Get Fit at the Office - Work Out at your Desk!

Get Fit at the Office – Work Out at your Desk!

I’m always promising myself that today’s the day I’ll start working out, but it doesn’t seem to happen… It’s not that I don’t want to, I mean, a part of me yearns for that “perfect” body, who doesn’t? But I just can’t seem to get into a regular workout habit. I’m so tired when I get home that the last thing I want to do is workout. I work hard (err ok, I work during the day), I have two very energetic kittens that want to play, plus I like to cook dinner when I get home. I don’t have time to workout in the evening.

I’ve read that working out in the morning would help boost my energy level for the day. Seeing that evening workouts were not happening, I set my alarm clock an hour before I usually get up to give this a try. Let’s just say I’m not a morning person and I somehow woke up at my normal time (snooze buttons are the devils work ~ wht), and missed my a.m. workout. I soon realized that a morning exercise routine wasn’t my thing either.

Then I thought, why not start at work? I spend most of my day there anyway, might as well try to fit in a small workout right? Enter my cousin Brian, a personal trainer who is so enthusiastic about fitness and working with his clients that his face lights up when he talks about a new exercise he’s discovered. I asked him to give me a few exercises that I could do while at work. I figure if I could do them while sitting in front of a computer and see some results it might motivate me to continue to shape up when away from the office. Before I share this mini workout, I wanted to share a few nuggets of workplace fitness wisdom gleamed from Brian:

Any type of swinging motion or stretching is good to get the body energized. By doing this you will wake up your body and mind so you can focus at work. Take a few minutes every half hour to hour to stretch a bit, maybe make a few “backstroke” swings – it feels good!

Walk as much as possible during the day. Instead of emailing co-workers walk to their desk when possible. Volunteer to handle any tasks or run any errands that you can walk to from your office. Use the stairs instead of the elevator/escalator whenever possible. Park a few blocks further from your office or (if the area is safe and well lit) park at the back of the parking lot or catch the bus stop a few blocks away from your normal stop.

Drink a lot of water. Not only will this hydrate your body and make your skin soft, it will also make you have to use the bathroom, making you get up and walk. Plus, many of us interrupt thirst for hunger; keeping yourself hydrated may help keep spontaneous desk eating to a minimum.

• Finally, take a short, brisk walk on your lunch break before you eat – try to commit to this walk everyday, rain or shine.

Brian’s Deskside Mini Workout:

1. Place a Bosu Ball on your chair. It will contract and release your abs as you balance on it throughout the day giving your abs a workout without you doing a thing.
2. While seated do a reverse crunch. (Abs)
3. While in your chair lift legs off the ground and do scissor kicks. (Abs and legs)
4. Then a bicycle movement (Abs and Legs)
5. While seated, Lift one leg up straight out and flex foot, return to floor. Repeat with other leg. (Legs)
6. Place feet flat on floor and do heel raises on each foot. (Calves)
7. If you have wheels on your chair, place your feet at the base and grab on to the desk with your hands. Pull and push yourself to and from the desk. (Arms)
8. While standing about a foot away from the desk, place hands on edge, and do push ups. (Arms)
9. Clasp hands above your head then drop them down to the base of your neck. Raise them back up. Repeat. (Arms)
10. Squeeze your butt cheeks together. (Gluteus)

Repeat this cycle of exercises as often as you can while at your desk at home or the office.

we heartsters – please share your tips for keeping fit while spending long hours at the office.



Cori loves writing, reading, music, photos, coffee, and travel. She's also a bookworm who tries to dance, makes lists then forgets about them and has a small addiction to sunglasses and bags.

11 thoughts on “Get Fit at the Office – Work Out at your Desk!”

  1. glamazon56

    I love this post @cori!
    Great new ways to exercise at your desk!? Brilliant!
    I have stairs right near my office (read cubicle), and when I feel like I need a breather, I will start at the basement and climb the entire 8 floors. I feel like it’s been making a difference.

  2. stef

    Great tips @cori. So much better than slouching at my desk all day, then wondering why I feel so blob-like! I’m going to print these out and stick them to my monitor.

  3. I only work 3 days a week. I will keep these tips in mind. I do have a wii fit that I feel is good for quick easy exercising at home. My 3 year old likes to do the hula hoop too haha

  4. Cori

    These tips really work too. I did this mini workout throughout the day when he first gave it to me and the next day I was sore! I have kept it up, and I’m actually noticing results. Plus I have more energy throughout the day too. And, I have started doing yoga at home! Look at that, the mini workout has progressed!!

  5. jpal

    Great reminders! Sometimes it just takes getting up and walking around the block to motivate me to put in my exercise tape or get to the gym. Even if I don’t get the full workout in at least I moved around a bit…like you said…the mini workouts add up! Thank you @Cori!

  6. irene

    Anything is better than nothing too.. I hardly get to exercise and the other day I had to run around like an -ah, you know, and my shins are still moaning the blues. thanks for these tips for those of us that are bound to the desk in the ole office!

  7. Loved reading your blog..hey I just got this really cool exercise bike that has a desktop built in…I was biking and on laptop working at same time…really doing double it on is the FitDesk and i think you girls would dig it…cause i do…and great minds think alike!!

  8. kari

    This is perfect @Cori! I’m the same way about working out before or after work…it just doesn’t work for me. I’m totally going to start doing this at the office from now on!

  9. I like these tips…that all the little things add walking to co-worker’s desk instead of emailing..and drinking more water serves double duty…replenishes and have to get up to go more! LOL ps I wrote I just got a FitDesk and with my big butt, I decided to swap out standard seat with comfy Schwinn no pressure comfort seat and now Im bicycling and working twice as much today and Im telling you it is so great killing two birds with one stone. I heart my healthy lunch today and i Heart my Fitdesk! I heart we heart this

  10. tyna

    Some great tips here @cori! Since I’m working from home now, I love the idea of working at my desk with a big exercise ball as the chair. Of course, now that I have a use for it, the ball I had at one time, sat in a closet for years until I finally sold it at last summers yard sale.

    I’m a total foloower of the “avoid shortcuts” rule – ie: never cutting across a field or yard to get somewhere – taking the long way only adds a minute or two to your walk, and it all adds up. And I always op for stairs when given the choice over an elevator or escalator.

  11. turboterp

    Great post, @cori! I work in a huge office complex filled with elevators and escalators which I refuse to take, ever! If I have a meeting on the eighth floor, I’m taking the stairs. People make fun of me but my non-flabby butt will have the last laugh!

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