Sneaky Ways to Exercise at Home

It can be tough to find the time to exercise at home. Unless you are a front line health worker, or employed at an essential store such as a grocery store, you might find yourself working from home. Or maybe you work from home regularly and are just looking for ways to get a little exercise in during the day when you are strapped to your desk.  Here’s some ideas for you.  Almost anyone can accomplish this, with no special skills or equipment required.

P.S. If this sounds like a drinking game, don’t panic.  It’s kind of supposed to.  The one and only preamble instruction is this:

Drink. WATER.  It would be irresponsible of me to encourage day drinking of anything other than this beautiful, clear liquid that almost everybody (me included) forgets to drink enough of.  Having said that, I recommend drinking all water out of a wine glass, it just makes the everyday so much more festive! Water is too boring, you say?  No worries, it comes into play in this list so you will want to do it to get away from your desk. And adding some fresh fruit to it can give it a refreshing zip!

1. Login Shadow Boxing

What a way to begin your day.  It may look a little silly at first, but a one-minute shadow boxing session while you’re waiting for your login to work can be an essential warmup, both physically and psychologically for the day.  What am I talking about?  Check it out here:


2.  Conference Call Planks

Unless you’re a boldface liar, you will admit to hating conference calls.  I know, I know, they can be an effective way of communicating with a large number at once, but nobody jumps out of bed in the morning and is happy about their exciting lineup of conference calls for the day.  Try this: if you are not the one speaking, do a plank.  There are many variations of this exercise for all fitness levels.

Now, this will not make you hate the conference call any less. But it will strengthen your core and help relieve back pain if you have any.  This is worth it!  Start with 30 second planks at a time and increase as the days go by.

If you are not familiar with this exercise, you can look it up here: 



3.  “Moving Forward” Push ups

Anytime anyone send you an email or a text with the phrase “moving forward” in it, do some pushups.  If you cannot do a traditional push up, no worries – you can start with a wall push up.  Or knees on the floor push ups.  Check this out:


Whatever you can do, do it! Do as many as you can, rest 30 seconds, then do as many as you can again.  Then get back to work.

4. Walking Lunges to the Bathroom

See I told you, drinking water can be useful.  Make your way to the bathroom doing walking lunges.  And then back to your desk doing the same.  I would even suggest doing this in a traditional office setting when things get back to normal.  Don’t worry, people will think you’re weird at first, but they will get used to it, “Oh don’t mind Helen, she lunges to the bathroom. Its’s her thing.” Here’s the proper form for walking lunges:


5. Bathroom Jumping Jacks

Since we’re on the topic, every time you are in the bathroom, do 10 jumping jacks.  It will remind you of joyful middle school gym classes, which will take your mind off every possible problem you could be having at work that day, I promise.  PRO TIP: Pee first. And wash your hands.

6. Pet Squats

Every time your pet interrupts you (or child, or spouse), do ten squats.  The pet will appreciate the acknowledgment unless they are busy walking on your keyboard and deleting everything you have done that day. Cats are particularly good at this, and at sending inappropriate emails to your boss. 

7. Lunchtime Crunches!

Yes! Crunches. And not the kind that happens in your mouth when you have a bag of chips. I know you’re hungry.  I know you have been dealing with all sorts of business nonsense in the past four (at least) hours. You need lunch, there is no question about that. But in addition to that, BEFORE THAT, you can lie on the floor and do 10-20 crunches. And have a glass of water before you eat. 

8. Corporate Concern Email Triceps

 Every time you receive an email from a store that you have shopped at, ever, in the past 25 years, do some tricep extensions. Now, it helps to hold some sort of weight when you do this, but it doesn’t have to be a real dumbbell.  A three hole punch, a book, a large zucchini, anything that might be lying around that you can hold easily.   Do 10. Rest. Do 10.  Yes you can!


9.  3 pm Lull – Jog!

No really, I am actually serious! You may want to laugh in my face and call me insane for suggesting a jog in place when you can barely keep your eyes open.  Just try it, even once.  You’ll be amazed at the energy you create. If the weather is decent you can do this outside and it works even better. Do a 1 minute jog in place.  Or as much as you can.  Start where you need to – set a timer for 1 minute and see how far you get.  If you want to keep going after a minute, don’t stop!!


10.  Imagine Leg LiftsEvery time you come across a social media post of the celebrities singing “Imagine” – get up and do 10 alternating leg lifts.  To on EACH leg.  Do this only after you have removed the fork that you have stuck in your eye after hearing this rendition of the song more than once.
“I am never on social media during the workday!”  Ok.  You can keep lying to me as much as you like.  Or maybe your employer keeps tabs on all that stuff.  Ughh…then the alternative is, every time you see a cat video on…oh never mind. Just do some leg lifts!  Here’s how to do one variation:



There you have it! If you do all of these, you could burn quite a few calories during the day.  Even if you only do some, it is worth for the energy and for the increase in metabolism.  

Have a wonderful day at work!

Happy Slacking,

Andrea Accinelli

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