Top 10 Ways to Exercise While Working

Written by: Editorial Staff

January 11, 2012
Filed Under Fitness 

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One of the top ten ways to exercise while workingContributed by Aurora LaJambre, Top 10 Guru

From improving your health, to increasing energy and appearance, regular exercise significantly boosts overall quality of life.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate to intense aerobic exercise plus two days of strength training every week for adults. If you’re not crafty, committing this time gets difficult to sustain when it competes with family and other responsibilities. Fortunately, there are many ways to exercise while working. The trick is to incorporate exercise into the natural flow of your day.

10. Talk with your hands

One of the top ten ways to exercise while working

Use big hand gestures when talking on the phone, or with colleagues. According to research by the Mayo Clinic, gesturing with your hands and tapping your toes and fingers can burn up to 350 more calories a day.

9. Going somewhere? Lunge-walk!

One of the top ten ways to exercise while working

If you don’t have access to an empty hallway, lunge-walk to the break room, restroom or your boss’s desk. Do 15 lunges twice a day, and with glutes, hamstrings and quads of steel you won’t even notice when your sedentary colleagues snicker.

8. Human power your commute

One of the top ten ways to exercise while working

While you’re not on the clock when commuting, it’s a necessity for much of the workforce. Riding a bike to work can turn a stressful or boring routine into a highlight of the day. Plot your route out ahead of time. Back roads add distance to the ride, plus they’re more scenic and typically safer for cyclists. Be sure to attach a flashing red rear light to the bike and use a head light.

7. Multitask with free weights

One of the top ten ways to exercise while working

Strength train while you respond to email, read or complete other routine tasks. With free weights, you can do bicep curls, front raises, seated shoulder presses, lateral raises and overhead triceps extensions. To attract less attention, use ankle weights for knee extensions. Alternate which muscles you focus on and introduce each exercise gradually, for instance start with three sets of five bicep curls twice a week.

6. Pick up a pen 12 times

One of the top ten ways to exercise while working

Instead of simply bending over to pick something up, do a set of ten squats three times a day and work your glutes, quads, calves and hamstrings. For a proper squat, your feet should be spread about hip-width apart and angled away from each other. Clench your abs while bending your knees and slowly lower your torso to the floor until you’re hips are at a 90 degree angle.

5. Sit on an exercise ball

One of the top ten ways to exercise while working

Store a large blown up exercise ball beneath your desk and switch it out with your chair for a few hours every day. Unlike chairs, the ball requires you to use your leg muscles and core to stay upright. Once your body gets used to the change, you’ll find this rather comfortable, but start out simple with 10- to 20 minute increments at a time.

4. Stand up when taking a call

One of the top ten ways to exercise while working

How many hours a day do you spend on the phone? Whether it adds up to fifteen minutes or several hours, stand every time you pick up the phone. You burn 50 percent more calories when standing than sitting, and pacing can burn about 35 calories more per hour. In fact, request a sit/standing desk if your office is in the market for an upgrade – it doesn’t hurt to ask.

3. Wear a pedometer

One of the top ten ways to exercise while working

Wearing a pedometer to work will not only give you an accurate understanding of your current activity level (many of us overestimate it), but will motivate you to get more active. A basic pedometer costs about $20, clips on your belt and simply records the number of steps you take in a day. Stick to your normal routine for the first few days, and then gradually increase your steps by walking to colleague’s desks instead of calling or chatting with them online, parking further from the office entrance or taking a walk after lunch.

2. Lift yourself

One of the top ten ways to exercise while working

Here’s one you can do with nobody noticing: set both hands on your chair while you sit, and push down to lift yourself from the office chair. Hold the lift for 10- to 15 seconds then lower yourself back down. Repeat this ten times a day to tone your shoulders and chest.

1. “I’ll take the stairs”

One of the top ten ways to exercise while working

Imagine a permanent ‘Out of Service’ sign on the office elevator, and take the stairs. If you work in a high-rise, get off 5- to 10 floors early every time. Stair climbing raises your heart rate and you don’t have to run and get all disheveled to do so. Add intensity by punching across your body with the opposite arm from your forward foot, or take the steps two at a time.


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