Thursday, April 9, 2020

8 Mini Workday Fitness Fixes

Are you like me, and need a daily fitness fix? you have a tough time fitting it in? Or, are you currently working from home, and feeling a little out-of-sorts with your current situation? Need a few minutes away from your desk? Or, at the very least, want to be doing something other than sitting? 

Whether you're working onsite, or from the confines of your house, it's not good to spend the day sedentary. Not only can it get boring, but it's just not good for our bodies! Besides, taking a few (or several) mini breaks can make a long day seem not so ominous.

So, without further ado, here are some "mini workouts" you can do, while at the office or even at home.  These are not meant to replace an actual, 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.

 I give you... 

8 Mini Workday Fitness Fixes!

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 the 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 also be washing your hands (for at least 20 seconds!). 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. 

3- Seated leg lifts/holds 
While 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 (and hold) 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, at my place of work, a few years 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? Are you currently working from home, or are you still able to work onsite? 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 Meranda and Lacey for the Friday with Fairytales and Fitness link-up. 

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  1. Ooh good ideas, I'm taking notes. Being at home all day is really helping with the small stuff, I can drop and do a round of pushups anytime I want and still be "professional", for some reason it was considered odd behavior in the office;-)

    1. ha ha ha!!!! If I was home all day, I'd be doing a lot of these, too, because I'd be bored out of my mind LOL Actually, with the skeleton crew we have at work right now, I could easily drop and do the push-ups pretty in conspicuously ;-)

  2. I do many of these when I’m locked in a boring conf call!
    I always squat in public toilets, but I’ve never thought of doing it at home, too. Great idea!

  3. I am at home, but of course I was at home (not quite as much) before this happened. I've always loved getting in a little bit of exercise often throughout the day!

    1. It really is easy to fit in a few minutes here and there.

  4. I used to do ab squeezes when I was driving the kids around. It's been a while. These are great ideas to get a little more fitness in

    1. When I'm at home (not working at home, that is) it seems I'm always moving from one thing to another. I'd miss out on a lot of action if I stayed seated at my work desk all day long; my mind needs the intermittent "rejuvenation" of moving around.

  5. These are some good options. The only time I workout at home is when I am on the TM or bike but I will try these, especially the ab hold! -M

    1. I'm pretty thankful I haven't had to stay home all day long thus far.

  6. Even though I am retired, I love these little fitness fixes you suggest (although I did have to laugh at the toilet squat!) As an older runner, ankle and calf strengthening is really important to maintain any speed at all. I think I am going to start doing those calf raises throughout the day and see what happens!

  7. Great ideas! Having switched to all telephone/video visits has dropped my activity level down by so much--I really need to add in some movement in between appointments!

  8. Great ideas! My job is always sitting. I do notice a difference on my days at work (sitting) and days off (when I'm always on the go). One time I thought it would be a good idea to do 10 squats each time I had to use the bathroom. Nope, I was feeling the pain the next day from doing that!!

  9. I love all of these ideas. When I do go to public bathrooms, I squat instead - maybe I'll try it at home too! Every little movement counts :) Thanks for coming up with these mini-movements to do throughout the day.