Working Out at Work: Why You Need It and How to Do It

Working Out at Work: Why You Need It and How to Do It

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Your cushy office job is a hazard to your health. By now, everyone knows that a sedentary lifestyle isn’t ideal. What’s worse, even following the “30 active minutes per day” rule might not be enough to counter the negative effects of sitting at your desk for at least 8 hours daily.

In a study led by epidemiologist Steven Blair of the University of South Carolina, they discovered that people who spent a minimum of 23 sedentary hours per week were at greater risk of cardiovascular disease.

Your muscles quiet down while you’re sitting, and this leads to an avalanche of negative physical effects. You lose muscle tone, your metabolism drops, insulin effectivity drops, and your HDL (aka “good”) cholesterol drops as well. As such, you become a high risk candidate for heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

Exercising daily isn’t enough to reverse the impact of your sedentary hours spent at work. It’s a huge help for overall fitness, of course, but it cannot be viewed as the infallible antidote that many seem to expect. You can’t counter the negative effects of smoking with a couple of vitamins, for example.

Working out at the office doesn’t mean organizing a zumba session. Instead, what you want it to just move more. Adding small activities to your daily grind can be very helpful in counteracting the health risks brought by a sedentary lifestyle. Here are some ideas you can try.

Walk

The easiest exercise you can do at the office is to just get up and walk. Take a break, head to the water cooler, and refill your water bottle. A quick walk around the office every hour might seem like a small thing, but it’s an excellent way to break the monotony of sitting in front of your monitor the entire day.

Calf Raises

Aside from sitting all day, a lot of office tasks require standing around. You might find the copier taking way longer than expected, or your boss might be into standing meetings these days. When you find yourself in such a situation, make the most of it with calf raises. Stand up straight, relax your shoulders, then push yourself up to stand on tiptoes. Lower yourself down and repeat.

Leg Extensions

Looking for discreet office workouts? This one’s for you. While seated at your desk, slowly extend your legs straight forward. Hold for a few seconds then lower them back down, but don’t let your feet touch the floor. Repeat or do alternate legs; pick whatever works best for you.

Knee Pull-Ins

Start with your legs straight out, then use your abdominal muscles to pull your knees back in. Don’t rely on your legs; in this exercise they should serve only as weights. Instead, make sure that you’re fully engaging your core to bring your knees in.

Tricep Dips

This one’s a bit more obvious, as there’s no way to do tricep dips discreetly at the office. Start in a seated position, then put your hands on the chair right next to your thighs. Push your butt forward and away from the seat, with your legs straight out in front of you. Straighten your arms, then slowly bend your elbows to lower yourself down. Raise yourself back up and repeat.

Wall Push-Ups

Hands flat on the wall, shoulders are wide and relaxed. When you push down towards the wall, make sure to engage your core and keep your body straight from head to toe. Push back up and repeat.

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7 Challenging Exercises for Your Commercial Break Workout

7 Challenging Exercises for Your Commercial Break Workout

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There’s no reason why you can’t fit a quick workout into your TV viewing schedule. Every 30-minute show has about 8 minutes worth of commercials in total, so make it a fun challenge and get moving during these ad breaks. That way, you can feed your binge-watching habit without turning into a couch potato.

Take a page from popular workout programs like HIIT or circuit training: go hard for a couple of minutes, then take a break to recover. Here are 7 workout moves you can do during commercial breaks the next time you find yourself on the couch, watching TV.

Push yourself hard and do each workout move for about 45 seconds to a minute. Each ad break should fit around 3 of these exercises.

Full Body Plank

Planks sound simple in theory, but anyone who’s ever attempted to hold one for more than a minute knows that isn’t quite true. It’s one of the best things you can do for a full body workout; a properly executed plank builds core strength and improves overall balance. Use either your forearms or your palms to brace your upper body — just make sure that you are able to maintain a straight line from head to heel.

Plank Toe Taps

Add some movement to your plank with toe taps! Start from the proper full body plank position, then raise your right leg and tap it to the side. Alternate and repeat with the left leg. Try to keep your hips and level and immobile to make the most of this workout.

Mountain Climbers

Get your heart rate up with this challenging move. As with toe taps, start from the full body plank to get into the right form. Once ready, pull your right knee towards your chest. Make sure to use your core muscles! Your right foot should be completely off the floor, too. Extend your right leg back into plank position, then repeat with the left leg. Alternate for 45 seconds. You can increase the speed for cardio training.

Tricep Dips

Yes, the couch you’ve been sitting on can be a tool for your workout! Put your hands on the seat (make sure they are shoulder-width apart to prevent injury) then push your butt forward and off the couch, keeping your legs straight out. Straighten your arms, then bend your elbows to lower yourself to the floor. Push yourself back up and repeat.

Squats

Everybody knows how to squat — or do they? If doing squats hurts your knees and your back, you’re doing it wrong. Start by stabilizing yourself. Keep your legs slightly wider than hip-width apart, then push your butt back like you’re sitting into an imaginary chair. The pressure should be on your glutes, not your knees. Keep your chest open, your shoulders low, and your back neutral.

Burpees

Nobody enjoys burpees — anyone who says otherwise is lying! It’s still a really important workout move, however, as it is a mix of cardio and strength training without requiring any tools or props. Start from plank position, then jump your feet forward closer to your hands. Jump full up and throw your hands in the air, then go back to plank. If you’re feeling strong, substitute the plank with a push-up.

Leg Raises

Lie down flat on the floor and keep your upper body relaxed. Keep your legs straight and off the floor — they will serve as your “weights” for this exercise. Slowly raise your legs as high as you can, then lower your legs and repeat. The bulk of the work should fall on your lower abs and hip flexors, not your legs.

Mix and match these exercises for a full workout and get fit between TV ad breaks.

Workouts for Busy People: A Handy Guide

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Workouts for Busy People: A Handy Guide

Workouts for Busy People: A Handy Guide

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It’s always a challenge trying to squeeze in a couple hours at the gym when you’re already swamped at work and juggling multiple responsibilities. That doesn’t mean you have to give up! Living an active lifestyle is key to overall health, especially for employees who spend most of their days hunched over a desk.

All you have to do is add a bit of creativity to your workout schedule.

Get up and go on an early morning workout.

You might not have enough energy or motivation to sweat it out at the gym after a long day at work, so working out early in the morning is your best bet. Go for a quick jog around your neighborhood, or do yoga right in your own home. Adjusting your sleep schedule can be difficult at first, but the mental and physical boost you get from exercising early in the morning is its own reward.

Workout while commuting.

Squeeze a workout into your busy day by making your daily commute more “challenging”. Park further away from your destination, or get off a few stations earlier than your actual stop. Walk more whenever possible. If it’s feasible, get a bike and start riding it to work. Just bring a change of clothes with you.

Take a walk during your lunch break.

Don’t spend your lunch break eating at your desk! Instead, take a rejuvenating walk outside your office. You need 30 active minutes a day for better heart health, so all you have to do is set aside 30 minutes for your daily lunch break walk. It’s easy, requires very little preparation, and won’t mess up your busy schedule.

Workout at your desk.

There are a lot of exercises you can do right at your desk, so you can workout even for short bursts in between your usual work hours. Do tricep dips with your desk chair, do ab squeezes while seated, or challenge yourself with wall sits. If your company allows it, you can replace your usual chair with a stability ball. You could also bring a couple dumbbells to work out your arms and tone your biceps.

Practice multi-tasking.

Don’t live the couch potato life! Instead of lounging about while decompressing and watching your favorite shows on Netflix, get up and go on the treadmill. An episode of The Bachelor should provide enough entertaining drama to keep you going while you workout.

Embrace inconvenience.

Forego the elevator and walk up to your floor. Walk over to your colleague’s cubicle instead of picking up the phone and calling. All of these small changes can add up and keep you more active throughout the day.

Choose a workout that isn’t time-intensive.

High intensity interval training (HIIT) and circuit training are both great options. These workouts don’t take up a lot of your time but produce great results. HIIT, for example, requires short bursts of very high intensity exercise coupled with equally short recovery periods. Most HIIT and circuit workouts take 15 to 30 minutes only.

Workout on the weekends.

Weekends are the best, especially if your work environment is tiring and stressful. Don’t spend most of it sleeping in and lying on the couch! Schedule a 30-minute workout, whether it’s held at the gym, the fitness studio, or your favorite park. You still have the rest of the day to relax, so a short weekend workout shouldn’t be too much of an imposition on your lazy weekend plans.

Workouts for Busy People: A Handy Guide

Share This Post:  It’s always a challenge trying to squeeze in a couple hours at the gym when you’re already swamped at work and juggling multiple responsibilities. That doesn’t mean you have to give up! Living an...

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Workout Program Complete! What’s Next for Your Fitness Plan?

Workout Program Complete! What’s Next for Your Fitness Plan?

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Fitness these days is all about doing your own research. There are so many workout programs available out there that you’re bound to find something you enjoy. You’ve probably heard of programs like P90X, Couch to 5K, Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body, and 5x5 Strong Lifts, among others.

All you need to do is stream the workouts, watch the tutorials, or get info from special program-related apps. Getting a personal trainer at the gym is still very helpful, but it can be rather expensive. These workout programs can help you get fit even if you don’t have enough funds to spare.

So let’s say you’ve completed the program of your choice. What’s next? Of course, you can always restart the program and do it all over again, but it’s not ideal. When you do the same routines consistently, your body tends to adapt and your weight loss efforts will grind to a halt. The plateau is real, so it’s in your best interest to mix things up.

Start by setting new goals. You’ve just completed a workout program and successfully achieved the fitness milestones you set for yourself. Celebrate and ride that psychological high! Think about new goals you’d like to achieve, like beating your personal record. Giving yourself a new goal to work towards is a good way to energize and motivate your fitness journey.

Your next option is to do the same program again, but with increased intensity. Some ideas to make your program more challenging:

  1. Stay active when “resting”. Most workout programs will give you a minute to rest between sets. Instead of sitting down to catch your breath, stay active and just keep moving. Go for a quick jog around your exercise area or do a dozen mountain-climbers. Burpees or jumping jacks are just as good. This works best for workout programs that include a lot of lifting.
  2. Add more weight. If your usual routine requires 2 kg dumbbells, challenge yourself by replacing them with heavier ones. You can still do the same workout program but the additional weight will prevent your fitness gains from plateauing.
  3. Add more reps. As with the increased weight, adding repetitions to your workout can make the same program a lot more intense. You don’t have to go too big — a couple of reps more is challenging enough.
  4. Embrace instability. When you challenge your balance, your regular workout intensifies and you end up engaging your core muscles even more. Try doing squats or go ahead and hold a plank on a stability ball. Your body will feel a whole new kind of burn. This is a great way to increase both strength and flexibility.

You can also just go ahead and change up your entire routine. There are so many workout programs out there that there’s simply no reason to keep sticking to just one. For some additional options check out my online workouts page. It’s a good way to keep challenging yourself and ensuring that your fitness journey will never plateau.

Choose from any of the workouts to target specific muscle groups or work towards particular goals like increasing strength, flexibility, and balance. The incredibly diverse selection of workout programs on the site means you’ll never be bored, so you can stay motivated and keep on challenging yourself as you pursue your fitness goals.

Workouts for Busy People: A Handy Guide

Share This Post:  It’s always a challenge trying to squeeze in a couple hours at the gym when you’re already swamped at work and juggling multiple responsibilities. That doesn’t mean you have to give up! Living an...

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Exercises to Get Rid of Love Handles

Exercises to Get Rid of Love Handles

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LOVE HANDLES! Not much loved anyhow… these are the shaky bits you just cannot just shift on the sides of your body. It really feels bad to look in the mirror and see those bulges through the clothes. Although you may try dressing-up to look flatter but still getting rid of these love handles is far better than disguising the body as a whole.

No matter what, the problem is that even a toned abdomen doesn’t guarantee to be ruled out from having love handles. In fact, you may still have an excess fat around sides which simply refuses to budge and bulges instead. That such entire scenario requires you to burn belly fat and streamline figure.

Getting rid of love handles is not as painful chore as it is made to be.  In fact, there are some Best exercises to get rid of love handles, both; quickly and easily.

A trio of Best exercises to get rid of love handles

Side Twists

These can work wonders though but often remain a neglected exercise in most of the routines customized to get rid of love handles. For that, just get a stick or short pole and rest it along with your shoulders behind the head with your hands on either end. Now, twist your torso starting from one side to the other but be advised to keep it at a slow pace. The pole or stick will help you to maintain a straight back and legs. Make sure to keep your hips facing forward and not let them twist throughout the exercise. Else, you may not get the desired result but end-up getting injured instead. You may take a start with 2 sets of just 20 repetitions.

Side Bends

Take dumbbells and hold them one in each hand by your sides. Your feet should face forward and must be shoulder-width apart. Without curling your back forward, gradually bend torso to one side till you feel a sight stretch inside muscles. Then, straighten your back up to the start position and repeat the exercise while going the other way. This one cycle of movement from the left side towards right and back to middle makes 1 repetition. You may start with 2 sets of just 10 repetitions while using light dumbbells.

Twisting Crunches

This is one of the excellent exercises to get rid of love handles. All you need to do is that lay with your back on the floor, bend knees and keep feet flat on the floor. Cross your one leg over the other in a resting position placed on opposite knee. Keep hands on the side of the head and then slowly crunch abdominal muscle as if you were trying to lift chest towards the ceiling. As soon as you reach the apex of crunch, just twist your torso towards the knee, which is lifted off the floor. Finally, roll your torso back to start position and continue with repetition for the desired number.

Be advised that the numbers are not so important here but the form that you maintain during the exercise. Typically, people pull on their head and bend their back during exercise which increases the risk of injury ends with ZERO results.

Workouts for Busy People: A Handy Guide

Share This Post:  It’s always a challenge trying to squeeze in a couple hours at the gym when you’re already swamped at work and juggling multiple responsibilities. That doesn’t mean you have to give up! Living an...

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How to Eat Healthy at Fast Food Restaurants

Share This Post:  Sometimes, you have no choice but to grab some fast food and go. Maybe you’re on a really long road trip, or you’re working extra late. Maybe you didn't have time to pack today's lunch. Whatever...

read more
Exercises to Get Rid of Love Handles

Exercises to Get Rid of Love Handles

Share This Post: 

Exercises to get rid of love handles

LOVE HANDLES! Not much loved anyhow… these are the shaky bits you just cannot just shift on the sides of your body. It really feels bad to look in the mirror and see those bulges through the clothes. Although you may try dressing-up to look flatter but still to get rid of these love handles is far better than disguising the body as a whole.

No matter what, the problem is that even a toned abdomen doesn’t guarantee to be ruled out from having love handles. In fact, you may still have an excess fat around sides which simply refuses to budge and bulges instead. That such entire scenario requires you to burn belly fat and streamline figure.

Getting rid of love handles is not as painful chore as it is made to be.  In fact there are some Best exercises to get rid of love handles, both; quickly and easily.

A trio of Best exercises to get rid of love handles

Side Twists

These can work wonders though but often remain neglected exercise in most of the routines customized to get rid of love handles. For that, just get a stick or short pole and rest it along your shoulders behind the head with your hands on either end. Now, twist your torso starting from one side to the other but be advised to keep it at a slow pace. The pole or stick will help you to maintain a straight back and legs. Make sure to keep your hips facing forward and not let them twist throughout the exercise. Else, you may not get the desired result but end-up getting injured instead. You may take a start with 2 sets of just 20 repetitions.

Side Bends

Take dumbbells and hold them one in each hand by your sides. Your feet should face forward and must be shoulder-width apart. Without curling your back forward, gradually bend torso to one side till you feel a sight stretch in side muscles. Then, straighten your back up to the start position and repeat the exercise while going the other way. This one cycle of movement from the left side towards right and back to middle makes 1 repetition. You may start with 2 sets of just 10 repetitions while using light dumbbells.

Twisting Crunches

This is one of the excellent exercises to get rid of love handles. All you need to do is that lay with your back on floor, bend knees and keep feet flat on the floor. Cross your one leg over the other in a resting position placed on opposite knee. Keep hands on the side of head and then slowly crunch abdominal muscle as if you were trying to lift chest towards the ceiling. As soon as you reach apex of crunch, just twist your torso towards knee, which is lifted off the floor. Finally, roll your torso back to start position and continue with repetition for the desired number.

Be advised that the numbers are not so important here but the form that you maintain during the exercise. Typically, people pull on their head and bend their back during exercise which increases risk of injury ends with ZERO results.

Workouts for Busy People: A Handy Guide

Share This Post:  It’s always a challenge trying to squeeze in a couple hours at the gym when you’re already swamped at work and juggling multiple responsibilities. That doesn’t mean you have to give up! Living an...

read more

How to Eat Healthy at Fast Food Restaurants

Share This Post:  Sometimes, you have no choice but to grab some fast food and go. Maybe you’re on a really long road trip, or you’re working extra late. Maybe you didn't have time to pack today's lunch. Whatever...

read more
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