The next level is to take advantage of breaks in the day (most typically lunch) to get in some valuable fitness work. First, there are set of exercises or mobility-improving activities that you can perform without even having to change your clothes—if you can find the space and privacy to do so.
- Active Isolated Stretching: While static stretching is also a possibility, active isolated stretching provides a bit more "bang for the buck" and is easy enough to accomplish. The lower leg exercises in particular are very easy to do in work clothes, as they involve largely fine motor motions. The leg and hip elements require a bit more space.
- Quick Mobility Drills: The myrtl routine or elements thereof, or even a basic collection of exercises like donkey kicks, hip hikes, hurdle legs, fire hydrants, leg swings and similar drills are easy to accomplish quickly without working up a sweat.
- Foam Rolling: While you may not consider this exercise, it nonetheless provides valuable assistance in improving (or recovering) your mobility. It's easy to knock out a good 10 to 15 minutes of valuable rolling during a break, and this in particular can help to offset some of the tightness that develops from sitting for long periods.
- Basic Strength Work: Certain routines from the Runners Connect Strength Training program are easily doable in street clothes in a small space. Specifically, the Achilles lower leg routine or Artemis "transition to minimalist" series are very suitable to do in the office. Jay Johnson's Lunge Matrix and even various planks are also very doable in a small amount of time and space.
If you have the time and facilities to manage a sweat (and a shower), then the possibilities expand dramatically. Beyond the obvious lunch run, you can fit in a wide range of strength-training activities, some of which are a bit more cardiovascular in nature. It just takes a little planning ahead. And if you face skepticism from your boss on this, point out the creativity gains that come from aerobic exercise.
All of this takes a bit of creativity and planning, and it may be helpful to invest in some basic supplies like a yoga mat, stability ball, resistance band, foam roller and stretch strap to keep in your office. But work takes up a significant portion of your time. Why take it sitting down?
This article originally appeared on Predawn Runner.race.