Quick and Easy Workouts to Add to Your WFH Routines

Have you gained the dreaded quarantine 15? Perhaps you’re new to the WFH world, and you are wondering how on earth you can squeeze fitness into your day with your responsibilities. Juggling homeschooling and childcare with an increased workload can leave you crunched for time.

Have no fear. The following routines will get you moving in a jiffy with no need to devote a full hour to your home gym. You can squeeze fitness in short bursts and still work every muscle, including your heart before you lie down at night to count sheep.

1. Five Minute Morning Yoga

If your morning routine involves slapping snooze while scrolling social media, you miss the ideal time to start your day healthfully. Instead, roll out your yoga mat — or use your bed as a replacement. Perform five minutes of gentle yoga to get your blood flowing. Use this time to focus your mind by setting an intention for your day as well.

If you aren’t sure what to do, you don’t have to spend a dime on lessons. You can find tons of yoga videos on YouTube, many in the 5-minute range. Maybe you won’t jump out of bed singing “Zippedy Doo Dah,” but you’ll feel energized instead of grumpy as you pour that first cup of a.m. ambition.

2. Coffee Brewing Ab Blaster

Did you forget to add the french roast to the pot before you went to bed? While your morning cuppa brews, take the opportunity to engage your core for the day. You can perform several different exercises at your desk as you review your to-do list.

Do chair crunches by leaning back and holding the armrests to steady yourself. Contract your abs and round your lower spine as you bring your knees up toward your chest — take care not to bump them on your desk. Hold for three seconds, then repeat. You can also do bicycles and leg lifts from the same starting position.

3. Morning Break Calisthenics

Calisthenics may sound old-fashioned, but these exercises stood the test of time because they work. Keep light hand weights in your office and use your morning stretch break to perform the following 5-minute routine:

  • Mountain climbers: Get into a pushup position or place your hands on your desk. “Run” in place by bringing your knees to your chest.
  • Pushups: Perform ten repetitions. You can experiment with varying your hand positions if you like.
  • Stationary lunges: With a weight in each hand, step one foot forward, the other back. Make sure your front knee doesn’t extend over your toe when you bend it at a 90-degree angle. Lower down and lift, repeating ten times each leg.
  • Triceps dips: Place your hands on your desk behind you. Keeping your glutes close to the structure, lower and lift yourself ten times.
  • Dumbbell rows: Place one weight in each hand and hinge forward approximately 45-degrees at the hip. Pull the weights up like you’re starting a lawnmower, then lower and perform ten repetitions.

4. Pre-Lunch Boogie

Finally, the noon bell rings, and you’re famished. While your healthy homemade frozen burrito zaps, get your blood flowing by cranking up one of your favorite jams. If you do Zumba, you can choreograph one song. If you don’t engage in regular dance fitness, merely let loose like no one is watching — except maybe your littles, who can get in on the fun.

5. Post-Snack Stroll

Once you eat lunch, you might feel a bit of lassitude creep in — combat it with exercise. Get in the habit of taking a 10-minute stroll after your midday meal. The fresh air will improve your overall mood and boost your afternoon productivity.

6. Afternoon Mini Tabata

Tabata is a specific form of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) that is a complete four-minute workout of alternating effort and rest. You do 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of relaxation. Since you’re only doing one round, select a cardio move like jumping jacks or burpees. Getting your blood flowing will help you to overcome the 3 p.m. slump.

7. After Work Heart Rate HIIT

When you finally power down your laptop for the day, it’s time for a slightly lengthier full-body workout. Select four moves — one cardio, one upper body, one lower body and one core. Perform each move Tabata-style, and you’ll have worked all your major muscle groups in under 20 minutes. You might try jogging in place, military presses, squats and situps.Try a compound move like combining your squat with your overhead press to get even more bang for your mini-workout buck.

8. Evening Stretch Into Sleep

Before lying your head on the pillow to rest, take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes to do yoga. You can find routines for free on YouTube that you can perform on your mattress. Make sure you finish by lying in savasana — and if you drift off, it’s okay.

Get Your Workout in While WFH With These Mini-Workouts

You might feel pulled in 20 directions in your new WFH lifestyle, and you might struggle to squeeze in fitness. The mini-workouts above last no more than 15 minutes apiece, but combining some or all of them will engage your whole body without making you feel more time-pressed.