"the dog ate my homework," one of the most lamebrain
excuses around might be this one: "Work keeps me too busy
we roll our eyes, engage our core and lift both feet off the
ground slowly, hold for a breath or two, and lower them.
you have 60 seconds?" asks Dallas-area personal trainer
Kristi Dear. "Do you have two minutes?"
course you do. How long does it take to heat your leftovers in
the break room microwave? How much time do you spend on the
phone? Not to get too personal, but how often do you make a
just five moving bouts of 60 seconds (or 10 of 30) throughout
your day, and by the time you go home, that’s 10 minutes. By
week’s end, it’s 50. And you don’t even have to keep a
jump rope at your desk or set up a basketball hoop on the
could hold in a squat when you’re on the phone," says
concedes, "People would walk by and go, ‘What?!’"
subtler approach, and in honor of Labor Day, we asked her;
Trina Hall, an experienced registered yoga teacher, and Dallas
personal trainer Turner Cavender for in-office suggestions.
These moves won’t necessitate a shower, says Cavender, who
owns Dallas Fit Body Boot Camp, but "your body is getting
blood moving around."
divided the tips into three categories necessary for
all-around fitness: cardio, strength and flexibility.
stairs. Obvious? Maybe. But how often do you find yourself
waiting for the elevator when the stairwell is just around the
corner? Take them two steps at a time one flight, one step the
next. Is your cubicle on the first floor? Use the restroom on
up. Set your phone or watch timer, and every 30 minutes, get
your bottom out of the chair. Use the time to assess your
to-do list, Cavender says. Or get a drink of water.
the blood flowing. This helps eliminate back problems. When
you’re seated for so long, your hip flexors shorten and that
pulls on your lower back. The shorter they are, the more pain
awaiting a call or a visit from your boss and don’t want to
leave your desk, stand up and sit down a few times every
half-hour or so.
your feet. Walking to lunch, yes, but also while you’re
sitting down. Do so when you’re on the phone, or reading a
your toes on the floor for a minute straight," Cavender
says. Alternate feet, or do them at the same time. Feel those
your push-ups. Do them against the stairs — if the stairwell
is empty and you don’t mind putting your hands where others
put their feet. Or you can perfect your push-up prowess
against the break room countertop while your coffee is
heating, Dear says.
slowly or see how many you can do in those 30 to 45 seconds.
Position your hands various distances apart.
your triceps. Eliminate jelly arms by placing your hands on a
bathroom sink or break room countertop behind you. Extend your
legs until you are balancing on your heels. Bend your elbows
and dip, then straighten, in sort of an inverted push-up.
Repeat until it feels uncomfortable.
your triceps II. For the next two exercises, Dear recommends
connecting two large (5 to 6 inches) rubber bands. Hold one
end in your right hand. Bending your elbow, let the other end
drop behind your back. Grasp it with your left hand. Keeping
that hand steady, straighten your right elbow. Do each side
for a minute, tightening the tension as weeks go by and the
exercise becomes easier.
prefers time to reps because "if I said to do 25, one
person may say, ‘That didn’t work,’ and another would
say, ‘That’s hard!’"
get stronger with this and the following exercise, work on
increasing the number of reps you do each minute.
your legs. Put one loop of the connected rubber bands around
each ankle. With knees bent and feet on the floor, straighten
and bend each leg for one minute. See how many reps you can do
in a minute. Make it tougher by doing quick pulses, bending
your knee slightly without letting your foot touch the floor.
See how many reps you can do in a minute.
another challenge, start with feet on the floor. One leg at a
time, lift the knee to the chest, keeping your back straight.
the bands is too difficult, start without them and build up.
low-back tightness with the Seated Pigeon.
yoga move, Hall says, sit straight in your chair. Rest your
right ankle over your left thigh. Straighten your spine and
lean forward until you feel a stretch in your lower back. Hold
for 10 deep breaths through the nose. Switch sides.
shoulders and neck. For this, known as Eagle Arms, sit
straight in your chair. Extend your arms at shoulder height in
front of your body. Bend your elbows up; put your left elbow
in the crook of your right arm. Without letting your elbows
drop, put your right hand on your left shoulder, and your left
hand on your right shoulder, "like you’re giving
yourself a hug," Hall says. Hold for 10 breaths. Repeat
on the other side.
deeper stretch, take your hands off your shoulders and touch
opens the shoulders, upper back and neck," she says.
"It’s good for the person who sits at a computer,
hunched over a keyboard."