Daylight Savings Time has officially ended. We got our glorious extra hour last weekend but now we’re left with painfully short days for the next few months. Add that to the dropping temperature and our motivation to get outside for a little exercise just tanked. If you’re like me and not a fan of gyms, you have to start getting creative during the winter to work in the fitness. As it turns out, there are lots of little exercises you can do at your desk throughout the day or on your breaks to keep the blood flowing and burn a few calories! Here’s a quick list of some simple, at-work exercises to combat the winter weight gain. And an added bonus, studies have shown that light exercises throughout the day improve concentration and productivity!
Secret Sculptors: If you’re feeling a little funny about your new work fitness, start with these exercises you can do subtly while sitting at your desk.
Leg extensions-Sitting on the edge of you chair, feet flat on the floor, lift one leg up, extended straight in front of you until it’s parallel to the floor. Hold for 10 seconds. Alternate this with each leg 10 times.
Secret Handshake– With your arms in front of your chest, hold your hands in a handshake grip and pull hard against your hands for 10 seconds. Relax. Repeat 10 times.
Toe Raises-Keeping your heels flat on the floor raise your toes. Do 3 sets of 50.
Stapler Curls-This can work with a number of office items, a stapler, tape dispenser, water bottle, etc. Find a slightly weighted object and do arm curls beside your body while seated. Try 3 sets of 10 with each arm.
The Paper Weight: Find an unopened ream of copy paper, place it between your knees and lift feet off the floor, holding it in place for 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
Toe Tappin’: While sitting at your desk tap your feet in place rapidly for 3 minutes.
Bolder Burners: If you’re feeling more confident about your new regime or get other coworkers involved, here are a few more exercises that aren’t quite as subtle.
Chair Dips: Be sure to use a non-rolling chair for this one! Standing in front of the chair, grip the sides of the seat behind you and take a steps forward until you’re lowered at about a 45 degree angle to the ground. Lower yourself slowly by bending your arms then raise back up by straightening them. Do 2 sets of 10.
Standing Push Ups: Pushups can be done just about anywhere and you don’t have to get down on the floor! Use the wall or a sturdy piece of furniture to work on those biceps. Do 3 sets of 10.
Calf Raises: These are great to do when you’re standing around waiting at the printer or for a fresh pot of coffee to brew in the break room. Standing with your feet flat, slowly lift up on your toes and back down. Do 2 sets of 25.
Air Chair Sits: Every time you come back to your chair lower yourself slowly and hold yourself a few inches off the seat for 10 seconds before you sit down.
Chair Swivel: This works if you have a chair on wheels. Back up so you can grip the desk with your arms extended. Pull your feet up in criss cross apple sauce position. Now use your core muscles to slide yourself back and forth in your chair. Your arms should just keep you straight; work your abs for the side to side movement. Move side to side 10 times.