A lot of people tell me they want to work out over lunch, but don't have time to shower. I often have people ask me if it's better to do some kind of activity during a break, even if it doesn't make you sweaty? And I say, "absolutely!"
I'm not saying it's all you need to do, but using your leg muscles, getting some fresh air and breathing a little harder than baseline is beneficial no matter how little you think you are doing. It's definitely better than sitting in a restaurant or at your desk, or in your car eating!
Try to incorporate these exercises every day. If you have time to do all five at once, that's great. If you don't, do them throughout the course of the day.
Do a plank
Get in the pushup position, only put your forearms on the ground instead of your hands. Hold the plank position as long as you can. Aim for 1-3 minutes. However long you hold it, multiply that by three. This is your plank time. Complete your plank time, taking as many breaks as necessary to get through it. Do this each day, working to decrease your breaks. When you don't have to take any breaks, increase the minutes.
Jill Koegel is a registered dietitian and certified personal trainer based in Omaha. She blogs every Wednesday. Read more from Jill.
With your back against a wall, walk your feet out and slide your back down the wall. Keep your feet hip distance apart and try to lower your body until your knees are at a 90-degree angle and your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold this squat, with your back flat against the wall for as long as you can. Similar to the plank hold time, multiply the time by three. Then, complete the wall sits for that amount of time, taking breaks as needed.
Take a walk upstairs
Find a flight of stairs and go up and down it 5-10 times each way. If there are more steps in your flight, you might only need to do this five times!
Push-ups off a chair, bench or step
Start on your knees if you can't perform these from your toes. If that is still too much, do push-ups against a wall, making sure to keep your body in one straight line, from the back of your head to your heels. Do as many as you can, then multiply by three, as in plank and wall sits.
Stand with feet wider than hip distance, toes pointed slightly out. Bending at the knees, and keeping your head up, touch the floor between your feet with your fingertips. Straighten legs as you bring fingertips over your head and reach to the ceiling. That is one. Squat again, and lift up for two. Do as many as you can for one minute, increasing the time as it gets easier. To make it harder, you can add a hop to the top of the exercise, or squat deeper at the bottom.
If you need help with form, most of these exercises can be found on the internet. There are a lot of online demonstrations available, so make sure you are watching a qualified fitness professional, such as a certified personal trainer or physical therapist.