July 18, 2024

10 clever ways, to get fit at your desk, if you really can’t be arsed, to go to the gym

Unless you’re one of those people who can smash out a 6am workout or still have energy left after work to hit the treadmill before you collapse into bed (who ARE these people? ), a lunchtime workout might be just what you need to get moving after the Christmas indulgence.

Whether you’re having a hectic day in the office or have a full lunch hour to get out and about, there’s plenty of quick and easy ways to make creative use of your time at the office, that’ll keep your mind – and body – in good shape.

Here, Barre Fitness expert, Vicki Anstey, shares her top 10 alternatives if you can’t get to the gym.

1. Lunge walk for a mile – choose your route, map it out so you know the distance is accurate. Pick up a sandwich on the way back.

2. If you can’t get away from your desk in your lunch hour, do tabata-style wall sits. 2 minutes on, 1 minute off. Check your emails in-between if you must. Try to do 15 rounds if you can.

3. If you have a meeting during lunch (which does not constitute a ‘break’, FYI, boss) keep it brief by getting all participants to hold a plank position throughout.

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10 clever ways, to get fit at your desk, if you really can't be arsed, to go to the gym

4. Take the stairs. Race up, recover on the way down. At least 3 flights x 5 please and thanks.

5. Pack a resistance band in your bag and perform resisted leg raises, squats or bicep curls, placing the band around your ankles, thighs or wrists.

6. Choose a distance/destination. Your office to your favourite lunch spot. Or the length of the nearest park. Run there, walk back. Repeat x 5-10 depending on the distance.

7. Pick up a hire bike (electric ones don’t count) and cycle a round route for 45 minutes at a steady pace. Try to find a couple of hills along the way.

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8. Find a willing colleague and do partner work. Body weight partner squats. Glute bridges with the soles of your feet elevated and glued together. Sit ups. One of you holds the feet of the other (in plank position) while they do 20 sit ups. Then switch.

9. Stretch! When do we ever dedicate ‘proper’ time to do this? Doing 15 mins of focused stretching in your lunch break will make a huge difference to your overall physical health. Try a seated spinal rotation (hands behind your head, lengthen the spine, keep your hips square and turn each way).

Stand up and touch your toes. Progress until you can place your palms on the floor. Seated glute stretch – cross one leg over the other so your foot is on the knee of the other leg and the knee turned out. Apply light pressure to the inside of the knee to open the hip and stretch the gluteals.

10. Weave your workout into your day. ‘Compartmentalising’ our exercise isn’t always the most beneficial way to do it. Stay active through your day at work – do calf raises while you’re waiting for your 200 page document to print, stand up at your desk, or use a Swiss ball instead of a chair to improve balance and core strength. Do leg raises in your seat while you’re mulling over a suitable response to a tricky email. Hold pencils under your arms while you type to keep your back muscles and shoulder blades engaged. Do oblique twists in your swivel chair (feet held up off the floor).

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