Do you get stressed out on days you can’t even get to the gym at all? What about the days you wish you had more time for a little extra work, but you’ve to pick the kids up, run to the store, meet friends for dinner, or put in extra hours for the boss?
Maybe you sit at your desk for too many hours at a time and find yourself stiff and sore…wishing you had more time to move around or work your flexibility.
Whether you’re stiff and need to move more, or if you’re just limited on time, all you need are a few minutes throughout your day to accomplish an extra total body workout that you didn’t even think you could squeeze in.
Here’s how it works.
You’re at work. You’ve got to put in at least 8 hours–depending on your job. Every hour, commit to taking a two-minute break. Even if you have to take four thirty-second breaks (:30 every 15 minutes), commit yourself to two minutes each hour. Then, each hour perform an exercise for those two minutes.
Sample Day 9-5 Work Day:
- 9:30 am: Take a two-minute walk around the building.
- 10:30 am: Go for a two-minute jog up and down stairs (or do 2:00 max effort standing calf raises or jog in place at your desk if stairs aren’t an option).
- 11:00-11:45: Try 30 seconds of max effort air squats, every 15 minutes.
- 12:00-12:45: Try 30 seconds of max effort incline push-ups every 15 minutes (just use your desk or a wall).
- 1:00-1:45: Try 30 seconds of banded pull-aparts every 15 minutes. (It’s so important to open up your shoulders and activate your back muscles when you’re at a desk all day!)
(Please excuse my “I’m still learning” video skills.)
- 2pm: Power through the afternoon with a two-minute max effort set of lunges.
- 3pm: Accumulate two minutes worth of plank holds. You may have to break this up into four 30-second holds.
- 4:30pm: Finish up your day with another 2-minute walk around the building
It’s not that much..but it’s enough to make a difference in your fitness, energy, and life.
This seems like a lot, right? But in reality, it’s only 16 minutes of work. You’re only working 30 seconds up to two minutes at a time. You don’t need any equipment (other than a cheap elastic band for pull-aparts) and you can even throw in some of your favorite exercises to switch things up.
If you’ve got room to move around at work, throw in a set of burpees, or perform some tricep dips on your desk chair (if it doesn’t have wheels) or practice pistol squats in between emails. If you don’t have a lot of room or you’re scared of getting in trouble, just try to stretch and stand some more. No one should get mad at you for wanting to stand up (try to stand up every 15-30 minutes) and move around, stretch, and loosen up the joints. (If they do get angry, it sounds like you need a better job…or boss!)
If your wardrobe doesn’t allow for this much movement,
Improvise. Bring a pair of flats with you if you typically wear heels and slip them on for your walks. And if that’s all you can do–walk–that’s an extra 16 minutes of walking each day! That’s a lot of steps–probably around one mile. One mile a day over the course of a year…well you get the picture. That’s a big distance, a lot of calories, and a huge mental/physical health boost!
Your employer will thank you and your colleagues will emulate you.
Employee wellness is a growing concern among businesses and when your employer and co-workers see that you’re making a conscious effort to increase your health, you may be surprised at who might want to join you! And working to increase your health at work will pay off not just in physical terms, but mental and emotional health as well.
- You’ll have more energy to get through your day and your endorphins will be constantly pumping!!
- You’ll also be much more likely to choose healthier snacks while at your desk, pack better lunches, drink more water, avoid the vending machines, and say “no” to the early morning donuts.
When your coworkers see your positivity, energy, and health increase, I’m betting they just might ask you, “Hey, can I do that too?” Instant role model status.
Try it out. All you need is a little motivation and 21-30 days to create a life-long healthy habit. What do you say? Can you do it?
Since we’re talking about employee health, one of the toughest things to do at work sometimes is eat healthy…especially if you have coworkers who love to bring in glorious desserts or order takeout. And finding snacks to eat on the fly — beyond processed foods — is another tough challenge.
I know that Erik keeps a jar of all-natural peanut butter in his classroom, but that can only hold a person over for so long. If you’re like me, one spoonful just never seems enough. 😉 I like to keep the 100 calorie packs of mixed nuts in my desk just to ensure I have something healthy (and pre-portioned) if needed. Sometimes I keep the squeeze-packs of fruits and veggies in my desk, and honestly, many days I just bring some extra coffee with me, make iced coffee, and a have smaller sized portion of whatever I had for lunch. Sometimes the easiest way to prepare snacks for the week is to bring small portions of leftover dinners or lunches…or just make extra food for snacks.
But over the past few weeks, our roommate has been making this incredible yogurt-avocado veggie dip and Erik and I decided to make some for snacks this week. Besides, veggies and hummus gets old after a while–this is a great way to spice up eating raw veggies…which is likely something we all need more of anyway, right? Check out this recipe and try it out for yourself! Your work days are about to become your best days!
Greek Yogurt Avocado Veggie Dip:
- 2 cups Greek Yogurt
- 1 avocado, diced
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Any other spices you want to use! (Erik and I used cayenne, paprika, Greek seasoning, onion, and garlic powder. Our dip had a kick!)
- Mash up the avocado and stir it into the yogurt. Add your spices of choice and eat plenty of fresh, healthy veggies throughout the day! It can’t get any simpler, and this dip is awesome. Full of the good fats we all need and added protein and probiotics from the yogurt. Eat up and enjoy!
- Tip: Make sure your avocados are very ripe! I bought some that weren’t quite ripe enough and Erik and I ended up with chunks of avocado in our dip…which is not a bad thing at all…it just wasn’t supposed to be like that. 😉
We want to hear your thoughts! How do you add movement into your workday? What barriers are you trying to overcome? And what are some of your healthy go-to snacks at work? Help our readers find more answers by commenting below!
Strong Figure Conditioning Workouts for the week: