After a long day at the office, you're exhausted -- and why shouldn't you be? You spent eight hours analyzing, synthesizing, staring at a computer and/or networking with clients, customers or coworkers. You didn't have time for a substantial lunch, and your stomach growls that dinner can't wait until after a workout. You need food now. And the thought of a sports drink and a power bar just isn't as appealing as the idea of glass of Bordeaux, a square of dark chocolate and flannel pants. Yes, it's nearly impossible to trade in your slacks for mesh shorts when what you really crave are your pajamas.
Next time you can't bring yourself to stop at the gym on your way home from the office, don't sweat it. You don't need to force exercise after work, when there's desk-ercise at work.
Here are eight covert ways to work your body while you work your job, without your boss ever knowing the difference.
1) Business as Usual
While seated in your chair, perform leg extensions. Lift your feet off the floor until your knees are completely straight and their muscles contracted. With enough repetitions (and maybe with the added weight resistance of a heavy pair of leather boots), your quads will tone before the end of the quarter. Best part? What happens under your desk, stays under your desk.
2) Regular Raises
Waiting in line at the copy machine? Don't just stand there -- climb onto those tippy-toes. If nobody is looking, lower and lift in sets of 30 repetitions. If you're being watched, hold yourself up in the air. Shapely calves stabilize and empower -- not to mention look sleek and sexy in a pair of heels.
3) Credit Crunch
The upright crunch is one of the most effective conditioning drills you have up your cardigan sleeve. While typing a report, keep your back straight, lift your knees above the chair, and hold them there until your contracted abdominal muscles can't take any more.
4) Turn-Around Time
This exercise requires a swivel chair, and is only suitable in an empty office. Begin with the Credit Crunch, but kick it up a notch. After you elevate your legs, go for a spin. Jerk your knees for momentum and rotate. See how many revolutions you can make before exhausting your core. This one makes getting fit fun.
5) The Floor Trader
Instead of walking down the hall to the nearest restroom, extend your bathroom break by choosing a lavatory on a different floor. And don't use the elevator! The extra stair ascending and descending each day will add up, and result in the positive kind of company loss.
6) Market Pull
Place your hands in your lap with one downturned palm resting on top of the upturned palm. Your arms should form a straight line from elbow to elbow. Start sliding your hands apart, curl your fingers, and lock them together. Now pull as hard as you can without breaking your grip. Rest and repeat. This isometric exercise works your traps, delts, triceps and biceps without you ever leaving your cubicle.
7) Push Production
Place your hands in your lap with palms kissing one another as if in prayer. Now push your hands together. Rest and repeat. This works your pecs, biceps and triceps. Gym membership? Who needs it? You'll be sure to see a return on this investment.
8) Desk Assignment
To reap further benefits of isometric exercise, place your palms under the base of your desktop and push up against its resistance. Alternatively, lay your palms flat on the top of your desk and push down. If you've recently received a nasty memo, slip it under your press for additional motivation.
9) Binding Contract
While perched in your desk chair, tighten your gluteus muscles. Alternate between quick releases and longer holds. Either way, squeeze with all your might. Although, if you have a particularly observant coworker sitting behind you, you might want to opt for the longer, more discreet, holds.
10) Active Portfolio
Have a lunch hour? Instead of spending it reading 50 Shades of Grey in the break room, take the first 40 minutes and walk around the neighborhood, or in bad weather, the building. Then circle back to the office fridge, pick up your lunch and enjoy it for the remaining 20 minutes. You've earned it!
Read more at alenadillon.com.