Office gymnastics: Fit @ (home) office with Ines & Supz

Due to the new home office era, which definitely also has many advantages to offer, many people face certain challenges: Constant snacking and poor eating habits, less structure in everyday life due to more flexible working hours and lack of commuting, and above all, far too little exercise lead to weight gain, energy lows, poor sleep, dissatisfaction, back, neck and knee pain, and susceptibility to minor illnesses.

Now it's time to get out of the home office slump. With the right office exercises, a more deliberately structured daily routine and the right nutritional habits, things can start to look up again. In this text, Supz shows how it's done!



Why office gymnastics also works at home - challenges and opportunities in the home office

Especially since the Corona era, work has shifted to the home office for many. Even after the lockdown era, many companies have developed at least a hybrid model of home office and real office life. Today's article comes a bit more from my personal perspective, as I have been heavily involved in the home office topic over the past year.

As Head Coach at MTM Personal Training Studio in Berlin, I have experienced the challenges my clients face. For many, it's not enough for them to get nutritional recommendations and a well-guided, structured workout from me. Due to the home office routine, the hormonal system in particular is in disarray and people have got into a real "blood sugar roller coaster" due to lack of exercise and too many sugar snacks, triggering more and more food cravings, poor sleep and general malaise. Since a daily structure and often social contacts are missing, I address all these issues with people, so also mentally.

Most importantly, they miss the commutes to work, some of which were made on foot or by bicycle, as well as going to lunch together. Some do just 500-1000 steps a day on home office days, which is definitely far from the goal of 10,000 recommended steps. When this exercise is missing, the hormonal system can't shut down in the evening and you don't fall asleep or stay asleep through the night. In addition, the body burns significantly fewer calories and loses muscle in the process, which is why you should actually eat even less.

However, it is much more sustainable to build up muscles or at least maintain them with office exercises and a proper office workout at home. This creates a hormonal balance, you burn more calories but don't eat out of cravings, and you sleep better. All this leads to a generally better state of mind, a good energy level at the desk, a fit, beautiful body and balance.


The "FIT@HOME" Book

Last year, I had the pleasure of working with GU publishing house to develop my book FIT@HOME, in which I share all my tips and suggestions and many recipes that support everyday life in the home office.

In it, you'll find many office exercises, including back exercises for the home office, a home office workout, and stretching exercises - some of which can be done right at the office chair. With FIT@HOME, you can finally work successfully and healthily in the home office and also nibble your way to fitness with over 70 simple, quick recipes:


Bild: Jochen Arndt, Bildrechte: GU Verlag München

You can find the book right here!


Office gymnastics today - your office workout for healthy home office work

As always, the most effective workout way is structured strength training in a gym. Instructed or at least introduced by a good and experienced coach. However, for those who find this difficult or who can simply fit home workouts into their daily routine more easily, home office exercise can also keep you fit. Home office exercise can be done with equipment consisting of dumbbells, barbells, bands, a pull-up bar and kettlebells.

However, those who are short on space and prefer to do home office exercise without additional weights or tools can also do body workouts. The advantages and disadvantages of these two forms and what to look out for have been described in more detail in Home Training or Gym? article in more detail.

One way to do your office workouts at home is to do a HIIT workout. An example of such a workout, which can be performed super as an office workout at home, can be found in the article on HIIT.

It is important to always work towards performing exercises in their full range of motion. For example, a squat should always go into the deep squat if possible and not just to 90 degrees. This actively stretches the muscles. In fact, properly performed office exercises at home can be a form of pain prevention. Moreover, such exercises are physiologically more global and have a greater effect on body fat reduction and muscle building. Especially if you already do not use additional weights, which would increase the mechanical tension and thus strengthen the training effect.



Sitting exercises for your back and abs

Sitting exercises are more suitable for active movement breaks and stretching in between. They are great for loosening up stiff muscles and improving blood circulation in the tissues. Especially for the intervertebral discs, it is essential that they can fill up with fluid again because they lose it during the day.

bürogymnastik übungen pdfBild: Jochen Arndt, Bildrechte: GU Verlag München

Office exercises at home at the desk can be very simple, on the following video you can see 3 simple stretches that can be done every now and then in the home office directly at the office chair. They loosen the back extensor muscle and the neck. The exercises at the desk can be well linked to routines, more about this in the next section:


Integrating exercises at the workplace into the daily work routine quite simply

To integrate office gymnastics in the home office in a sustainable way, it is best to link these new routines to existing ones. If you work through your mails first thing every day, for example, you could send an e-mail to yourself the day before with the message content "Reminder office gymnastics stretches at desk" and open this e-mail as the last message, so that after working through the previous ones you then perform the movements at home directly before the next tasks in your office routine.

It is best to schedule 30 to 50 minutes of office exercise as a regular appointment in your calendar. Be it early in the morning, during the lunch break or after work. It's important to really think about when exactly you're going to do the office exercise home workout beforehand. Sometime on Monday and Thursday is not enough, so something always goes down.


Fit in office - fit in mind - the connection

Yoga exercises for the office at home, office gymnastics in the form of sports in the home office, stretching exercises for the office but also walks, a shopping trip by bike or going for a run again clears the mind. Our body's own signals, the hormones, and neurotransmitters, are responsible for how our energy level is and whether we can work focused and motivated. A balance of hormones and neurotransmitters is largely dependent on diet and exercise. If we eat carbohydrates and sugar early in the day and hardly move throughout the day, signals for relaxation, well-being and the sleep mode are primarily activated. We actually want these more in the evening or during rest breaks and not throughout the day. However, if these act during the day, they are (simplified) used up in the evening. Due to the lack of activating hormones, which we need for movement, active work and focus, these are too short and then go crazy in the evening and at night. This then leads to sleep problems. Neither side is good or bad, it's more about an interplay in balance of the two.

fit im home office frühstück

Bild: Jochen Arndt, Bildrechte: GU Verlag München

If we eat protein, good fats and fiber for breakfast and eat a low-sugar diet, move a lot during the day and reduce internal stress, then we can switch off better in the evening. The power signals are active during the day and can then withdraw in the evening, when the relaxation hormones, then do their job. A few good carbohydrates can support this mode in the evening, and are mainly useful when more intensive training has been done. Stretching exercises in the office at home after work can also be relaxing and bring the day to a close. Office gymnastics in the form of sports at the office can activate and balance the hormonal system.


How to stay fit in the home office and control yourself

Working healthy in a home office? Yes, you can:
Nutrition in the home office is the be-all and end-all. As already written above, you should start the day with the right breakfast. Scrambled eggs, coconut yogurt with berries and vegan protein powder and nuts or some low-carb bread with beef ham are just a few simple examples. Regular meals are essential to avoid unconscious snacking on sweet stuff. This prevents attacks of ravenous hunger and stabilizes blood sugar.

So in addition to the three main meals, there should be two healthy snacks, for example olives, nuts, berries, sugar-free homemade protein balls or nut purée with vegetable sticks. In my book FIT@HOME you will find numerous delicious and simple recipes for the perfect breakfast, the right snacks and treats as well as lunch and dinner. Basically, the less muscle and the more body fat you have and the less you exercise, the fewer carbohydrates you should consume. If you have more muscle and exercise a lot, you can reach for carbs more often.

fit am schreibtisch

Bild: Jochen Arndt, Bildrechte: GU Verlag München

These nutritional measures alone will stabilize blood sugar more. However, exercise in the form of office exercises in the home office, walks, stretching and stretching exercises directly at the desk are also an important factor for a stable blood sugar and thus a balanced hormone system that allows you to work focused and healthy.


Important exercises for the office - stretching & stretching exercises

If you want to incorporate yoga and stretching exercises into your home office routine, you can do so on a yoga mat. Such stretching exercise sessions could last from 5 to 60 minutes. One way to do this would be to first roll the entire body with a fascial roller.

This stimulates blood flow and metabolism, prevents pain and can even release pain points. After this rolling you also feel much more supple for any office exercises but also simple stretches and yoga. In the following two videos, you can see some simple mobility exercises for the home office:



Getting out of the home office slump is doable! With the proper office exercises, a consciously structured daily routine and the right nutritional habits supported by the appropriate supplements, you can get back on track!


Ines Schulz
Ines Maria Schulz, geboren am 01.12.1992 in Basel, Schweiz hat auch dort den Master Of Education in Biologie und WAH abgeschlossen, womit sie den Grundstein für das Verständnis von Physiologie und Anatomie sowie Ernährungslehre gesetzt hat. Zudem ist sie ausgebildete Sportlehrerin für die Grundschule. Seit zwei Jahren ist sie Coach bei MTM Personal Training, dem erfolgreichsten Personal Training Studio in Berlin. Dort unterstützt sie täglich Kunden, die ihr maximales Potential bezüglich mentaler und physischer Gesundheit und ihrer Leistungsfähigkeit ausschöpfen möchten. In Kooperation mit Ärzten wie Dr. Dominik Nischwitz und einem Labor für Darmgesundheit sowie dem ständigen Austausch im Team kann sie ihre Kunden optimal über Training, Ernährung, Mikronährstoffe und Lifestyle beraten. Für MTM hat sie bereits ein Frühstücksbuch und einen grossen Teil eines Lifestyle Booklets verfasst. Zudem schreibt sie wöchentlich den Newsletter, in dem Ernährungstipps und von ihr kreierte Rezepte veröffentlicht werden. Ines hat bei verschiedensten erfolgreichen Coaches und Fachpersonen Seminare und Zertifikate absolviert und erweitert stetig ihre Kompetenz. Für Supz Nutrition ist die junge Trainerin seit Januar 2019 mit dem Verfassen von Blogartikeln aktiv.

Häufig gestellte Fragen

How do I stay fit at work?
You should exercise regularly (walks, stretching, intensive sports sessions at least twice a week), stabilize blood sugar via the right diet (eat low-sugar, protein and fat for breakfast) and integrate routines into your daily routine.
What exercises can you do without restrictions in the office?
Stretching on the chair, arms circling, breathing exercises, stretches in lunges and neck stretches.
Which sport is suitable for office people and gym muffle?
Short crisp home workouts, sprint workouts outside (only takes 20-30 minutes) and Yoga or Pilates or going for a run. It's best to find a personal trainer, as they can turn you from a sports slacker to an avid athlete.
Why is office gymnastics and staying fit important in the home office?
Otherwise, the lack of exercise causes pain (neck, back, knees…), weight gain and discomfort. Other causes are unstable blood sugar due to too little exercise and a wrong diet, as well as a lack of daily structure. All this leads to hormonal imbalance and with it then comes mental malaise, concentration problems and sleep problems.
What are the benefits of exercise at work?
A good body feeling (mentally and physically), more focus and performance, well-being, good sleep, less pain from stiffened muscles and a good daily routine.
How can I integrate more exercise into my everyday working life?
By linking movement routines to already existing routines: Doing a few squats while brushing your teeth, doing some yoga and stretching exercises while watching the daytime news or your favourite TV show, or taking a short digestive walk right after every big meal.

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