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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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 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.