Today, 9-to-5 is more like 7-to-7. And while productivity and ambition can be rewarding, they definitely take a toll on our bodies. We skip the hour we’d blocked out for the gym as soon as a flood of email fills our inbox.
Fortunately, there are efficient ways to sneak fitness into your daily routine. In fact, these strategies will actually increase your capacity to finish large tasks, improve your focus and maintain your energy level throughout the day. Incorporate any or all of them and you’ll absolutely experience a difference in the workweek. Let’s go!
1. Get some “om” in your home.
It sounds small, but just a few minutes of yoga will improve your energy and focus throughout the day. Try these five moves, holding each for 1 minute:
2. Dedicate 4 minutes to your heart rate.
In the middle of a chaotic day, it feels impossible to take an hour hit the gym. But you don’t have to for a killer workout session. This 4-minute workout will ignite the body’s fat-burning power, boost your energy and build lean muscle. The best part: you can perform it anywhere with no equipment.
Perform 4 moves for 1-minute each. Aim to get as many reps as possible within each minute. These exercises can be any body weight moves you’d like. An example sequence is burpees, squats, push-ups and sit-ups. Feel free to add variety, and make sure to push yourself until the 4 minutes is up.
3. Walk off midday stress.
We’re on our phones for so many hours every day, but we don’t need to be sitting at a desk during all of those hours. Walk around the block or office while checking email or social media.
Burn calories while you’re on Facebook? That definitely deserves a like.
4. Knock out bicep curls between emails.
You may not have time to sculpt your arms at the gym, so why not get to work right at your desk? By placing an exercise band with handles directly under your chair, you can knock out biceps curls, triceps extensions, and shoulder presses without getting up.
Perform 3 sets of 20 reps of each exercise.
5. Step right up to a beautiful body.
Perform a fat-burning stair workout to build lean muscle and crush calories. You can do one in just about any office building and in many parks — it requires nothing but a staircase. Perform each exercise for 10 reps on each leg. Rest 30 seconds in between. Do the entire routine 4 times through.
- Step-ups: Place your right foot on top of the stair. Without moving your foot, drive through the ball of your big toe to come all the way up to standing. Slowly lower down until your back foot touches the ground.
- Split-jumps: Place your right foot on top of the stair. Jump as high as you can, switching feet in the air and landing with the left foot on the stair. Continually repeat the movement and do 5 jumps on each side.
- Side step-ups: Standing parallel to the stairs, lift your inside to step on the top of the stair. Press through the ball of your big toe as you step up onto the stair. Bring both feet together and then come back down.
- Double leg hops: Stand with feet hip-width apart. Bend both knees and explosively jump up onto the stair. Land softly with chest up. Jump off the stair back down to the ground. Repeat the movement at a controlled pace.
6. When all else fails, take a one-minute pause.
You can train your mind to stay calm, centered, and focused without spending a lot of time on it. A 1-minute increment of deep breathing helps us center ourselves and reconnects the mind to the body. Such 1-minute increments increase creativity, reduce stress, and help you approach tough situations with ease. No matter your location or the time of day, you can incorporate this mindful practice:
- Set a timer for 1 minute. If you can, close your eyes.
- Breathe in through your nose for a count of 5.
- Hold your breath at the top for a count of 5.
- Exhale through your nose for a count of 5.
- Repeat for the remainder of the minute.
Photo Credit: Jessica Dalene Weber for mindbodygreen