Annoying, isn't it? You want to get in shape and burn those extra calories. But how are you supposed to do it when you're stuck at your desk all day long? You squeeze in some gym time when you can, but deep down, you know it's not enough. You should be doing more, you should be exercising more. But it's hard to find the time.
Well, what if I told you that having a desk job isn't necessarily the obstacle you think it is? You can get fit while sitting at your desk. Here's how!
1. Squeeze in Some Tone-Ups
Just because you’re sitting doesn’t mean you can’t exercise. Isometric exercises – based on muscle control, such as holding your glutes tightly, squeezing in your stomach, raising your knees, or clenching your arms – are the easiest way to start.
If you spend 10 minutes out of every hour of your workday doing some isometrics, you can not only expect to burn calories, but you’ll also build some muscle.
2. Watch Your Posture
You heard it a thousand times from your mom during your teen years, didn’t you? “Sit up straight!” Unfortunately, at a certain point in everyone’s life, their mother gives up and stops yelling at them. People forget their posture and begin to slump or hunch while sitting.
But it’s never too late to start working on your posture. As you are reading this, tighten those abs, keep your shoulders back, and lift your chest. A good posture will strengthen your back and shoulders, prevent muscle strain, and make you look leaner.
3. Go Bouncy
If your boss allows it, swap out your office chair for a stability ball. People might look at you strangely, but that’s because they wish they had thought of it first. Just don’t sit on the ball for longer than a couple of hours a day, because your core muscles will get tired and your body position will suffer as a result. Remember? You need to sit upright.
4. Take a Stroll Without Getting Up
No need to leave your desk to fit in a cardio workout. An inexpensive desk stepper fits easily under your desk and allows for steady cardio activity during your workday.
5. Get Yourself a Headset
If you spend time on the phone, invest in a headset and pace around your desk whenever possible. Even at a slow pace, the muscular work that occurs when you walk burns calories. For weight loss, the number of steps is actually more important than speed.
If you have a more private office, you can get fit even easier by performing some lunges or squats during the call. So walk, talk, and get in shape.
6. Get Off Your Butt
Most of us are guilty of too much sitting. Even if you exercise on a regular basis, evidence suggests that exercise cannot undo the damage done by prolonged sitting. If you have a desk job, see if you can get a standing desk or improvise with a high desk to engage the muscles in your back and legs. If you can’t get your boss on board with a standing desk, consider standing up for a few minutes here and there.
Better yet, if you work from home and want to take the whole standing thing to another level, get a treadmill desk.
Being stuck in an office chair is not the most fun. Watching your waistline grow and not having time to do anything about it can also feel overwhelming. Luckily, you can beat your sedentary lifestyle at its own game. You can get in shape and boost your metabolism even while you sit.
Remember, every small change counts!
So pick one of the tips above and try it out tomorrow. Some of the techniques might take some time to get used to and become habitual, so don’t discredit them after one day. Give each technique an honest try. If it doesn’t work for you even after a few days, eliminate it and move on to the next.
All these solutions can play a role in your journey to become a more fit you – even in an office chair.
How do you stay active with a more sedentary lifestyle?