Nurses, are there days where you have only a few short minutes to get active, get your blood flowing and calories burning? If you perform several of these small fitness feats throughout the day, you will burn calories and, depending on how many opportunities you get, you may even feel as if you had a good workout by the end of the day. Not only at work but you can even do these exercises in the airport, while waiting in line, or at home between tasks. Don’t let the stares bother you—it’s all about you staying in shape and maximizing your time!
Exercises that you can perform in 5 minutes or less:
- Stationary squats. With legs slightly more than shoulder width apart, squat down until thighs are close to parallel to the floor, making sure your knees don’t move forward over your toes. Perform squats for up to one minute. Works bum, front and back of thigh, and heart and lungs if performed quickly.
- Jump rope. Imagine you have a jump rope and jump rope for one minute. Add additional minutes hopping on alternate feet instead of both feet. Works calf muscles, heart and lungs.
- One legged pick-ups. Standing straight, take the weight off of one leg. Bend the support leg and reach down to touch the floor, and then come back up to standing position. Continue balancing on the one leg, and bend over and touch the floor a total of ten times, or as many as you are able. Switch legs and repeat. Helps to build balance and works bum.
- Desk push-ups. Find a solid desk or counter and place your hands on the edge of the desk. Walk back a step and do as many push-ups against the desk that you are able to do. For a greater challenge, try to touch your chest to the desk. Works chest, shoulders and arms.
- Side lunges. Stand straight and then step sideways with one leg until legs are far apart. Bend one leg and straighten the other in a side-lunge position. Push off of the straight leg so that it comes back to standing with legs together. Repeat side lunge 10-15 times until leg is fatigued, then switch sides and repeat with other leg. Works inner and outer thigh and bum. Also works on balance.
- Quad stretch/one legged balance. Have a wall for support nearby. Stand straight within arms-length of wall. Bend leg furthest from the wall with heel touching bum. Grab your ankle with the hand on the same side and gently pull back to feel a stretch in the front of the leg. Work your way to not having to use the wall for support. Be sure to stand tall and not lean to one side. Works on balance and stretches front of thigh.
- Chair lifts. Find a steady chair without wheels. Place both hands on your chair arms and slowly lift your bum off the chair. Lower yourself back down but stop short of the seat and hold for a few seconds, then push back up. Do 15 times. Works chest and shoulders.
- Chair dips. Find a steady chair without wheels. Place both hands on the edge of the chair. Walk legs away from chair so that bum is overhanging off edge of chair. Slowly lower bum and then rise up again using arms. Repeat as many times as you are able. Works the back of the arm and shoulders.
If you have a specific fitness question for Alice, she can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.