All of us have days where you can hardly find time to think, let alone squeeze in a workout. The phones won’t stop ringing, deadlines are looming, and somehow you choose today to leave your lunch on your kitchen counter. When days like these happen, you tend to forget all about the treadmill or the bicycle desks that your company has been nice enough to purchase. Heck, sometimes you even forget to stand up!
Xybix Designer, Rebecca Cassidy and I happen to be grouped together in an office panel system, and we have decided not to let those hectic days/weeks get the best of us. So once an hour throughout each workday, we get up and do something active for about 30 seconds. When you’re logging a 9-hour workday, these small moments add up to about 4 minutes and 30 seconds of overall activity. Not bad!
This system has worked so well for us; we’ve decided to share it with our readers. Here are some of our simple, down and dirty, 30-second workouts that you can incorporate into your workday. We promise, you won’t even miss those 270 seconds!
- 30 second plank: Get into a pushup position with your forearms resting on the floor at 90 degrees. Your elbows should be directly beneath your shoulders, and your body should form a straight line from your head to your feet (watch those hips!). Hold and feel the burn.
- 30 second side plank: A literal twist on the traditional plank. Prop yourself up on your side with your right forearm so that your body forms a diagonal line. Rest your left hand on your hip. Hold and then switch to the other side.
- 30 calf raises: Stand with your hands on your hips. Raise heels by extending onto the balls of your feet. Lower down. Repeat. For an added challenge, stand on a raised surface, such as on a bottom step, with your heels off the edge.
- 10 push-ups: Yes, the same type that you hated in your grade-school gym class! Get into a high push-up position, with your hands directly underneath the shoulders. Lower your body toward the ground and push back up to starting position. If that’s too challenging, drop your knees to the floor.
- 30 sit-ups: Lay on the floor, place your feet firmly on the ground, put your hands behind the head and lift your shoulder blades off the ground for an easy abdominal exercise.
- 5 burpees: This is a more challenging exercise, guaranteed to get your heart pumping and give your coworkers a giggle! Begin in a standing position with your feet wider than shoulder-length. Drop into a squat and place your hands on the ground. Jump your feet back while keeping arms extended and land in a high push-up position. Immediately jump your feet back toward your arms. Stand (or if you’re feeling frisky, jump) and repeat.
- 20 squats: Stand with legs slightly wider than shoulder-length. Move the hips back, while bending at the knees and lower into a squat position. Return to standing.
- 20 standing lunges: Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place your hands on the hips and step one leg forward and lower until the front leg is at a 90-degree angle. Step back to the starting position and switch to the other leg.
- 10 Tricep Dips: Stand facing away from your desk, legs shoulder-width apart, with both hands resting behind you on the desk. Bend at the elbows and dip your body down a few inches and then push back up. For those with height-adjustable workstations, start with your desk higher for an easier movement, and as you are ready, lower your desk a little every time.
We have found that picking one “workout” for the day and sticking to it is what works best for us. Switch what you do daily, but make sure you take into account the outfit you’re wearing that day (for example, I’m not about to do burpees in a skirt or dress!). These little breaks might not equal a good workout in the gym, but they’re getting us moving even a little bit — and sometimes that’s all you have time for!
Mix it up and make these easy workouts work for you! Let us know what ideas you come up with and what you do to get moving at work. We would LOVE to add your ideas to our repertoire.