Deskercise! Fitness expert gives tips for work-place work-outs and more
Desk-bound at a 9-to-5 job where the only exercise you’re getting is the leisurely saunter you make to the office candy bowl?
Fitness expert Anja Garcia, a lead trainer at Daily Burn, is here to whip us into work-place shape — and she’s armed with tricks for how we can sneak in work-outs at our desks and to help us break up with the break-room vending machine once and for all.
Garcia has got major health and fitness cred: She’s a fitness instructor, group exercise instructor certified through the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America and health coach who studied public health as an undergrad at the University of California’s Berkeley campus. She also competed in gymnastics at the collegiate level and received her Master’s of Science in Nursing from the University of San Francisco, and is now a pediatric intensive care unit nurse.
“As a registered nurse, I also know first-hand the importance of health for the long term,” Garcia told us. “Fitness is not just a 30 day fad. It is a life long commitment to yourself. If you find something you love it’s no longer a chore but rather something to look forward to in your day.”
Here’s Garcia’s tips for making your workplace a healthy one.
ShopAtHome: We know eating breakfast in the morning is important. What could we keep stashed at work for those days we’re running behind and “forget” our morning meal.
Anja Garcia: Mornings can get crazy when you are running around from home to work to gym, but we still have to fuel ourselves. Individual packs of almonds for a punch of protein, bananas, and if you have a mini fridge individual non-fat Greek yogurts are a great way to start your day!
SAH: Let’s talk about deskercise! Are there any little exercises or movements we can do to burn a few calories, while not looking too ridiculous or interrupting our co-workers?
AG: Every moment of the day counts right! At your desk work your glutes with seated leg extension. Extend legs out, hold at the top for 5 seconds and release, repeat for 15 reps and 3 sets. Want to work your core? While seated, lift knees up and hold 5 seconds at the top repeat 10 times and 3 sets. Those sneaky lower abs won’t know what hit them.
SAH: Help keep us away from the vending machine and office candy bowl! What are some healthy alternatives for that infamous 2 o’clock snacking hour?
AG: Staying prepared is the key! If you’ve got something good for you to go for you’ll avoid the candy bowl and feel great doing it. An apple with a teaspoon of peanut butter gives you that sweet and savory taste we crave with a quarter of the calories. Also any whole fruit; tangerines, pineapple, grapes, blueberries will give you a boost of vitamins and antioxidants to keep your brain turning till the end of the day.
SAH: What work-out toys should I keep stashed at the office?
AG: I love workout toys! First easy swap out: switch your desk chair for a stability ball. Engage your core the whole day and focus on posture muscles while balancing on the ball. Other easy transportable toys I love are bands for strength training, and a jump rope for a great cardio fix on your lunch break.
SAH: For those who get an hour lunch break, what are some good work-outs to squeeze in?
AG: Since you have stashed some workout toys at work you are all set to get a great workout. Go for a walk with a coworker, jump rope for 20 minutes or how about a great interval workout. Dailyburn.com streams workout videos from your computer or tablet with a great variety of sculpting and cardio workouts to help you burn calories and get stronger any time, any place. They even have yoga for a mid-day Namaste. With workouts ranging from 10 minutes to 1 hour there is something for everyone’s lunch timing restraints.
SAH: Are there any advantages to working out before work as opposed to evening work-outs?
AG: An early morning workout can help boost your brain activity for your upcoming work day, and an evening workout can help you work out frustrations. But the bottom line is, whenever you can get it in, go for it! The most important thing is consistency. If you make it work for you, it’ll be something you make work.
(You can also get in on some of Garcia’s work-outs with videos over at DailyBurn.com)
Need a stability ball for your desk? Here are some great options:
- Life fitness stability ball from Power Systems
- Sunny stability ball from Meijer
- Go Fit Pro stability ball from Target
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