I looked down at my gut last night, and a swelling waterbed of whale blubber stared up at me defiantly. My head jerked back. That arrogant little pudge. That insolent little flup thinks I’m powerless against it — it thinks it’ll grow indefinitely, without a fight. Without a fight. That did it. Right then and there I made a pact with the skinnier parts of my body. We decided to get rid of that hedonistic, chubby little intruder. "Office exercises!" I whisper-yelled, startling myself and the girl working across from me, who gave me a lazy "let the weirdo out later please" look.
But I was onto something big, something bigger than the shameless fat bulging from my middle. It wouldn’t even take time from my free-spirited, after-work festivities. I would exercise here, at work, in my office. Yes. My fingers flew across the keyboard with the power of a thousand tetris-clicks as I searched diligently for my fitness glory. The exercises below are the product of a wonderful day of glorious research and practical application.
Exercise #10: Neck Stretch
Your workout is only as good as your stretch, so FOCUS. When your boss swings by for a nosy check-in, just keep rolling that neck and shaking those muscles loose. If asked what you’re doing, tell him you’re getting pumped for the next awesome work project and continue without breaking stride.
Neck: Roll the neck, right and left, like an intelligent puppy staring quizzically at you — the head cocks left and stays, then to the right. Nice and slow.
Time: 15-Mississippi’s each side.
Neck: Roll the neck forward and back, looking first at your belly, then to the ceiling.
Time: 15-Mississippi’s each side.
Exercise #9: Stretch Your Arms Strong
Arms: Next, hold your arms out to your sides, parallel to the floor, and make forward circles.
Arms: Repeat, but this time circle the arms backwards.
Exercise #8: Put Your Back Into it!
Stand up and bend down to pick up the pen you "dropped".
Back: Hold for 3 seconds, then slowly return to the upright standing position. Fold arms over chest and stare into the distance like nothing weird is happening at all. Repeat. And repeat again.
Sets: 3 sets, 10-Mississippi’s for each.
Exercise #7: Lazy Leg Stretch
Less challenging, the legs can be stretched like a lazy cat under the shelter of your desk.
Legs: At full stretch, twirl your feet in the closest thing to a circle you can manage — hold and twirl for the full count.
Sets: 3 sets, 15-Mississippi’s for each.
Exercise #6: Chair Dips
Only advisable in the absence of company, as embarrassing falls may accompany rolling office chairs.
Arms: With your legs stretched in front of you and your palms holding you up on the chair behind you, lower your butt to the floor and then push up to the original position.
Sets: 3 sets of 10-15.
Exercise #5: Covert Leg Lifts
This one can be done in full ninja stealth mode, silently but effectively under your desk.
Legs: Much like your under-desk stretches, you’ll extend the legs fully, and with an only moderately strained poker face, lower both legs to a half-inch from the ground, and then bring them up to the bottom of the desk. Fully tighten the muscles you want most toned for each set.
Sets: 3 sets of 20-50.
Exercise #4: Bathroom Break Cardio
The bathroom isn’t just for slacking powernappers any more.
Cardio: Jumping Jacks for a full 3 minutes and 30 seconds, the longest you can stay in the bathroom before people start to wonder what you’re doing in there.
Time: 210-Mississippi’s exactly, unbroken.
Exercise #3: Modern Office Chair Aerobics
You’ll need an exercise/stability ball for this exercise.
Abs: Sit on the ball, suck your stomach in, pull your shoulders back and move slowly — first to the right, then to the left. Repeat, this time moving back and forward. Believe me, this is much easier said.
Time: 5 minutes each.
Exercise #2: Side Splitting Abs and Cardio
We’ve all heard that laughter is the best medicine, but it’s even more than that. Laughing for 15 minutes burns up to 40 calories, depending on whether your an all out, belly-roaring laugher, or a stifled stoic sort of laugher. Plus, if you laugh hard enough and long enough, you’ll get a killer ab workout on top of that.
Abs and Cardio: Find a funny YouTube video. Laugh heartily. Repeat.
Sets: 3 videos, 5 to 10 minutes each.
Exercise #1: Parking Lot Wind Sprint
Work is over and it’s Friday, if only in your head. Fist pump, click your heels, slap your most annoying coworker on the back and wish them a joyous holiday. And sprint.
Cardio: Dash to the car, fueled with the zeal that work is out forever until tomorrow morning. Don’t forget to time yourself — beat that PR!
Sets: 1 all-out sprint from desk to car.