It’s one thing to start a new fitness routine, but it’s another entirely to actually stick to it. If you’re like most people, you probably barely have time in the day to sleep, let alone make it to the gym. Here’s the good news — you have an alternative. You can work out without even leaving the office. Try these moves to stay fit in just a few minutes per day.
If your main concern is keeping those muscles toned, spend your lunch break on a few simple strength-training moves you can do at your desk. Here are a few to try.
- Weight-bearing shrugs: Sit up straight in your chair and grasp the seat on either side, as though you’re about to stand up. Instead, allow your arm muscles to feel the tension and contract. Rest and repeat.
- Pseudo-biceps curl: Scoot closer to your desk so that your hands are beneath it, and use an open palm to push up against the desk, almost as if you’re attempting to lift it. Although not a true bicep curl, the move will help sculpt your upper arms.
Perhaps you’re more concerned about burning calories quickly than you are about building strength. In this case, incorporate some cardio into your lunchtime routine. You don’t have to spend an hour on the treadmill to reap the benefits of cardio training, just fly through these sweat-inducing exercises.
- Inchworms: Stand straight, and then bend from the waist and place your hands flat on the floor. Crawl forward until you’re in a plank position, and then retrace your steps moving backward until you’re standing again. Repeat for five or 10 reps.
- Jump squats: This move is as simple as it sounds. Sink down into a squat, and then launch yourself upward so your feet leave the ground, ultimately returning to the squat position. Repeat for 10 reps.
When you want to squeeze in a quick ab workout over your lunch break, it’s pretty easy to do. If you can clear some space on the floor in your cubicle, that will be more than enough room to complete these ab-sculpting moves.
- The Hundred: This Pilates-inspired movement requires you to lay flat on the floor to start, then lift your head and shoulders slightly and elevate your legs about 45 degrees. Quickly flutter your arms up and down, counting to 100, and feel the abdominal burn that ensues.
- Plank: You can never go wrong with a good, old-fashioned plank, which helps tone and tighten your oblique muscles. Lie with your stomach on the floor and your arms beneath you, and then push yourself away from the floor as if you’re going into a pushup. But instead, hold this pose for 30-second intervals.
Maybe your body doesn’t need a grueling workout, it just needs a break. First of all, always remember to stretch it out. Consider swapping your midday sweat session for a few yoga moves. Yoga may loosen the kinks that result from hours of sitting and help alleviate any stress that comes with your workday. Get started with the following moves.
- Neck and shoulder stretch: Stand and clasp your hands behind your back and move your gaze up toward the ceiling. As you stretch your arms long, push your chest forward to feel a sweet release.
- Leg stretches: Stand and stretch one hand behind your back, simultaneously bending the corresponding knee and grasping your foot in your hand. Then stretch the other arm toward the sky, resulting in a full-body stretch. Repeat on the other side.
With simple routines like these at your disposal, you might be surprised by how easy it is to crush a workout over the course of a lunch break. So instead of scrambling to get to the gym in the morning, you can hit the snooze button a time or two — and still get in your exercise. Your body will thank you.