Getting into shape is one of our top new year’s resolutions, but most people abandon their gym memberships by mid-February. Here are 5 ways to work on your fitness anytime, anywhere — in the office, at home, or while traveling.
- Stand when you can. The simple act of standing up engages your abs and core, ticks up your circulation, and improves your balance. If you’re a gadget geek, check out the latest trend in standing desks.
- Move when you stand. Whether you’re watching the coffee maker brew in the break room or riding an elevator 20 floors, try balancing your weight on one foot to the count of 30, and then switching feet. Depending on your fitness level, kick it up a notch by adding calf raises.
- Work out in your chair. Whether you have mobility challenges or are just trapped in the office too much, you can get in an effective workout with the help of a sturdy chair or two. These genius chair-based moves will have you looking and feeling stronger and leaner in no time.
- Substitute the wall for the floor. Don’t have a bunch of floor space? Exercises such as chest presses can be performed against the wall. Modify the resistance by planting your feet farther away from the wall. Instead of standard lunges, try “sitting” on the wall: Place your back flush against the wall and slide down until your legs form a 90-degree angle, with your thighs parallel to the floor. Hold the position as long as you can, up to a minute.
- Lean on your weight. The truth about strength training is that you don’t need to live in the free-weight room to get ripped. Exercises like push-ups, lunges, planks, and squats use nothing more than the power of your body weight. Try a few of these body-weight exercises.
If you’re working out at the office or in your hotel, you’ll want to stash a few essential pieces of workout gear that’s easy to clean, stows away quickly and neatly, and is light enough not to weigh down your backpack or luggage. Here’s a handy checklist to make sure you have what you need:
- moisture-wicking shirt (preferably not too loose-fitting so it doesn’t get caught on anything)
- lightweight shorts or jogging pants
- athletic socks
- cross-trainer athletic shoes
- water bottle (if you travel a lot, get a couple collapsible ones)
- hand towel
- travel-sized bottle of fabric freshener or can of disinfectant spray (to spritz your clothes and shoes before cramming them into your gym bag or luggage)
If you spend a lot of time on the road, finding the time and facilities to exercise can be especially challenging. But you can keep your workouts on schedule with this compact equipment that allows you to get in your reps no matter where you are:
- Resistance bands
- Jump rope — for cardio-on-the-go
- Bonus travel gear: barbells, medicine balls, and kettlebells that can be filled with water
Including time for rest and recovery is a vital component of an effective workout. A solid rule of thumb is not to exercise the same muscle group two days in a row. (QuickTip: If you’re doing a lot of muscle-shredding routines, go ahead and splurge on a pair of compression tights to help with recovery. You might want to opt for a short-or long-sleeved shirt too.)
Regardless of whether you’re a seasoned athlete or are working out for the first time, remember the cardinal rule: go at your own pace. And be sure to talk to your primary care physician before you get started. Your doctors at Teladoc wish you great success with your fitness goals. Be sure to download the Teladoc app so that you’ll have our board-certified physicians on hand 24/7 anywhere in the U.S. any time you have a strain, sprain, or other non-emergency medical need.
“The vision of a champion is someone who is bent over, drenched in sweat, at the point of exhaustion, when no one else is watching.” -Anson Dorrance, NCAA coach, 2008 National Soccer Hall of Fame inductee