So you don’t have a gym at work or the time to change clothes, get sweaty and take a shower? No problem. You can devise your own workout gym and key health spots within or near your workplace. First find the best places to do the following simple exercises, then actually do them.
I’m responsible for coordinating voluntary wellness programs for adult employees at many school sites in the region. Here is the program that education employees, including some in the Escondido Union, La Mesa-Spring Valley and South Bay Union School Districts, will be doing in March. Won’t you join us at your workplace?
- Identify a flat, straight spot where you can get 10 walking lunges completed (five on each leg).
- Locate a counter that is about waist high that you can hold onto to do 10 heel raises.
- Trace your collar line with your chin very slowly from one shoulder to the other. Then, repeat back to the original position. (Do this while sitting.)
- Determine a great wall to do 10 standing wall push-ups.
- Uncover the perfect spot to face the wall, keep your hands on the wall, and lift one leg back (keeping it straight) while squeezing your buttocks for five counts. Repeat with the other leg.
- Pinpoint the best place to sit and lean forward over your lap. Wrap your arms behind your knees and squeeze for 30 seconds, stretching out that lower back.
- Where is the best place to get a healthy salad within a five-minute walking distance?
- Discover the wall that would be best to do 30 seconds of wall sits. (In a wall sit, the legs are in 90-degree sitting position, the back is flat against the wall, and you hold it for the 30-second goal.)
- Find out how many stairs you have on your work campus (you can only count them if you walk up or down them).
- Uncover the location that has the best sunshine to take in 5 of your 15 minutes of Vitamin D, the place with the most visible greenery and the most sounds of nature. Try closing your eyes for 60 seconds and counting the different sounds.
- Detect the most stable chair with the most comfortable arm rests. Sit in the chair and with your hands on the arm rests, lift yourself up with your arms and count to 10. (If you can’t lift up, it is OK to just flex the muscles in this position by trying to do the movement.)
- If you were craving a piece of fruit at work, how would you find it?
- Track down the best place to sit and put one leg out straight with the heel on the ground. Lean forward down the straight leg and try to reach toward your toes. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat with the other leg.
- Map out a 10-minute route that you can walk after you eat your lunch.
- Where is the best spot on your work campus that is quiet enough to self-reflect for three minutes?
- Reach both arms out in front of you, interlocking your fingers. Roll your upper back outward while keeping your head down. Stretch and hold for 30 seconds.
- Where is the best spot within a five-minute walking distance that you can get a healthy breakfast, lunch or snack?
- Situate yourself at a spot where you can lift your leg straight out to the side (about 12 inches from your other leg) to do 10 outer thigh exercises. Repeat with the other leg.
- Plot a course that takes five minutes to walk that can be accomplished during your work break.
- Position yourself where you can sit comfortably and take a deep breath in that fills your belly. Exhale slowly until you have squeezed all the air out of your lungs. Repeat once more.
- Place your arms behind you, interlocking your fingers. Stick your chest out and hold for 30 seconds.
- Determine at least one healthy food or snack option that is available on your campus.
- Station yourself at a wall that you can hold onto with one finger. Balance on one foot for 60 seconds. Repeat with the other leg.
- Find a set of stairs or a curb that you can go up and down for 60 seconds.
- Locate the best spot to sit without distractions to eat your healthy lunch.
- Put your arms up over your head and reach for the stars for 30 seconds.
- Set up a mission to determine where you can find the best tasting water close to your work site.
- Establish the most discreet place that you can toe tap both feet for 30 seconds.
- Identify a route that takes a minimum of 2.5 minutes to get to the bathroom (one way).
- What is the prettiest place on campus to sit to take in the beauty, inhale a deep breath through your nose for the count of four, hold it for the count of seven, and exhale slowly out your mouth for the count of nine?
These are exercises that tone and stretch the muscles. They subtly
encourage good posture and better eating and drinking habits. Most of all, they
relax and refresh. You will feel better and have a more productive day.
White, a registered nurse with a master’s in public health, is general manager of advocacy programs for McGregor and Associates. The San Diego firm administers health care coverage for 51 school districts through California Schools VEBA, including more than three dozen in San Diego County.