    1. Good for you! I find myself "flamingo standing" at my desk sometimes without realizing it LOL

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  12. Such fun ideas!! I love your boots, too :)

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  13. I work from home and have no bathroom on the main level, so I'm up and down the stairs about a million times a day. I also drop and do push ups and crunches, because, well, I can. LOL Great suggestions.

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    1. Awesome! I lost most my "pregnancy weight" (I think) from all the accidental stair-running I did (due to the three levels of living space and absent-mindedness). Of course, that was many years ago LOL...I think I was on to something without even knowing it

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  14. This is great! I squeeze little exercises in all over the place. Last weekend, I did reverse crunches on the bleachers at my son's hockey game :-) I will try some you suggested as well!

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    1. It's easy to find quick opportunities to "get active" if you just look for them ;-)

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  15. Hahaha, squatting... love it.

    But really, this is a great post. Fantastic ways to incorporate just a little bit to get the blood going and energy flowing.

    Also, super cute boots. :)

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    1. Thanks! I think all those "little bits" add up to great results over the course of time. And, squatting works!

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  16. So many great ideas in this post! I hate sitting at my desk all day and am always trying to figure out ways to move more. Sometimes I make myself squat at my desk for a few seconds! (When no one is around my cubicle!)

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  17. These are fabulous!

    When I used to work in an office environment, I would always take the stairs in the parking garage, and, weather permitting, take a long walk at lunch.

    Now, I have time at home to workout kind of whenever I want. And at my job, I am walking around and squatting a lot. Which sounds silly, but I have to bend all the time!

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    1. I do most of my workouts at home as well, but I still try to stay somewhat "active" at the office. It helps pass the time LOL

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  18. great tips! I sit so much at work any time I move needs to be a stretch break! :)

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    1. My department went paperless almost a year ago...ugh! I kind of liked the constant walking back and forth to/from the printer LOL

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  19. These are great tips! Small things can make big changes!!!!

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    1. Exactly! Small changes are better than no changes ;-)

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  20. These are all good reminders! I recently got a standup desk at work, which has helped a lot with staying active during the day. Gotta add the strength in too though!

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    1. I love my stand-up desk! I feel less lazy LOL ;-)

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