Do you find yourself sitting at your desk for hours on end, barely moving beyond reaching for your coffee mug?
While it might seem like accomplishing work tasks is more important than getting up and moving around, adding micro workouts to your workday can have numerous benefits.
Not only does physical activity increase blood flow and productivity, but it can also burn fat, promote good posture, boost creativity, and decrease stress levels.
In this blog post, we will explore 5 effective ways to add micro workouts to your workday, helping you stay energized and focused while improving your overall health and well-being.
What are micro workouts?
Micro workouts are abbreviated yet intense exercise regimens that can be squeezed into even the busiest of schedules.
These workouts can last anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes and target specific muscle groups to achieve maximum benefits with minimal time commitment and with no need for an expensive gym membership.
Despite their short duration, micro workouts are known for their effectiveness in improving overall fitness, strength, and endurance or even help you lose fat.
Busy individuals can choose from a variety of micro workouts that can be incorporated easily into their daily routines without interfering with work, family life, or leisure activities.
Whether you’re looking to supplement your regular exercise routine or simply want to boost your physical activity levels throughout the day, micro workouts may be the perfect solution.
Reasons you need to add micro workouts to your workday
It’s no secret that regular exercise has countless benefits for our physical and mental health, but it can be challenging for many busy professionals to squeeze in the recommended 30 minutes of daily activity.
Fortunately, incorporating micro workouts throughout your workday offers a convenient solution.
Short bouts of movement, even as brief as a few minutes, can provide significant benefits for your body and mind.
You don’t have to be a marathon runner to see the benefits of exercise; small changes can make a big difference.
Additionally, micro workouts can help to improve your focus and productivity, combating the afternoon slump that many of us experience.
One more thing to mention here is that successfully incorporating a fitness routine into your set of habits will boost your confidence.
For more on the the topic of confidence, check out my post on ways to become a confident man.
So why not make your workday a bit more enjoyable and productive by incorporating some short bursts of movement into your routine?
What are 5 ways to add micro workouts to your workday?
1). Use Resistance Bands (5 to 10 minutes)
When it comes to staying active during the workday, time is of the essence. This is where resistance bands come in handy.
They offer a quick and convenient way to fit in a workout between meetings or during a break.
One of the main benefits of resistance bands is that they provide a low-impact workout that is easy on the joints.
They also target multiple muscle groups, making them an efficient tool for building strength and toning the body.
Another advantage of resistance bands is their versatility. You can use them for a variety of exercises, from bicep curls to squats, to work out different parts of the body.
Plus, they are portable and space-efficient, making them perfect for a quick workout at the office or while traveling.
By incorporating resistance bands into your workday routine, you can reap the benefits of a full-body workout without sacrificing time or convenience.
A good set of resistance bands can be purchased for around 30 dollars or less and comes with a variety of bands to offer different levels of resistance.
Also included will be a workout guide with many different movements to choose from in order to get a great overall micro workout for your whole body.
Photo by ricky nugraha: https://www.pexels.com/photo/a-man-using-a-resistance-band-6667512/
2). Air Squats (Less than 1 minute)
Air squats, also known as bodyweight squats, are a simple yet effective exercise that can benefit your body in numerous ways.
By stopping to do a few short sets of air squats throughout your workday (Even during your lunch break, you will not only strengthen your leg muscles, but also improve your cardiovascular fitness.
This exercise helps to engage the core, improves posture, and can even reduce the risk of injury during activities that involve bending and lifting.
Additionally, air squats require no equipment, making them a convenient option for those looking to exercise at home or while traveling.
You might be questioning just how much benefit can be gained by doing one set of 10 to 15 squats a few times a week, and that’s a good question.
But what if you made it a habit to hammer out a quick set of 10 after every zoom call or at the end of every coffee break – then they start to add up and the benefits compound.
You may find yourself with a couple of hundred squats done by the end of a work week.
Just make sure you use proper form:
Step 1: Stand with your feet just wider than hip-width apart and your toes turned slightly outward.
Step 2: Keeping your weight on your heels, lower your body as though you are sitting down between your own hips. Let your knees follow your toes.
Step 3. Drive back up, keeping your core tight, and concentrate on contracting the glute muscles at the top of the movement. Feel free to extend your arms directly out in front of you for balance.
Step 4. Repeat.
Remember to breathe throughout the movement. Go for 10 reps at a time until that feels like a breeze.
3). Go for a walk (10 to 15 min)
Taking a break from work to go for a walk can offer a range of benefits, both physically and mentally.
Getting some fresh air and moving your body can help boost your mood, increase energy levels and improve focus.
A brisk walk can also help stimulate the production of endorphins in the brain, which can lift your spirits and reduce feelings of stress or anxiety.
Additionally, taking a break from your desk can provide an opportunity to clear your mind, allowing you to return to your work with a refreshed perspective and renewed motivation.
One of the “hidden” benefits I’ve found with just walking is that you get just about all the benefits as other forms of more intense cardio, but without the subsequent spike in appetite.
Additionally, walking has now been shown to have a positive affect on your posture, which is crucial for those who spend much of their day sitting behind a desk.
So the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed or stuck in a rut, consider stepping away from your computer and taking a stroll around the block.
Your mind and body may thank you for it.
What if you’re too busy to even leave your desk?
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto: https://www.pexels.com/photo/businessman-and-businesswoman-talking-and-smiling-while-crossing-the-street-4963414/
4). Push-ups (Less than 1 minute)
Incorporating exercise into our daily routine is not always easy, especially when we have a busy work schedule.
However, doing push-ups at the office can be an excellent way to stay active, boost our energy levels, and improve our overall health.
Push-ups work multiple muscle groups in the upper body, including our chest, shoulders, and triceps, making them a highly effective exercise.
Besides helping improve our strength and posture, push-ups can also increase our metabolism, which means we burn more calories throughout the day.
Even if we only do a few push-ups at a time, the cumulative effect can be significant, helping us stay active and productive throughout the workday.
To make sure you use proper form, follow these steps:
Step 1: Begin by lying on the floor in the prone position.
Step 2: Place your hands on the floor out to your side with your arms at about a 45 degree angle from your sides. Having your arms straight out at a 90 degree angle from your body can cause shoulder injury.
Step 3: Keeping your body straight like a board and keeping your core engaged, slowly raise your body by pushing with your palms as if you are pushing through the floor.
Step 4: Pause at the top, making sure to let your chest muscles contract, then lower yourself back down until your chest touches the floor.
Step 5: Repeat
Be sure to breathe throughout the movement; breathe out on the way up and breathe in on the way down.
If the regular push-up is too difficult at first, try it with your knees on the ground.
Go for 10 reps and see if you can fit in multiple sets a day. Better yet, make it a habit to get in a few reps between phone calls.
Photo by Keiji Yoshiki: https://www.pexels.com/photo/man-push-up-on-white-floor-176782/
5). Posture routine (Less than 5 minutes)
It is no secret that prolonged sitting at a desk for extended periods can be detrimental to our health.
However, what is often overlooked is the damage it can have on our posture. Poor posture can lead to a myriad of health problems, from back and neck pain to decreased lung function.
The good news is that incorporating some exercises into your daily routine can help mitigate these risks.
Simple stretches and movements, such as shoulder rolls and spine extensions, can help improve your posture and prevent long-term damage.
Taking just a few minutes each day to focus on your posture can go a long way in maintaining your overall health.
Try this five minute routine that can be done anywhere, including at your desk at work or at your home office.
Photo by Karolina Grabowska: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-touching-her-back-4506105/
When it comes to incorporating micro workouts into your workday, it’s important to remember that even small movements can have a big impact on your health.
You don’t need to break a massive sweat to reap the benefits of exercise.
Simply moving your body throughout the day can help to energize you and keep you focused.
However, it’s important to be patient with yourself as you build this habit.
Don’t beat yourself up if you have a bad day and don’t get in as many sessions as you’d like.
Remember, it’s a journey and any effort towards better health is worthwhile.
In fact, you might find that adding micro workouts to your workday becomes addictive as you start to feel the positive effects on your mind and body.
Taking it to the next level – find a micro workout partner
Working out with a partner has numerous benefits that can positively impact your fitness journey.
First and foremost, a workout partner can provide motivation and support, helping you stay accountable and committed to your fitness goals.
This is no less true when we are talking about micro workouts during your workday – two can be better than one.
Additionally, working out with someone else can make your routine more enjoyable and less of a chore.
It can also introduce an element of competition, inspiring you to push yourself harder and achieve greater results.
A workout partner can also help you improve your form and technique, reducing the risk of injury and maximizing the effectiveness of your workouts.
Overall, having a workout partner can enhance your fitness experience and lead to greater success in reaching your fitness goals.
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto: https://www.pexels.com/photo/a-man-and-woman-working-out-together-while-doing-high-five-5039514/
Whether you work from home or commute to an office, you might be intrigued by the idea of incorporating some short bouts of physical activity into your workday. If that’s the case, but the suggestions I’ve made aren’t your particular cup of tea, then consider some of these alternatives:
- cycling to work
- jumping jacks or other calisthenics
- going for a quick run
- jump rope
- mountain climbers
- calf raises
I want to mention one other activity here.
While not technically a workout, the simple act of standing more throughout the day can greatly mitigate the negative effects of too much sitting.
I recommend using an adjustable standing desk, which allows for a seamless transition from sitting to standing and helps to alleviate boredom, in my opinion.
A standing desk also makes a great gift idea for the remote worker in your life.
Whatever you choose to do, just make sure you can fit it into your work schedule and please, make sure you have fun.
Photo by RDNE Stock project: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-wearing-a-sports-bra-and-leggings-skipping-rope-8401171/
Incorporating micro workouts into your workday can be a great way to stay active, energize yourself, and improve your overall health.
Whether you prefer push-ups or postures routines, there are plenty of exercises you can do in the comfort of your own office space.
Additionally, working out with a partner can provide support and motivation while helping you reach greater fitness goals.
The key is finding activities that suit both your lifestyle and preferences so that it becomes an enjoyable part of the day rather than another chore on the list.
With some dedication and consistency, these small movements will add up over time to make a big difference in how fit – mentally as well as physically – you feel at work!
- A little movement is better than none: How small micro-workouts can have a big impact by Society of Behavioral Medicine
- Do 10 Minute Workouts Actually Help? by Northwest Primary Care