One of my biggest struggles as a mom to a toddler, a wife, and a full-time employee outside the home is how to get a workout in while I’m at my desk job. I always feel like I have no time to devote to fitness, so squeezing in a small workout over the course of the work day is sometimes my best bet. Over the past few weeks, I have really made an attempt to get more steps, more squats, and better eating while at work. Participating in a fitness challenge with flash challenges that need to be done by a certain time actually helped me see that with just a few breaks during my day I can get in all the steps and moves required of me.
Let’s start with steps. I recently purchased a Fitbit Flex after using a cheaper tracker for a little while. The app is pretty addicting and it’s fun to be in challenges with friends. Please note, some friends have over 30,000 steps in a day. I need to work on getting up to 15,000, but for now I shoot for at least 10,000 every day. Even on weekends. It’s important that I keep this up. Working out at lunch has been key. Not only is taking a lunch good for your mental health, but I am able to get in at least 3,000 additional steps. I eat at my desk and work, but I take my lunch and walk for an hour. An hour! In the winter, I will go to the gym we have in our building. It’ll be a shorter workout due to changing and cleaning up at the end, but I am still able to take my lunch, get some me time, and work on my health.
Some other sneaky ways would be during my commute. I walk two blocks extra to catch the bus at a different stop. When I catch the Metro, I walk the escalator instead of standing. There aren’t any stairs, so the escalator is my only choice. When I get to the train platform, I walk to the very last car even though it’s the furthest from my exit. When I get to work, I get off at the wrong floor and take two flights of stairs to my office.
During the work day, once an hour I get up and take a lap around my floor. I use this time to fill my water, say hi to some coworkers I might not see, and check-in with my managers. It’s a great way to keep the work communication going, but really, I’m just moving. When I send things to the printer, I start walking laps until it’s finished printing. If I am heating lunch of breakfast in the microwave, I pace the kitchen.
More ways to get in steps include taking the stairs and running or walking in place. I’d be a little embarrassed to walk in place at my cube, but if you have an office or aren’t as shy as I am go for it. A standing desk would also help.
Let’s talk fitness moves, like getting in squats. I do those when I go to the bathroom. It’s private, so no one will see me! I drink a lot of water throughout the day, so I do 20 every time I go to the bathroom and typically end up with over 100 at the end of the day. We also have a Wellness Room where I can do things like wall push ups, tricep dips, and the dreaded surrenders. Yikes, those are tough. Surrenders were part of my last flash challenge – 150 in 24 hours. Just so you know, I’m hurtin’ today.
Chair exercising is another great way to sneak in some fitness at work. I do seated leg raises and one leg squats. This abdominal hold is tough but so worth it. Doing this with a rolling chair is tough, but I’ve done okay so far. http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/abs/exercises/top-10-abs-exercises/?page=0 You can also use your desk for push-ups or tricep dips.
Okay, so those were some moves and ways to get in a workout throughout the day at work. The next part is to, ya know, actually do them!
If you’re like me, you need a reminder. If your fitness band lets you set hourly reminders, set it now! Another way would be to utilize that calendar. Set reminders for yourself to just get moving, do your seated workout, or go do some tricep dips.
At Home – Commercial Breaks
While this isn’t during the work day, and you’re just looking to squeeze workouts in at home, do your workout during a commercial break. Walk in place during the show, and burst run in place during a commercial. Get up off the couch and do burpees for an entire commercial break. Whenever you see a car commercial, do 20 push ups! While most of this post is geared towards working moms, I believe stay at home moms can apply some of the same moves and techniques while doing their job of caring for the kids.
My biggest opponent is me. I feel like I am starting to get preachy, but this is always a work in progress for me. Always. I talk myself out of moving all the time. I feel good after I do it, but the motivation sometimes leaves me and I daydream about (or eat) cake. Sometimes I am just exhausted. My son doesn’t sleep through the night. Some nights we’re up eight times. Some nights it’s only two. I’m tired, too. Setting reminders has really helped me, setting goals has helped, and the support of others. If you need support, find me on Twitter and shoot me your Fitbit email. We can connect and challenge each other to be better!
Do you have any desk moves or tips you want to share? Comment with your tips!