5 Types of Exercise You Can Sneak Into Your Workday
“I just don’t have time to work out.”
It’s a common excuse for skipping out on the gym, and sometimes it’s a pretty good one. After all, it’s all too easy to burn half an hour getting to the gym, dressing out, then showering and doing it all in reverse after your workout. If you have kids or a long commute, that time is precious. But that doesn’t mean you can’t work out; it just means you need a little extra creativity to do it.
If you’re lucky enough to have a physical job, you can get a workout just by upping your work speed or intensity. But if you work a desk job, you’ll want to have a few tricks up your sleeve:
Become a Human-powered Commuter
You have to get to and from work to every day, right? If you live within biking, walking, or jogging distance, that’s a built-in workout every day. Even if you can’t bike the entire way, what about biking halfway there to a bus or subway stop, then taking mass transit from there? Not only do you save on gym memberships (and potentially on gas or transit costs), you’ll also have all your cardio done with by the time you get home for the evening.
Walk and Talk
If you’re lucky, you might be able to convince your boss or HR department to implement walking meetings. Instead of sitting around a conference table while you brainstorm, take a stroll down the hall or a walk around the building. And if you have to correspond with somebody down the hall, go poke your head into their office instead of sending an email message.
Giant Rubber Bands
Elastic resistance bands look like giant rubber bands or tubes, but they’re actually some of the most effective, least expensive, portable and compact exercise equipment you can get. (They’re available in most sporting goods stores and many pharmacies.) With one or two sets of these in a desk drawer you can work just about every major muscle group in your body, with exercises such as:
- Chest presses
- Shoulder presses
- Lat pulldowns
- Biceps curls
- Triceps extensions
Calisthenics like jumping jacks, squat jumps, mountain climbers and burpees sure are challenging — but that’s part of what makes them so good for sneaking a quick workout session into your workday. You don’t need any special equipment to do them, although a private office is advised; people might look at you a little funny if you start doing burpees in your cubicle.
The Lunchtime Hustle
If you’re really motivated, you can sneak a quick, intense workout — running stairs, calisthenics, or even a few brisk laps around the building — into the first 30 minutes of your lunch hour, towel off, and then use the rest of the time to eat.
Did you notice the word “motivated” in there? That’s the key, because in the end, most excuses for not working out — including “I don’t have time” — are really just different ways of saying “I don’t really want to.” And that’s okay! But once you decide that you really do want to exercise, you’ll find a way.
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