Types of exercises you can do at work
The most effective exercises for achieving weight loss are the ones that are as simple and practical as possible, that can easily become part of your daily routine and second nature before you know it!
Taking the time to work out and keep fit shouldn’t be an effort or something that you dread but instead is seen as a positive step which releases feel-good hormones, helping you to feel motivated and inspired to keep going especially when it gets tough.
We understand that going to the gym is not for everyone and when you are on a fat loss journey, it can sometimes feel intimidating to work out in front of other people. So, when you’re at work, think about taking the stairs rather than the lift wherever possible, and introduce easy 1-2-3 office workouts into your day such as seated leg raises and free weights with water bottles.
How about also reducing your carbon footprint and increasing your step count before you even get to the office by walking, cycling, or getting off the bus a couple of stops earlier?
If you feel daft working out on your own, why not get your colleagues involved? Dedicating even just ten minutes a day can make a great difference to employees morale and wellbeing, it may also be a great way to bond with other team members.
Desk friendly exercises
Next time you feel as though you’ve been sitting at your desk for too long, why not try one of the exercises below, to make you feel more energised and get your body moving.
Upper body exercise
- Wall pushups: stand a few steps away from a wall and do standing push ups against the wall, opt for 20 reps.
- Tricep dips: you will need a stationary office chair for this exercise, keep your hands flat on the chair facing your body away from it, bending your legs and dip your body towards the floor, for 20 reps.
- Arm circles: put your arms out to the side, moving them in circles, 20 in one direction and 20 in the other.
- Arm pulses: put your arms out behind you and pulse them for 20 reps
- Desk push ups: using the desk to support your body weight, do 20 push ups
- Chair squats: squat down to your chair then stand straight back up, do this 20 times
- Lunges: find some space in your office then do 10 lunges on each leg
- Wall sit: stand with your back to a wall and legs bent at a 90 degree angle, hold this position for 90 seconds, repeat twice
- Imaginary jump rope: pretend to skip rope on the spot for 60 seconds
- Calf raises: rise up and down onto your tiptoes, repeat this 20 times
- Standing rear pulses: holding a desk for support, flex one leg behind you and pulse it backwards 20 times on each leg
- Lower abs leg lift: sitting straight up on your chair, lift up either one leg at a time or both legs and you will feel your lower abs working, repeat this 20 times all together
- Seated bicycle crunches: sit in your chair, hands behind your head, twist from each side reaching your opposite elbow to your opposite knee. Do 20 reps
- Oblique twists: this is great if you have a swivel chair, lift your feet off the floor, holding on to the desk and swivel yourself from side to side, repeat 20 times
Sitting at a desk for a prolonged amount of time can make your body feel stiff however, stretching throughout the day can be highly beneficial.
- Triceps stretch: raise your arm up then bend it behind your back touching your opposite shoulder, stretch it down with your opposite hand. Hold for 30 seconds then repeat on the other side.
- Shoulder stretch: interlock your fingers and reach your hands above your head. Reach up and hold for 30 seconds.
- Wrist and finger stretch: when working in an office, typing can put strain on your wrists and hands, stretching them out will release this.
- Bent knee stretch: sit down, pull alternate knees towards your chest and hold for 30 seconds.
- Neck rolls: move your head from side to side and up and down
- Shoulder rolls: shrug your shoulders up and down and roll them around to release tension.
- Upper back stretch: bend over reaching your hands in front of you, hold for 3 deep breaths.
- Chest stretch: interlock fingers behind lower back, push chest out and stretch.
- Hamstring stretch: sat down, straighten one leg in front of you and reach for it with your arm, you will feel this all the way up your hamstring. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.
- Torso twist: sit up straight, place feet on the floor and slowly twist your upper body to face the back of the chair, take a deep breath and repeat on the other side.
Maximise your lunch break!
Some offices are even lucky enough to have a dedicated gym onsite with lunchtime classes, but most of us can still integrate exercise into our daily routine without access to specialist workout equipment.
Our best advice is to make the most of your lunch hour by taking a break from your desk and going for a brisk walk, run or cycle if possible. This means you can return to work feeling invigorated and energised ready for the afternoon ahead.
After all, the NHS tells us that sitting for long periods is thought to slow the metabolism, which affects the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and break down body fat.
Some exercise is better than no exercise
Getting started is a huge step forward even if you only commit to 30 minutes a day of physical activity, to begin with, this can always be increased in frequency and intensity gradually over time as you achieve weight loss results and exercise therefore starts to become easier.
According to the NHS, people who exercise regularly have a lower risk of developing many long-term (chronic) conditions, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and some cancers.
Have you ever considered exercising at home?
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