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No Time for the Gym? No Energy After Work? NO EXCUSES! Here’s Help.

By on January 14, 2014

It’s a new year. Everyone’s scrambling to make lifestyle changes to improve their personal level of fitness. I love when January 1st hits because I see so many people getting active and eating healthy, but over the following weeks I see it less and less… until the next January 1st rolls around. One thing that I hear often is that people have a hard time finding ways to be active throughout their workday and by the time they get home, they have no energy. Here are a couple of different ways to help increase your energy, build foundational strength, and keep you active without ever leaving your office… for those who share an office or work in a cubicle or other exercise-unfriendly spaces without privacy, 20-30 reps don’t take much time at all to complete which means you could do these exercises during a quick bathroom break. What’s your excuse now? 😉

Option 1:

Set a timer for every hour throughout your workday. No matter what you are doing, get up and alternate between 3 minutes of stretching and 20-30 reps of a low-impact, low-intensity exercise. If you do this every hour beginning when you get to work and ending just before you leave, you will complete 100 (doing 20 reps) to 150 (doing 30 reps) total repetitions AND complete 15 minutes of flexibility training. Here’s an example (and make sure that throughout the week, you’re varying your muscle groups so that you’re equally concentrating on upper body, lower body, and core muscle groups):

  • 8am: Stretch
  • 9am: Exercise
  • 10am: Stretch
  • 11am: Exercise
  • 12pm: Stretch

  • 1pm: Exercise
  • 2pm: Stretch
  • 3pm: Exercise
  • 4pm: Stretch
  • 5pm: Exercise

Option 2:

Set a timer for every 30 minutes throughout your workday. No matter what you are doing, get up and spend 1 minute stretching the muscles you’re getting ready to work then doing 20-30 reps of a low-impact, low-intensity exercise. If you do this every half hour beginning 30 minutes after you get to work and ending just before you leave (excluding your lunch hour), you will complete 280 (doing 20 reps) or 420 (doing 30 reps) total repetitions over the course of an 8-5 workday before you ever get out of the office. Here’s an example:

  • 8:30am: Upper body exercise
  • 9am: Core exercise
  • 9:30am: Lower body exercise
  • 10am: Upper body exercise
  • 10:30am: Core exercise
  • 11am: Lower body exercise
  • 11:30am: Upper body exercise
  • 1:30pm: Core exercise

  • 2pm: Lower body exercise
  • 2:30pm: Upper body exercise
  • 3pm: Core exercise
  • 3:30pm: Lower body exercise
  • 4pm: Upper body exercise
  • 4:30pm: Core exercise
  • 5pm: Lower body exercise



  • Quadriceps: Bend at the knee and pull your foot into your buttocks
  • Hamstrings: Bend over and touch your toes keeping your knees straight
  • Calves: With your knee straight, use your hands to pull your toes toward your shin
  • Triceps: Extend your arm straight up then bend at the elbow to bring your fingers between your shoulder blades – use the other hand to pull the elbow toward your head


Here are several low-impact, low-intensity exercises that will challenge you without leaving you all sweaty sitting at your desk… a quick YouTube search will bring up tons of video demonstrations of each (and will no doubt give you a ton more ideas for other exercises to try). A few of the exercises require that your work environment provides somewhere for you to store and use a pair of 5 to 8 pound dumbbells.

  • Front-lateral shoulder flys
  • Bodyweight squats
  • Saxon side bends
  • Dumbbell bicep curls
  • Standing side leg raises
  • Front kicks

  • Standing pike crunches
  • Desktop/tabletop/countertop pushups
  • Calf raises
  • Walking lunges
  • Back flys
  • Deadlifts


Here’s a video with a good bit of standing core exercises:

About Kat Robertson

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