Often, the first thing that comes to mind when we think of exercising at work is being stinky and sweaty and having to sit like that all day. Career Step does something called Workout Wednesday (WoW!) twice a month, and before we moved to our new building being stinky and sweaty afterward was a very real fear. Luckily our new building has awesome showers in the gym.
But do you really need to work up a sweat to get your exercise in? Here are our top 3 favorite ways to exercise while in the office—without the stinky, sweaty feeling.
A very popular trend right now is replacing ye’ old office chair with an appropriately sized exercise ball to sit on instead. Not only does it help with posture, but it engages your core muscles on a consistent basis to keep you upright. Core muscles are very important to overall fitness as they help you to keep your posture top notch, balance strong, and avoid back injuries.
Another handy benefit of the exercise ball is that you can roll back on it periodically to open your chest up from hunching at the computer all day. If a freely rolling ball scares you (it scares me—I’m not ashamed to admit my accident-proneness), there are little stands that you can buy that give a little bit more stability. They basically turn the ball into the seat part of a chair. Check out an example here: http://www.wayfair.com/Isokinetics-Balance-Exercise-Ball-Chair-bbbc-IRK1039.html
Even though you’re sitting at a desk for much of your day, it doesn’t mean that you can’t tone your arms. Consider getting a set of 3 lb., 5 lb., or 10 lb. free weights like these and keeping them at your desk. When you’re on the phone or working through a project, it’s easy to grab them and work out your biceps and triceps and core muscles. Check out Career Step’s Health, Balance, and Fitness Pinterest board for awesome infographics of different workouts.
Of equal importance to physical exercise, mental exercise can help us to handle stress better, lighten our moods, and increase our patience. As someone who suffers from anxiety, I’ve found that doing breathing exercises a couple of times a day can really help to lower those anxiety levels and increase my capacity to work effectively. I use an app called Stop, Breathe & Think to do my exercises each day. The nice thing about that app is that you can take stock of how you’re feeling both mentally and physically at that moment and the app will choose a few guided meditations for you to choose from to suit your situation. At moments when my anxiety threatened to push me over into a full panic attack, that little app brought me back and calmed me with just a few moments. I’m sure there are lots of other similar apps, though, so if you find something else that works better for you, that’s great—and be sure to share in the comment below!
These are just a few of our favorite office exercise tips. Do you have a favorite way to stay in shape in a sedentary job?