I came home after 10 hours of sitting at my desk and I realized a few things. I needed an office exercise program! First, my entire body was stiff and sore. Second, I had eaten more than my daily allotment of calories in vending machine snacks due to a forgotten lunch at home. Third, my feet and calves were swollen, and finally, I realized that my workout routine was really suffering, an increase in pay means an increase in hours and, seriously, who has the time any more?
I have heard all this talk around the gym I used to go to when I had the time, from the fitness gurus, about using breaks and walk time to its full advantage while at the office. I did a little research and honestly, it was all unrealistic Yoga moves or exercises that are made for men, not a woman in a pencil skirt. I don’t know about you but none of this was for me. I decided to take charge. For the last six months, I have consistently done the following 10-minute office exercise program designed for a woman at the office. Spoiler, the result has been amazing.
Some of the following things I alter depending on the clothes for the day, I also am lucky enough to have access to an empty office on my breaks, so I keep a yoga mat under my desk. This gives variety to my workout. Keeping variety helps keep focus, there is nothing worse than doing the exact same workout every day.
You Can Design Your Own 10-Minute Office Exercise Program
I commute to work and invest in a great pair of walking shoes and bike shorts to wear under my skirts. While running is not an option because no one wants to show up all sweaty, a brisk walk gets the blood pumping and helps circulation that can be reduced by sitting for long periods with your legs down. Be creative here, park further away from the entrance to your office building. If you use a parking garage, don’t park right next to the door. This brisk walk is a great way to start your office exercise program off for the day. A brisk walk is a great way to get your endorphins flowing, guaranteeing a positive attitude when you walk through the office door.
Now, what we are really here to talk about. What can we do now that we are at the office to stay fit and healthy? When I have a free ten minutes, usually a few hours into my shift, I start my office exercise program off with twenty high knees. Raising the legs alternately, in a standing position, until the hip is at a 90-degree angle. This is so amazing for circulation and helps reduce the swelling in your lower legs and feet. I follow this with twenty side step-outs. Starting with your feet shoulder width apart, step to the left side and slightly squat down. Stand straight and step back to the starting position, you then do the same for the right.
I love to do this at my desk because honestly by this point, I have to stop for two minutes to answer an email or answer my phone. If I don’t get interrupted, I can simply continue, I then go into 20 calf raises. I love this one because if I am wearing flats it’s easy and if I’m wearing heels, it’s still easy!
Now, this is where change up sometimes occurs. When I am wearing slacks or a longer skirt, I do 10 chair tricep dips. This is not only great for your arms and shoulders but also for stretching your hands and wrists. I really feel the burn with this one. If I am wearing a skirt that makes this difficult, I replace it with, 20-wall press pushups. You stand and put your hands against the wall, simply follow with a push-out. As you get better and start building muscle, increase the angle to make the push up more difficult.
I also put variation in the next few office exercises, as needed to accommodate my choice of outfit and shoes, for the day. I love leg lifts in any workout. These exercises tone so many muscles and really help with circulation and overall health. When I can sneak into the empty office, I do a standard, lay down leg lift set of 35. If I have to stay at my desk, I hold on to my chair and do a side leg lift. I do at least 50 of this type. If a skirt won’t let you raise your leg high, increase the number of times and the speed at which you complete your set. There are always ways to work around your office exercise program with the variety of exercises available.
To finish up I do 20-knee pull in or 20 chair leg lifts, again make sure to have a backup for those shorter skirt days. So, you sit on the edge of your chair and pull your knees up or from the same position straighten them out and slightly raise up and down. And Finally, 20-squats, feel free to alter how far you part your feet and how far down you go to make sure you are safe and comfortable.
I have lost some significant weight and my body thanks me every day for instituting an office exercise program into my daily routine. As I have built and toned my muscle I have been able to increase from one set to, on really good days, 7 sets throughout my day. What a life saver, I hope this 10-minute office workout will help you exceed your goals.
If you need a little help with an office exercise program, here is a post from WebMD. Exercise At Your Desk