Another holiday season has come to a close, and weight loss continues to dominate the list of new year resolutions for many people.
If you are tempted to use the old "I'm too busy at work to go the gym" excuse, know that exercise doesn't need to be confined to after-hours.
Here, Tony Horton, the founder of the home-fitness programme P90X, reveals some trusty workplace routines to keep you burning calories all day long.
Every step counts
The first thing you can do is take the stairs. Every stair is a quarter-calorie burn. Do single, double and triple steps.
Clench, then relax
Do isometrics at your desk. Clench your fists and flex your forearms and count to 10. Squeeze a pen and focus on your forearm muscles. You will be surprised by how many calories that burns. It also works with the chest and the belly. When you squeeze your posterior, you should rise up in your seat about a full inch. It's a very healthy, good thing to do. It's good for everything down below. Then for a full 30 seconds while sitting at your desk, try to squeeze everything you can think of from the shoulders down. And then relax into your seat. You are engaging the muscles and the tendons and forcing the blood into places it wouldn't go if you were sitting doing nothing.
Find makeshift weights
Lift a few boxes. Just pick up a filing box filled with files from the floor and put it on the shelf. Be creative - it's functional fitness, helping flexibility, coordination and strength. It probably weighs 15 or 20 pounds. Bend both knees with your back flat and pick the box up and put it on the shelf. Then take it off the shelf, twist 180 degrees, and put it back down. Do it 12 times.
Use the stairwell
Do what I call the half-pistol squats. Stand sideways on a stair. You are then going to do a half-legged squat on a stair sideways. If your right leg is on the stair, you're bending the right knee and dropping the left heel, with the toes up, to the floor or the stair below. You're isolating the quadriceps and the gluts of the right leg. Flip around and do the other side. It's shockingly hard for folks. You get to 12 or 15 and you realise that there is such weakness there.
Do the sequence "UIML" - upper, intervals, middle, lower. The first move is a push-up. Make sure your hands are lined up with your chest. If you can't do full push-ups, do a half or quarter. It's still a push-up. Second, you get up and run in place as fast as you can for 60 seconds. Take your shoes off and sit down. This exercise is called "row your boat". Sit up with your feet on the floor at that balance point. Sit there with your knees to your chest, your arms are extended like oars. Pull your hands into your chest and extend the feet out. Knock them out. Then it's time for the buttocks and legs. A basic squat is simple and easy. Feet parallel between hip and shoulder-distance apart. Squat down, weight on your heels, chest and eyes up. As if you're ready to catch something.
Oh, and bring a spare shirt.
* Bloomberg BusinessWeek