Want to burn a few extra calories but can’t get to the gym right now?
1. Do you carry a briefcase or briefcase bag to work? Get rid of the shoulder strap. The briefcase/bag is a nice piece of resistance equipment which you have to carry with you. Let your muscles do the work by carrying the bag with your hand instead of your shoulder. Carry your grocery bags from the store to the car rather than using a cart. Not getting a LOT of groceries? Use the basket instead of the cart.
2. Work it! On an escalator, in line or in an elevator? You don’t need to do curls (that could be a little embarassing) but you certainly can discreetly hold your bag or case in your hand with your arm bent at a 90 degree angle. Hold it very still for the whole ride. When you go back down later, switch hands. If you don’t feel any burn after holding it for 15 or more seconds then your bag is probably too light. Consider adding a book to it for a little extra weight. In the grocery store using the basket, keep your arm slightly bent. Don’t be shy about switching hands as you need to.
3. Take the stairs. While you’re carrying your bag in your hand instead of over the shoulder take the stairs instead of the elevator wehnever you can.
4. Alone in the elevator? Use your bag to work your triceps a little. Hold it directly over your head with one hand, straight up, palm forward. Keeping your elbow high, lower the bag behind your head (be careful not to bonk yourself on the noggin!) as far as you can and then straight back up with a steady, controlled motion. Do a few reps with each hand.
5. Standing in line or in the elevator? Keep your knees very slightly bent. Forces your leg muscles to support your weight instead of locking the knees and letting your bones/joints hold you up. Nobody will notice but over the course of a day you’ll burn a few extra calories and tone your leg muscles a bit.
6. Walk around at least once an hour. Been sitting an hour? Get up from your desk and take a lap around the office. Or go to your car and come back – just for the exercise of it. Take the stairs if you can, look for an excuse to walk a bit more than usual. Park further from the door so you have to walk a little further.
Does this stuff replace the gym? No. But it’s an easy and productive use of time to help you burn a few extra calories and work some muscles.