I’m a writer. Writers sit. Sitting writers can get out of shape fast if they don’t take care to get regular physical activity. Besides, being active is a key for sparking creativity. Movement has big impact on memory, thinking, and creative capacity. Now, it might seem easy to schedule 30 minutes to an hour of activity into each day, but sometimes it’s almost impossible. Not only do I work from home, but I manage the schedules and tasks associated with three teenagers, two dogs, and ten hives of bees. That’s why I’ve learned to add a series of simple office exercises to my day.
When I’m able, I love to take a morning walk to get my day off to an invigorating start. Walking briskly is great cardiovascular exercise and it also allows me some quiet time to plan my day or to listen to an audiobook. The downside is that sometimes the weather doesn’t cooperate. Here in Texas, it’s most often too hot or humid and sometimes it’s pouring rain. Other times, I’ve got things to do that require me to be on the road in the morning, and this will derail my intention to walk. I still try to make it happen, but I’m glad I can rely on my office exercises to help keep me moving, even if my walk doesn’t happen.
The great thing about these exercises is you can do them any time, and almost anywhere. I try to stop what I’m doing every 15 minutes or so to do something active. I have a standing desk, but I alternate between standing and sitting throughout the day. So besides getting in a workout, taking a break to move helps me to remember to change desk positions. Here are some of my favorites.
The office exercises I do alternate between “leg” days and “arms” days. On a typical arm day, I’ll do the following office exercises. I do use 3 pound dumbbells for some, but you can use what works for you. Try soup cans if you don’t have dumbbells.
Arm Raise: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Holding your weights, bring your arms up to a “V” above your head, making sure to keep elbows and wrists slightly bent. Then lower your arms to your sides and, without pausing, go back up again. Aim for 25 at each mini-session.
Tricep Pulse: With feet shoulder-width apart and holding your weights, raise one arm straight overhead. Then slightly bend your elbow and pulse it back up to the completely straight position. Keep pulsing up and down for 25 repetitions on each arm.
Arm Pull: Hold your dumbbell in your right hand. With feet shoulder-width apart and your left hand on your left hip, raise your right arm straight in front of you with the palm facing the floor. Pull your right elbow to your hip while twisting your palm toward the ceiling. Do 25 repetitions on each arm per mini-session.
Squats: These are your typical squat. Nothin’ fancy. If you don’t know how to do a squat, here’s a link to a great set of instructions with video.
Inner Thigh Lift: Sit on the floor and extend your right leg with your left leg bent. Keep your left foot on the floor with toes forward. Flex your right foot, turning it out and away from your body. Lift the right leg so it’s parallel to angle of left and point toes. Return to starting position. Do 25 reps on each leg.
Outer Thigh Lift: Lie on your left side, with your left leg slightly bent, leaning back on left elbow. Keeping your right leg straight, cross it over the left. Keep hips rotated to the left and lift the right leg to a 90-degree angle while keeping it straight. Lower to starting position. Do 25 reps with each leg.
Piking: Lie flat on the floor with arms at your sides. Lift straight legs up to ceiling to 90 degrees and then gently lower. Without pausing, lift them back up again. Do 25 reps per mini-session.
Advanced Piking: Lie on the floor, legs straight out in front of you with your arms on the floor stretched out over your head. Hold onto a weight and bring your hands up to meet your legs when you raise them to a 90-degree angle and lower your arms and legs back down to the floor at the same time. Do 25 reps.
I’m sure you’re thinking “Big whoop, 25 reps of anything is not going to amount to much,” but check this out: I take a break every 15 minutes. That’s four breaks an hour. If I do 25 squats four times, I’ve done 100 squats! And don’t worry about the time it takes — I used a stopwatch and it takes me about 33 seconds to do 25 squats. It’s not going to cut into your productive time too much.
You’ll only need three hours of work time to get in your three exercises per day if you stop every 15 minutes to move. If this seems difficult, or if you’re in the groove on your work assignment, don’t fret. Stopping every thirty minutes or even one time per hour will still give your more than enough time to fit in all your sessions.
Remember, one size does NOT fit all, so modify the exercises to fit your schedule and your level of fitness. Always check with a doctor before beginning a new fitness program. If you want to see more similar exercises, check out Tracy Anderson’s website.
Do you think this is a program that can help you remain fit while you sit? Tell me why or why not!
See you on the next page!
NOTE: I am not affiliated in any way with Tracy, nor am I paid to promote her program. I get no money from any purchases made on her website.