Here’s how to sneak in a workout during the day, either on the job or during lunch—and look like you never broke a sweat.
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1. Divide it up.
If finding an
extra half hour for exercise seems too tough, break your workout into three
10-minute chunks that you can fit into your day whenever it’s most convenient, according to Shape. Try a 10-minute cardio session first thing in the morning
before your shower, then take 10 minutes during the work day (on your lunch
hour or instead of a coffee break) to power walk. For your final 10 minutes, do
strength training moves at home while dinner cooks.
2. Get stronger while you sit.
Swap out your
office chair for a stability ball. Staying balanced on these balls is a great
way to engage and strengthen your core and lower back muscles, according to
Fitness. Add to your office routine by keeping a set of dumbbells in
your desk drawer and doing a set of tricep curls and overhead presses at
lunchtime, along with some stability ball crunches.
3. Carry a jump rope.
One of the most
efficient ways to get fit is to train with a jump rope—just 10 minutes can
burn 110 calories, according to Shape’s experts—and a jump rope is also light and portable. Take along one when you travel for work, or slip out during lunch and jump for just 10 fast minutes.
4. Talk and walk.
Brisk walks can
be productive in more ways than one, says Real Simple. During a busy work day, commit to two 10-minute
walks: one with a co-worker to brainstorm ideas for your latest project, and
one where you bring your phone along and catch up with friends and
family. You’ll get some exercise and hit your to-do list at the same time.
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5. Make it a stretch break.
Consider gathering a few colleagues for a short yoga practice in a conference room—find lots of videos and podcasts online—or search for a nearby class. As a bonus, you’ll be able to go right back to work relatively sweat-free.
6. Work out while commuting.
Try riding your bike or running to work a few times each week. You’ll save money
on gas, start the day with a clear head, and might even save time, if you can skip traffic or slow public transportation. The trick: Keep clean clothes in your office and change out of
your exercise gear once you get there, says FitSugar. Or look for a nearby gym that offers locker service—you can stash a few outfits there ahead of time. Plan on biking home after work, or have a friend or neighbor pick you up on their way.
7. Make your mini-moves add up.
If your day is
jam-packed and you know you’re not going to be able to take any breaks from
your regular schedule, Shape recommends making smart moves that add up to a good
workout. Begin by parking your car far away from your office and power-walking to the door. Bypass the elevator and take the stairs to your
office and continue to use them all day. Try to wedge a walk in at lunchtime. All that makes a healthy amount of exercise.
8. High-impact classes give you time to fix your style.
If you can spare it, look for speedy 30-minute gym classes held at lunch—add in time to get there and quickly shower afterwards, and you’ll be back at your desk in 60 minutes tops. But make sure you’re working hard during those 30 minutes. Keep your hair fresh and your style intact by pinning back your bangs and pulling the
rest of your hair up into a high bun or ponytail. To prevent creases or ridges from
forming, secure it with a scarf or a fabric ponytail holder instead of a tight
hair elastic, according to Fitness Magazine.
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9. Get rid of the evidence
If your hair gets sweaty, use a blow dryer, set on cool, to quickly blast your roots. If you have a secluded office, you might be able to keep a blow dryer in your desk drawer; otherwise, it’s best to find a nearby gym where you can quickly fix yourself up. Once your hair is completely
dry, rub a bit of dry shampoo into your hair at the roots; when you brush it
out, your hair will be left with a fresh scent and added volume, says Allure.
10. Freshen your face last.
If you’re not
very sweaty and don’t want to remove your makeup, simply blot away shine with a
facial tissue. You can remove any makeup smudges or smears using makeup remover
on a cotton swab or another tissue, says Total Beauty. Reapply lip gloss or
lipstick, and you’re good to go.
11. And calm a flushed complexion.
If your cheeks are still flushed after you’ve dealt with your hair and makeup, you may need to cool your skin down before you can slip back into the office. Blast your face with cool air from a blow dryer, and follow it up with
a gentle, pre-moistened face wipe. Blot your face dry with a facial tissue and
apply a tinted moisturizer to tone down any remaining redness, says Fitness.