The combination of unhealthy snacks, long hours spent under unnatural fluorescent lights, and the lack of physical activity is the unfortunate recipe for a poor health. The hours spent at the office working to a packed schedule can leave you exhausted at the end of the day. If this resembles your lifestyle, cardio exercises can be the answer to keeping fit. As opposed to anaerobic exercises such as weight training and short-distance sprinting which can cause intense aches for the first few days, cardio is an aerobic exercise that lowers the intensity of pain caused by the formation of lactic acid and helps you maintain a sustainable fitness schedule. Cardio can also be done in short bursts without any equipment, making it the right choice if you have limited space and time.
Jump Rope Skipping
A jump rope is a compact, workout tool that you can carry in your office bag. When used properly, this can give you the benefits of jogging and an aerobics session in the comfort of your break room. Short bursts of high-intensity skipping interspersed with slow and relaxing skipping can energize you before your workday by putting the muscle groups that take most of the load—your arms, abs and your back—to work. 15 to 20 minutes of skipping can improve coordination, posture, cardiovascular function and muscle tone better than almost any other form of exercise.
An “end-of-day” activity that engages your upper body and keeps your feet moving, boxing is a great way to keep fit and express yourself. If your office permits it, consider having a speed ball installed. Speed ball boxing is a fluid aerobic exercise for the arms but if space permits, augment speed ball practice by sparring with a punching bag that allows you to move your feet. 20 minutes on a speed ball can help revive flagging energy levels and improve your alertness at the end of the day.
The beauty of cardio is that you can put together an office workout without needing a lot of space or equipment. A simple workout comprising a warmup of step-ups, marching, jump rope, and lower body stretches, a full workout of jumping jacks, cross jacks, squats, lunges, burpees, push-ups, crunches, and dips, and a cooldown of Tai Chi or arm and leg stretches can help you stay at peak fitness even through the toughest work days. Even 10 to 15 minutes of this core workout show results in a few days.
Cardio at Your Desk
If your office does not have an exercise area, there are several cardio exercises that you can do at your desk. Chair jogging is a popular exercise that replicates the jogging motion at your desk. This low-impact exercise can improve circulation to your calves and feet—two areas that tend to ache the most if you have a desk job. A swivel chair can be converted into exercise equipment for doing oblique stretches and twists by keeping your torso upright and using the chair’s mechanics to swivel from side to side. Several reps of leg extensions can help relieve cramps in the thigh muscles and leave you feeling relaxed at the end of the day.
Getting a cardio workout at the office is easier than is usually imagined. From complete cardio workouts to simple aerobic exercises at your desk, the versatility of cardio allows you to choose the type of exercise and the intensity you need.
Hamid Moaref has always been fascinated by cars and the automotive industry. His family has a longstanding association with the industry and has been in the tire business for the past 35 years. Raised in Dubai, Hamid attended Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated with a BBA in marketing before attending an intensive course in magazine publishing in 2005. He has been the publisher and chief editor of Tires & Parts magazine for the past ten years.
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