For all of you desk-bound workers out there who are trying to find a way to work a little fitness into your day, today's quick office exercise provides the benefits of jogging without having to leave the office, change clothes, or even work up a sweat. Take this four minute energy break and you'll feel like you're ready to start the second eight hours of your busy-season work day. At the very least, you'll raise the eyebrows of people passing by your office.
Step 1: Sit upright at the edge of your chair with your feet on the floor, hip-width apart. Bend your arms at the elbow at a 90 degree angle.
Step 2: Tighten your abdominal muscles.
Step 3: Gently move your arms and legs as if you were doing a slow jog. Your left arm and right leg go up at the same time, and vice versa. Push off from the balls of your feet – not your heels – and raise your knees as high as you comfortably can.
Step 4: Maintain a leisurely pace for 30 seconds.
Step 5: Bending forward slightly from the waist, perform the same motion, but faster. Move your arms and legs as fast as you comfortably can. Maintain a brisk pace for 30 seconds.
Step 6: Alternate between the slow and fast jogging, every 30 seconds, for a total of four minutes. Try to make your slow periods progressively a little faster and your fast periods even faster. For the last 30 seconds, challenge yourself!
Too hard? Tone it down. Keep your hands on your hips throughout the movement and move more slowly.
Too easy? Kick it up. Move your arms and legs more quickly during both the slow and fast portions of the exercise. Hold water bottles or other weights in your hands as you do the exercise.
This exercise is reprinted from The 10-Minute Total Body Breakthrough by Sean Foy. This book provides a step-by-step fitness regimen that helps the reader develop a daily routine. In addition to providing a collection of 10-minute workouts that you can work into your day, the book offers motivational help, nutritional guidance, and 48 flip cards describing individual exercises that you can combine to design your ideal workout.
See the complete library of Workplace Fitness exercises.