6 Exercises to Do at Your Desk

Desk-Exercises When I told Mr. RC I was going to need him to photograph me doing exercises at my desk, he thought I was completely joking. After laughing for a few minutes, he’s like “Oh. Wait. You’re serious?!”. Well, I just did leg lifts while typing this post while wearing heels…..what do you think?! He ended up laughing the entire time he was shooting these photos, but that’s ok because, as the saying goes, he who laughs first doesn’t finish their work day with toned triceps and tight abs. So your co-workers may be giggling at you now, but just remember who will leave the office looking better tonight. And if you don’t work in an office (like me), these exercises are still perfect to do, because let’s be honest, we’ve all got crazy schedules these days, so if we can fit in a butt blaster while blasting through our bills it will take the pain off of handing over your hard-earned money while also allowing you to not feel guilty about the dessert you want after dinner. And can I get an Amen from my multi-taskers?? I mean it doesn’t get more multi-tasky than working out while working. AmIrightoramIright????!!! If you’re ready to get your workout out on right from your desk, keep on reading to see my favorite 6 desk exercises.

6 Desk Exercises {triceps toner} || Runway Chef Triceps Toner // Just like your typical tricep dip, you’ll want to sit at the edge of your chair for this exercise. Then, keeping your elbows locked in, simply dip up and down. I usually aim to do 10 reps at a time. To switch it up, instead of doing the reps, just hold the downward portion of the position for 10-15 seconds.

6 Desk Exercises {carpal tunnel stretch} || Runway Chef Wrist Stretch // You’ll want to stand up for this stretch that helps prevent carpal tunnel. Simply place your hands, palm up, flat on the table, keeping your fingers pointing towards yourself (you may need to lean over a little bit). Hold for 15 seconds.

6 Desk Exercises {ab cruncher} || Runway Chef Ab Cruncher // Leaning back just a bit, sit on the edge of your seat, arms by your side, hands lightly pressing down on the chair, legs at a slight angle, and feet on tip-toes. Then, keeping your knees pressed together, fluidly raise your legs up and down, always landing on your tip-toes. I aim to do 10 reps at a time, sometimes holding the last one for 5 seconds.

6 Desk Exercises {leg lift} || Runway Chef Leg Lift // Sitting on the edge of your seat, raise one leg to knee height. Hold it for 15 seconds, before repeating on the opposite leg. If the lift is too hard to hold, use your hands to gently assist.

6 Desk Exercises {butt blaster} || Runway Chef Butt Blaster // Act like you are going to get up out of your chair, but instead of standing, stop about half way up. Adjust yourself to make sure your knees aren’t over your ankles, then stretch your arms out in front of your, clasp your hands, and hold the pose for 15 seconds. To switch it up, raise up and down, holding this position, for 10 reps.

6 Desk Exercises {calf raises} || Runway Chef Calf Raises // Again, sit on the edge of your chair. With your legs out in front of you at a 90 degree angle, simply raise your legs up onto your tip-toes and back down. Repeat 20 times. (I was doing these so frequently that they’ve become second nature to for me to do anytime I’m sitting at my desk.)

A few things to keep in mind:

  • For additional exercise options, keep a light set of hand weights under your desk and do things like bicep curls while sitting on that oh-so-boring conference call that you really don’t want to be on.
  • Watch out for rolling chairs.
  • And please keep in mind, I am not a trained professional. These are simply exercises I have been doing at my desk for years and I wanted to share them with you guys. So if you injure yourself or a co-worker makes fun of you, don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Happy Hour

Happy Hour || Runway Chef {A pretty little bouquet of flowers on my nightstand makes waking up much easier}

Without even realizing or planning it, the majority of this week’s HH pictures ended up with some form of flowers, pink, gold, or hearts. That can only mean one thing- Valentine’s Day is on it’s way! I’m not such a fan of the holiday in the “let’s be lovey dovey romantic” way (because, let’s be real, if I only loved Mr. RC one day a year then we’d have far bigger problems than who’s taking the trash out), but I do love the holiday for all the sweet notes and tasty treats it brings with it. I mean, you guys know me….would I ever pass up the opportunity to celebrate something that includes chocolate?! I think you know the answer to that one! And on that note, I’m off to scheme up vday treats….

Happy Hour || Runway Chef {Reason 1,789,678 that I love thrifting- these vintage gold-rimmed tumblers scored for less than $0.50 a piece}

Happy Hour || Runway Chef {A wall of hearts}

Happy Hour || Runway Chef {I couldn’t resist adding more gold to my desk in the form of a new stapler & paper clips from the Target dollar section (raise your hand if you think that is the best section of the store!)}

Happy Hour || Runway Chef {By far the thing that made me the happiest last week- when the server at one of our favorite restaurants surprised me with a big bowl of their roasted garlic in the middle of our dinner! #garlicaddict4eva} 

Happy Hour || Runway Chef

Happy Hour

Happy Hour || Runway Chef {I grew up on fresh ground peanut butter so I always love having a jar in our kitchen…plus, it’s so easy to make, there’s no reason not to!}

I’m going to go out on a really cliche limb here, but I’m having a tough time getting back into the swing of things after the holidays…..which were well over 2 weeks ago. I know. I should just grow up and move on….but I don’t wanna (*insert crying emoji face*)! No really, I don’t want to. I mean, I still have my tree up, if that tells you anything  (#holidayseparationanxiety perhaps?!). Anyone else suffering from a case of the post-holiday blues? What are your remedies? I’ve been listening to cheery music, keeping a candle lit on my desk, making myself fancy morning beverages (like mochas and hot chocolate), and taking small afternoon breaks to try to kick these blues to the curb. I’d love to hear what you’ve been doing to help yourself get back into the swing of things in the comments below.

Happy Hour || Runway Chef {His & hers knitting- My great-aunt taught me to knit when I was little, but as I’ve gotten older, it’s been harder to find time to keep up with it. In effort to grow creatively and mentally this year, the Mr. and I are tackling all kinds of projects, including knitting. Also…. we’re getting old…}

Happy Hour || Runway Chef {The first signs of my paper whites…hopefully I can keep them alive long enough to see the flowers!}

Happy Hour || Runway Chef {Rediscovering some of my favorite cookbooks…PS I loved reading your answers about where you get your recipes & cooking inspiration from in Friday’s post!}

Happy Hour || Runway Chef {Camembert wrapped in puff pastry served with apples and salted caramel sauce….every bit as drool-worthy as it sounds!} 

Happy Hour || Runway Chef

Happy Hour

Happy Hour {fireworks over the Statue of Liberty} || Runway Chef {NYE fireworks}

Thank you all for your comments on Monday’s post. I loved, LOVED, loved hearing how you are all motivating yourself to become better people in this new year (I just might be snagging a few of your ideas for myself!). It’s so nice not only from an accountability stand point but also a community stand point to see that we’re all working hard to be the best versions of ourselves in 2015! Yay!

We started the New Year off with a bang, quite literally. After a night of hors d’oeuvres, bubbly, and scrabble (I am unbearably aware of how old this makes us), we bundled up in 10,000 layers and headed to the water’s edge in our neighborhood to catch the fireworks shattering over Lady Libs right as the clock struck midnight. It was bitter cold but totally worth it. The year may have only just begun, but those fireworks, dazzling in the midnight sky, were a great reminder of all the bright and exciting things ahead!

Happy Hour {moose napkin rings} || Runway Chef {The reason I mainly shop for Christmas things after Christmas? The crazy good sale prices! I scored these napkin rings for $1.50 each at Sur La Table (I can’t find the link online, but they have other holiday things on sale for 75% off). I also got these, plaid mugs that match this, and some ornaments.}

Happy Hour {handmade wooden cutting board} || Runway Chef {I loved all of my Christmas gifts this year, but this cutting board was, hands down, my favorite because it was handmade by my little brother. I know several of you loved these, which he also made, so we here at Runway Chef headquarters are working hard to get his “momager” to allow him to sell his handmade wooden pieces on our site. We’ll keep you updated when we get a deal negotiated ;) }

Happy Hour {oversized gold paperclips} || Runway Chef {Oversized gold clips make organizing my DIY binder planner much more fun}

Happy Hour {blood oranges} || Runway Chef {Couldn’t let one of my favorite fruit seasons go by without documenting it! Who else loves blood oranges?}

Happy Hour {life goals} || Runway Chef {2015 motto via}



reflections on the past Nothing like starting the year off strong…. and by strong I mean late. But as they say, better late than never, right?! So here we go with 2567989 words I’ve written about the upcoming year…..

Before I dive right back into content, I wanted to talk about the year ahead. Being the type of person that has always been a big resolution maker, goal setter (aka #goaldigger), and list maker (hello 13.75 lists sitting next to me on my desk), I can’t let the opportunity of a new year go by without pausing for reflection. In years past my reflection has consisted of only looking forward, letting my mind run wild with daydreams that result in insurmountable goals and resolutions. The pressures of said resolutions have been more detrimental to reaching my goals than they have ever been helpful. So before the new year even hit, I already had my first resolution in place: don’t make resolutions. Now this doesn’t mean that I’ve thrown all caution to the wind and I’m floating around free as a dandelion seed floating on the breeze. Rather, I am taking a new approach to planning and goal setting.

foggy road For starters, instead of only looking ahead, this year, I first took time to look back. I looked at what I had achieved, the highlights of the year, the lowlights of the year, and where I thought improvements could be made. It was one of the most refreshing, insightful, and motivating things I’ve ever done. 

Next, I picked words for 2015. I had heard this idea mentioned a time or two, but, being totally honest, I found the idea rather silly. Like picking a word would really help me live a better life? Puh-lease. However, I noticed myself repeating several words when I was doing my reflecting and planning, and so I thought I’d give this whole word thing a try, but with a twist- in addition to selecting a word, I’m also banning several others. I’ve chosen to make my word “passion”. I’ve always admired the way with which many foreigners lived their lives so passionately, but it wasn’t until I read “Lessons from Madame Chic” that it somehow clicked in my head that I could live passionately too, no matter what country I’m in. For me, being passionate is about being selective and intentional with the things I choose to do, how I choose to spend my time, and who I choose to spend it with. Passion is using your best, doing your best, spending your time with the best, having the best in the here and now, not saving it for some later date (that may never come). But it also means being passionate about every aspect of life, the good, the bad, the mundane (I’m looking at you laundry), the necessary. It means taking your daily tasks and infusing them with joy, it means finding the lesson in a situation that went wrong, it means using your best china instead of saving it for a fancy dinner, it means turning a negative into a positive, it means eating a piece of chocolate every day, it means letting go and not worrying about little things (Misspelled word? Oh well…), it means enjoying every second of every day that we are blessed to get to live. It means loving life, not just living it.

I also mentioned how I decided to ban words, as I believe words can fuel the fire of a downward spiral that our minds can sometimes take us on. I’ve chosen to ban the words ‘busy’ and ‘stress’. Busy is a silly excuse that we’ve all become accustomed to robotically making (“How are you?” “I’m busy. How are you?” “I’m busy, too.”), but unless you’re running a Fortune 500 company or a country, you’re probable not that busy. Maybe you’re “busy” watching 15 hours of tv every week, or maybe you’re “busy” scrolling your iPad for 3 hours every night, but let’s be honest, you’re not actually busy. If you think you’re too busy to read that new book or pick up a new hobby, track your time for several days to see how much time you’re “busy” doing things that are mindless (hello Facebook), then eliminate those things and you will suddenly have time for so many new things (knitting, calligraphy, learning French, the possibilities are endless!). So I’m eliminating ‘busy’ from my vocabulary to help me find time for the things that truly matter, that I’m ‘passionate’ about, so that I can stop making excuses, so that my workday is actually productive, and so I can finally give a more exciting answer when people ask me how I’m doing. I’m also banning the word ‘stress’. I spent a lot of 2014 stressing out and being anxious, two things that a passionate life has no room for. I truly believe that many things are mental issues that we fuel by the words we repeat to ourselves. Just like I believe that frequently repeating the word ‘busy’ makes us eventually feel like we’re “busy”, continuously telling yourself that you are stressed out only convinces your mind further that you are actually stressed out. And I certainly don’t want my life mantra to read “Stressed & Busy”….

foggy skyline views These words, along with my reflections on the past year, have helped me let go of silly resolutions. Of course, it is a given that we all want to be in the best shape, travel more, make more money, etc, but writing down a definitive amount (I’m going to make $20,000 this month, I’m traveling to Italy, Hawaii, and Japan by July, etc), puts pressure on you to succeed and makes you feel like a failure when you don’t meet your unrealistic goals. So things like traveling and making more money aren’t even going on my list, they’re just things that are a given, things that all my more passionate goals will help me to achieve. Now, instead of resolutions, I have manageable, passionate ideas with specific, detailed steps to achieving them, and, in my personal life, I’ve made my “goals” more fun and passionate, like “Always have fresh flowers”, “Always have a bottle of bubbly in the fridge”, “Go birding in the local parks”, and “Get regular facials”.

The RC's And now that I’ve droned on for basically 10 centuries and a day, I’d love to hear your thoughts on goals/resolutions/plans/words/pizza/tropical vacations/whatever. I’m always intrigued by the ways in which others plan for the new year- Do you make resolutions? Do you have a word (and what is it)?, etc. Spill the beans in the comments!

And a small housekeeping note, Mr. RC and I are hard at work revamping, rebranding, and redesigning the site and some of the content, so things may be a bit on the quiet side around here for the next couple weeks. We’d also love any feedback you can provide on things you like and don’t like about our site, as well as things you’d love to see more of and things you’d love to see less of.

Cheers to a passionate and exciting year! I’ve got a good feeling that 2015 is going to be a good one…..

{All images via my Instagram}