Finally! The Summer Olympics are back! I love this time of year… er… every four years! This year I’m extra enthusiastic about them since I watched a significant amount of the Olympic Trials. I feel so emotionally connected with these athletes. The announcers tell their stories, you hear about their past including what they’ve had to overcome to get to this stage—it’s so moving!

Well, speaking of “moving”, that is the theme behind this post. Whether you enjoy watching the Olympics or not, it’s so important that we all keep moving. Movement (along with proper diet) is the proper prescription in terms of preventative care for our bodies.

During this Olympic season, we here at The American Heart Association challenge you to draw inspiration from these athletes and get moving! We realize that many of you are office-bound while the Olympics will be taking place, so no worries, we’ve taken that into consideration while making these suggestions. Of course, there are plenty of “normal” ways to increase movement throughout the day, but in keeping with the theme, we’ve taken an “outside the box” approach this time. Enjoy!

400m Sprint: 400 meters is one lap around the track, so for our “Office Olympics” your goal is to run one lap around the building. If you’re thinking, “No way I’m doing that in my business attire” check out some other options below!

Archery: Grab a rubber band, make your fingers into a “rubber band gun” and fire away! Walk to retrieve your band, do 5 squats, and repeat.

Basketball: Wad up paper (that you would have thrown away anyways, don’t be wasteful!), grab a wastebasket and shoot some hoops! Grab a co-worker and play horse! Do 5 jumping jacks for every missed shot.

Cycling: Well, this one’s a bit of a stretch, but since your office chair probably has wheels just as a bicycle does, we’ll use that! Have a seat in your wheeled-chair, line up someone next to you and race down the hallway! Far-fetched? Possibly. Fun? Absolutely!

Gymnastics: To mimic the floor routine—handstand contests! Be cautious though, and wait until your lunch settles before doing this one! And for the balance beam routine—pick a line on the floor, and make up your own routine! Try jumping, spinning and balancing on one leg while staying on that line!

Hockey: That wadded-up paper is really coming in handy! Grab that as well as any sort of mailing tube to use as a stick, determine some goals and get moving!

Long Jump: Grab a couple of coworkers and take turns practicing your long jump in the hallway. Loser does 5 squat jumps.

Shot Put: We prefer the rubber band ball here because it will travel further than the wad of paper, but using the proper shotput form, shoot the “ball” as far as you can. Retrieve it, doing 5 push-ups each time and repeat.

Weightlifting: Grab a few heavy* books or a heavy* box. Bend your knees slightly, pull your abdominal muscles in nice at tight. Squat down and lift using your legs (not your lower back). If you are able, raise the item overhead keeping the abdominal muscles engaged. Slowly bring the item to the floor in the same fashion, engaging the abdominal muscles and bending the knees as to bring the items down to the ground.
*Please do not attempt to lift something you cannot. Although this is a fun challenge, you are not an Olympic athlete and we do not want you to injure yourself.

So let’s do it! Here’s to the Summer Olympics, Team USA and to office athletes everywhere! What Olympic-insipired activities will you be participating in? We’d love to hear your ideas!

Peace, love and the 2012 Summer Olympic Games,

Melissa Villamizar, CPT


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