Clever Ways to Get Some Exercise at the Office (or Any Small Space)
It's important to get regular exercise, even if it's a little activity here and there. Still, not all of us have access to (or money for) a gym membership, and many of us already work long hours that make it difficult to get out for a run or jog. Here are some clever ways to get a little activity in anywhere you happen to be, like your cubicle.
We should note that you're not really going to work up a sweat or do any serious resistance training in your cubicle, so it's important to complement exercises like these with a semi-regular workout routine you'll actually stick to
Master Your Small-Space Stretching Exercises
Probably the easiest (and the least conspicuous) exercises you can do at your desk or in your cubicle are simple stretching and in-place exercises. We've shown you some of them before
Additionally, you can try stretching exercises you can do sitting down. Desk yoga, for example, can help you de-stress and avoid repetitive stress injury (RSI) that can damage your hands, wrists, back, and neck. If you work in a job where you're tethered to a phone, you may not have the option to get up and move around too often without signing off or getting approval, so even a few seated stretches can help you out there. If you work in a cubicle though, definitely make a point to get up, move around, and stretch a bit.
Even if you can't work up a sweat at your desk, you can stay limber or go for a quick walk around the office, or the office building. I was lucky enough to work in an office that had a gym attached to it, but sometimes it was just as nice to go outside for a nice long walk around the building a couple of times, or to have a "walking meeting," where I took an hour-long conference call while walking laps around the parking lot instead of sitting pinned to my desk.
Bring Some Equipment With You
If you have a little room at the office to swing a few things around or get on the floor a bit, you might consider bringing a few items with you to work that'll help you make your breaks or idle thinking time even more productive. Even a pair of five-pound hand weights gives you the opportunity to do a number of exercises you wouldn't otherwise be able to do. We've even shown you how to get a great workout in less than 20 minutes using nothing but a towel
If you work from home, this gets even easier, since you can wear what you like and work out when you like-even if you're technically supposed to be pinned to your computer for something. In the same vein, make use of your surroundings. Even if you can't bring some hand weights into the office with you, you may be able to make the most of the stairs up to your office area or the distance to your desk from the parking lot (eg, park as far as possible from your desk). You could also consider switching to a backless chair to encourage good posture, or giving yourself a stair-climbing workout even if your desk is on the first floor.
Finally, consider using an app like Sworkit, one of our favorites, to auto generate workouts that fit into the amount of time you have and the location you're in. If you're at the office, you can get exercise suggestions that won't make you disgusting for your next meeting, but still help you stretch out a bit and get the blood flowing. The same applies if you're visiting a friend and want to limber up before bed, or on a business trip in a tiny hotel room.
Mod Your Workspace for a Great Workout
If you have the freedom to make your workspace a little more exercise friendly, then you can throw the doors open to a number of new possibilities. For example, you could always opt to build a treadmill desk
Similarly, you could always invest in something like the previously mentioned
You may be able to bring a Desk Cycle to the office, but unless you're in charge, have your own office, or work at a company that's okay with major workspace changes, a treadmill desk may not be in the cards. Still, that doesn't mean you're totally out of options. After all, it's possible to get a full-body workout using nothing but your body