In our time-crunched lives, the excuse of having no time for exercise is becoming a staple. But we know we are designed to move and that we must do so to get and remain healthy. So what can we do? Something’s got to give.
Enter the 5-Minute Cubicle Workout. Your chance to stretch, sprint and lunge your way into good health and a thinner bod right at your workplace. Remember, while it’s ideal to get your heart rate up during exercise, any movement at all is beneficial, since it’s all cumulative. So, take the stairs instead of the elevator, park farther away than you have to, and choose some of the cubicle exercises below. Before you know it, your recommended 30 minutes of daily exercise will be accomplished. Go you!
In the cube or your office, try these moves:
Cardio to Increase Heart Rate (Perform 5 of these for one minute each or substitute/combine with stretching or strengthening exercises below):
• Jumping jacks
• Football running drill (aim to get knees waist-height or higher. Just be careful if you’re wearing a skirt!)
• Walk-lunges (particularly fun if you’re headed to the communal fax machine or restroom. Imagine the reaction from your coworkers!)
• Jump rope — sans the rope. Try alternating feet for a challenge.
• Box. Pretend it’s your coworker, boss or client if you must, but punch, punch, punch at an invisible target.
• Run the stairs, two steps at a time (not in heels, please!)
• Ski – Make skiing motions (side lunges) with your legs and swing your arms in accordance.
Stretch and Strengthen (Perform these for one minute or 15 reps per side. Combine with cardio moves listed above, if desired.)
• Stand on one leg and try to kick your own hiney with the other foot.
• Chair-squat – Standing straight, lower yourself into a squat with both legs, knees together, as though you are sitting in a chair. Tighten your glutes on the way up.
• Calf-raises – Lift your heels until you are on the balls of your feet. Tighten calves on the way up and press through them on the way down.
• Chair extensions – Sitting in your chair, lift one leg out in front of you and hold for two seconds. Slowly lower it until almost to the ground, then hold for another few seconds. If you have good control and balance, try both legs at the same time.
• Desk push-ups – If your desk is sturdy enough, place your palms on the edge of your desk and lower yourself into a standing pushup (use the wall if your desk is not trustworthy).
• Chest and shoulder lifts – Place your hands on your chair arms and lift your rear off the chair. Lower yourself back down slowly and stop before you get to the seat. Hold a few seconds. Repeat.
• Back stretch and bicep strengthener – If you have a rolling chair, place your hands on the edge of your desk and push your chair backwards until your head is between your arms and your back is mostly flat. Slowly pull yourself back in to starting position.
As you can see, it doesn’t take a one-hour sweat session at the gym to work in a little fitness. Is your cubicle the ideal stage for a workout? Of course not. But if you have to choose between that and no movement at all, we suggest putting that office furniture of yours to good use!
Liberty Kontranowski is a freelance writer with hundreds of articles published online and in print, covering topics like health, lifestyle, parenting, celebrities and more. She is also a regular contributor to the furniture blog at ArnoldsOfficeFurniture.com.