Finding time to work out while you’re on the job is very difficult. But it doesn’t always have to be. Here are some simple, but great ways to keep yourself active and fit, even when your time is limited! Don’t forget; it’s important to keep yourself hydrated and it’s imperative that you stretch! (Special thanks to howstuffworks.com)

 

Office Stretching

Stretch from head to toe, beginning with the neck.

  • Slowly tilt head toward shoulder.
  • Hold for ten seconds.
  • Alternate sides.

Next loosen up your shoulders to get rid of the ache, increase flexibility and add strength.

  • Roll both shoulders forward in a circular motion.
  • Roll both shoulders backward in a circular motion.
  • Repeat ten times.

Stretch your wrists to get ready for computer work.

  • Stretch arm out with palm down.
  • With other hand, pull fingers down.
  • Hold for three seconds.
  • Then pull up on fingers.
  • Hold for three seconds.
  • Repeat, alternating three times.

Relieve the tired and lethargic feeling you get in your legs with ankle and calf stretches.

  • Hold one foot off the floor with your leg straight.
  • Flex your ankle pointing your toes up.
  • Extend you ankle pointing your toes down.
  • Do ten times and repeat with other leg.
  • Next, draw a circle with your toes, moving one foot clockwise and then counter-clockwise.
  • Change feet.

Under Desk Dynamics

Your co-workers will see you intently reading the report from yesterday's meeting, but they won't see you strengthening your abs and relieving your tired leg muscles.

  • Start with feet flat on floor.
  • Sit tall at your desk.
  • Hold your abdominal muscles tight.
  • Extend one leg until it is level with your hip.
  • Hold for ten seconds.
  • Slowly lower leg.
  • Repeat 15 times.
  • Change legs.

Chair squats are an effective body-strengthening exercise. Sneak a few in every time you get up from your chair and sit back down.

  • Stand tall.
  • Keep back straight.
  • Lower to one inch of chair, pretending you are sitting down.
  • Hold for ten seconds.
  • Lift back up to standing position.

You don't need a resistance band to get great leg toning.

  • With legs straight, cross one on top of the other.
  • Raise them off the floor.
  • Press top leg down and resist with bottom leg.
  • Do until muscles are tired.
  • Repeat with opposite legs top and bottom.

Replace your office chair with an exercise ball for all-day abdominal toning and strengthening. Sitting on an exercise ball forces you to use your abs to hold yourself in position. It improves your balance, tones your core muscles and takes stress off your lower back. Some people even find that it focuses their concentration.

  • Sit on the ball and find your balance.
  • Pull your navel in.
  • Pull your shoulders back (no slouching).
  • Place feet hip width apart.

Sitting on an exercise ball isn't easy. You might want to try it at home first to see how long you can last.

Leg Lifters

While you are helping your company to increase its bottom line, you can also lift your own. Try these exercises to tighten and strengthen your gluteus muscles, as well as relieve back pain.

  • Lift one glute up and almost off the chair.
  • Perform in a side-to-side rocking motion for 30 seconds.
  • Next, squeeze your gluteus muscles.
  • Hold for ten seconds.
  • Release.

Although originally intended for dancers, arabesque circle exercises performed while you are talking on the phone can be an effective glute and hamstring toner. This is best performed if you have a private office.

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Shift weight to left leg.
  • Lift right leg behind you.
  • Hold on to your desk or chair for balance.
  • Slowly circle your left leg clockwise 25 times and counter-clockwise 25 times.
  • Switch legs.

Who needs weights? A full water bottle makes an excellent substitute for a dumbbell. If anyone interrupts, you can simply take a drink. Begin with bicep curls to tone and strengthen your arms.

  • Sit tall with abs pulled in.
  • Hold water bottle in right hand and curl it up towards your shoulder.
  • Repeat 15 times.
  • Change arms.

You can also use your water bottle to do front arm raises and overhead presses.

  • Hold water bottle in right hand.
  • Bend elbow.
  • Extend arm overhead.
  • Repeat other side.

Water bottle twists are a great way to work your waistline.

  • Hold water bottle at chest level.
  • Twist to the right as far as you can.
  • Twist back to center.
  • Twist to the left.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Other Calorie-Burners

Sometimes the best way to burn calories isn't by exercising at all. Following are a few non-exercise ways to shed some weight.

  • Stand whenever you can. You'll burn more calories than sitting, as many as 50 more an hour for a 155-pound person [source: Platkin].
  • Fidgeting can burn an extra 350 calories a day. Rapidly tapping your feet, talking with your hands, and chewing gum, all count. While the calorie burn for each movement is minimal, fidgeting could add up to a loss of up to 36 pounds (16.3 kilograms) a year [source: Platkin].
  • Good posture is an effective core strengthening measure. It requires you to use muscles to keep your tummy tight and your back straight. Do it continually to build abdominal strength, alleviate lower back pain and help you feel more confident.
  • Deep breathing helps you relax and lowers heart rate. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.
  • Laugh often. It tightens your stomach muscles, exercises your diaphragm, works your heart, relieves stress and gives you a better outlook on life.

By making exercise part of your everyday work routine, you'll be healthier, happier and more productive. But let's keep that our little secret.

Want more tips? Check out this article by the Washington Post.