A large number of us are desk-bound office workers with very little opportunity to perform any significant physical activity through the day. Add in the availability of good food and a lack of time and we end up locked in a losing battle to stave off weight gain.
The truth is: It doesn’t have to be like this! We’ve found five great ways to sneak exercise into your otherwise sedentary lives!
1. Make it a race!
Exercise is as much about intensity as it is about duration. That’s why quick, intense bursts of activity can be more effective than long, sustained workouts sometimes. Short, quick bursts of cardio will kickstart your metabolism by increasing your heart rate.
A fast and easy way to do this is to make every commute a race. Every time you’re walking from point to point, make sure you walk as fast as possible. Set mental goals to overtake as many people as possible as you walk to the train, bus or to your office.
2. Take the stairs
Stairs are a really good way to burn calories because every step is actually a form of resistance exercise, with your own body weight creating resistance which your lower body has to overcome.
Since your legs are the largest muscle group in the body, you will burn more calories quickly by taking the stairs. Another advantage is that daily bursts of stair-climbing work your glutes, giving your butt a very nice lift.
We know stairs are an often neglected form of cardiovascular activity for most of us because most office lifts serve every floor. What we recommend is to take the lift halfway, then use the stairs the rest of the way. Another alternative is to skip the escalators whenever you take the train and use the stairs to get to your platform instead!
3. Tone while you sit
Just because you’re sitting in an upright position doesn’t mean you can’t work your abs out!
While sitting in front of your computer, move to the edge of your chair and tense up your abdominal muscles. Hold off relaxing them until you feel a slight burn. Relax your muscles for a bit, then repeat again. Do it through the day to keep your abdominals warm and those calories burning. For added effect, straighten and suspend your legs parallel to the ground.
This exercise is almost invisible to anyone, so no one will find out how you’re getting toned abs just by sitting at your desk all day – literally.
4. Swap your chair for an exercise ball
This one is a little unconventional, but it isn’t unheard of.
Bring an exercise ball into the office, and use it as a replacement for your chair. Exercise balls are large, and rather malleable. This means that your body is consistently being forced to stabilise itself as you sit on it while you work. By using your exercise ball as a chair, you are effectively working out your core and lower back muscles throughout the day.
5. Lunchtime queue workout
Waiting for your turn to make an order at your favourite food stall? That’s a great time to work your calf muscles.
As you stand in line, start lifting yourself off the ground by standing on your toes and coming back down rapidly. This exercise is a great workout for your calves. What’s more, when used in tandem with other leg exercises, it will give you a certain level of definition in your legs as well.
6. TV time is workout time
Since you’ve already sat down the entire day at work, it’s important that you be on your feet while you watch TV at home.
Choose one or two exercises that will work major muscle groups in your body. Then, while your favourite show is on the screen, start doing those exercises. Our favourite exercises while watching TV are squats, push-ups, heel lifts and crunches. It’s a full body workout and you’re multi-tasking effectively.
Do you have other sneaky ways to incorporate exercise into your regular day?
This article was originally written for Daily Vanity. Check their website out for more awesome articles!