It happens to us all. Those lurches we feel while we’re at the office. Maybe we start feeling a little slow in the afternoon after lunch break. Maybe the stress gets to us and we can’t seem to put two and two together. Or maybe our eyes feel like they’re going to fall out if we look at our screen one moment longer. Fortunately, there’s an easy way of overcoming the sluggishness.
Office WODs (Workouts of the day) are tiny workouts that we can perform a couple times a day at the office. We don’t need to change our shoes, put on some shorts, or get mentally prepped like we might before hitting the gym. All we need are a couple minutes, a few coworkers, and a desire to have fun.
Overall, Wods are are great for your health and your productivity. They destress you, improve your energy and focus, and compel you in positive, affirming ways. Often, all you need to wrap your head around a problem or give yourself that jolt to carry on until 5:00PM is a little workout to get your energy back up.
Also, what might not be obvious at first glance is how micro decisions you make over the course of your day can snowball into bigger changes. For instance, maybe one day you’ll go for a walk during lunch instead of flipping through Facebook. And maybe later that evening, you’ll feel like hitting the gym instead of binging most of that new Netflix show in one sitting.
Anyone can perform Wods solo, but for the best results, we recommend trying to do these with coworkers. There’s nothing wrong going at it solo, especially when everyone else might be busy or in the middle of the something, but it’s honestly more fun when you’re in a group. Plus these little breaks offer great ways to bond with your colleagues and be social at the office.
At Fit Company, we aim to take a Wod break every hour when possible. Of course, that said, we often end up missing a couple of opportunities. But when we managed to hit them all, we really feel the difference by the end of the day. We get more done, feel more creative and often more energized even after a long day.
One way we’ve found that helps keep us regular with the workouts, is setting a timer either on your desktop, in your browser or on your phone to ring every hour. When the buzzer sounds, it’s time to drop everything and take your Wod break.
When you’re on your break, it’s important that you completely detach. Try to walk away from your screens or shut them down if you’re still at your desk. Put some distance with whatever project you were working on and focus on yourself. Ideally, move into another part of the office or out in the stairwell or hallway.
Now, don’t get disheartened if fitting in a Wod break every hour seems like an insurmountable commitment. Start small, maybe 2-3 per day, or even just 1 if that’s all you can manage. You’ll discover that once you get started, adding more to your routine will become second nature. Heck, you’ll even find ways to start strategically inserting them into your days (there’s nothing like starting a meeting one minute early by kicking it off with a quick Wod)!
Here are our top 3 favorite office Wods (in no particular order):
1) Stretching WODs
Stretching is perfect for when you’re feeling stressed, under pressure or if you’ve been sitting down for too long and are starting to feel cramped. These kinds of workouts are great for doing solo and can also be fun with the team (provided you have the space for a whole bunch of people at once).
We recommend holding 30 seconds of triangle pose on each side. Follow up with 3 sun salutations and you’re set!
If you’re pretty athletic, you can also toss in one more stretch that focuses on your hamstrings or other muscles that might need to be loosened up and relaxed.
Small stretches throughout the day are good as well, and don’t have to be part of your Wod breaks. For instance, locking your fingers together and stretching your arms above your head can feel great after you’ve been typing for hours.
2) Physical WODs
These are great for those moments when you need a little “pick me up”, an energy boost, or if you’re feeling sluggish after a heavy lunch (though, ideally, do these at least an hour after you eat).
Our favorite physical WOD takes a grand total of 1 minute to complete: 30 seconds of push ups and 30 seconds of air squats. Simple!
The combination of these two is sure to get your heart pumping, your body energized, and your mind ready to break through all barriers.
Feel free to vary up the exercises depending on your fitness level too! Pushups can involve your chair, knees, walls or be full-blown, while squats can be done at your desk while standing up and sitting down on your chair.
If people are brand new at the Office WOD, try to stick to basic exercises. Keep them simple, fun and basic. Otherwise, if you get too technical, you might scare away the newcomers and no one wants that.
3) Static Hold WOD
These kinds of WODs are definitely some of the most widespread and common at offices, and they work great with a team! All you have to do is fine some place where everyone can gather around and hold a position for 30 seconds.
The two best holds are the plank and the wall sit. Don’t focus on doing both – just stick to one and see if your team can reach that first 30 second benchmark.
After you’ve done it a couple times, slowly see if you can move up the mark to 1 minute, and then beyond. Holding for 30 seconds or more might seem impossible the first time around, but you’ll be amazed at how fast everyone progresses when they make it a regular workout!
BONUS: Mindfulness Wod
This type of Wod is definitely the least physically demanding, but often the most challenging. All you need to do this time around is focus, and still your mind, but that’s often easier said than done.
We usually try to get one or two of these into our routine every day, especially when we’re under pressure and our minds are racing a mile a minute.
All you have to do is sit down and meditate for 2-3 minutes. This means, letting your mind be still, let your thoughts pass you by, and just sit there in silence without judging yourself or anything around you. It’s only natural that thoughts will flood back into your mind, and when that happens don’t get upset, just let them be and watch them pass you by like little clouds disappearing into the air.
Afterwards, we like taking 10-20 deep breaths, breathing in through our nostrils and breathing out with our mouths. This helps us bring in the calm and push out the stress, giving our bodies a two-for-one shot of mental energy and relaxation.
There you have it: our favorite office Wods. We’re sure that these little breaks will help clear up the mental congestion and help you feel ready to get back to work.
When you’re getting started, remember not to go at it too aggressively. You can start small and always add sessions or workouts as you go along.
If you’re looking for more inspiration, or if office Wods still seem totally new and a little challenging, be sure to check out our 10-day Office Wod challenge. In it, we outline a variety of workouts you can perform at the office, all with the goal of pushing you and your co-workers to keep up the workouts for two work-weeks in a row.
Yours in wellness,
The FC Squad