A very popular New Year’s Resolution is to get more exercise. It’s a great goal that leads to a happier and more positive life. The problem is maintaining that goal when work is so crazy and all consuming!
So, how do I exercise at work? The good news is work doesn’t have to be a hindrance in achieving your fitness goals. There are a lot of creative ways to get exercise at work and during your 9 to 5 work day. Including walking, using a variety of tools, and stretching.
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Tip 1 – Exercise at Work and End Your Sedentary Work Life
Unless you have a very physically demanding job most people spend their workday behind a desk.
We’ll spend our time sitting in our chair responding to emails, making phone calls, or having a meeting.
Before you realize it you’ve spent your entire day sitting. This is one of the biggest issues in today’s modern workforce.
While weight gain might seem like the biggest problem with a sedentary work life there is a number of other concerns.
Some of the concerns include getting diabetes, heart disease, and beginning to lose muscle strength.
Thankfully, there are a lot of ways to end the sitting. They’re simple tricks but can have a very positive impact on your daily life.
It’s even been discovered that the more we move at work the more we accomplish!
Your problem-solving skills will improve the more you’re moving. Next time you find yourself stuck in a situation get up and move.
Tip 2 – Stretch, stretch, and more stretching
Never underestimate the power of stretching.
Stretching might seem like an odd place to start when talking about exercising but it’s very important.
It can help your body stay refreshed and energized.
If it helps you get over the awkwardness of stretching at work think of it as yoga. You don’t even need a yoga mat for these stretches.
While none of these stretches will help you achieve your dream abs. They can help you feel more refreshed throughout the day.
Make sure you maintain proper posture and technique while performing all of these stretches to avoid injury.
You can start by simply twisting your waist side to side. For extra difficulty, you can perform this stretch on a stabilizer ball.
While still sitting you can interlock your fingers and reach your hands over your head. Reach as high as possible and hold for a few seconds.
There is a variety of exercises to perform while standing as well. Including; bending over and touching your toes, turning your neck side to side, and grabbing your knees while pulling them to your chest.
These are just a small sample of the stretching techniques you can use.
Don’t feel like you have to perform these in front of all your coworkers. Find an empty hallway or conference room to make it more comfortable. For more stretching ideas, watch The 1 Minute Desk Stretch Routine video from Bowflex.
Tip 3 – Actual Equipment and Unorthodox Tools
When I reference equipment and tools I’m not talking about bringing your gym equipment to the office.
There are a variety of tools to make exercising at work a breeze.
One of the first pieces of equipment most people use is a stabilizer or yoga ball. Buy a stabilizer ball to replace your office chair.
They may appear goofy and cumbersome but it’s a great tool.
Using a stabilizer ball will force you to maintain perfect posture throughout the day. Maintaining a good posture will also work your muscles.
Increasing your core and back strength.
Another vital piece of equipment is a fitness tracker. You can find a variety of them depending on your style and goals.
A fitness tracker will help remind you to move and helps track your progress. It’s a very powerful tool to actually see how much you’ve accomplished.
Hand grippers are very inconspicuous and can be used constantly throughout the day.
Developing your hand muscles can be beneficial when you meet a potential client. Having a strong handshake will help you automatically earn respect.
It might not be possible for every job but having a standing desk would be ideal. Standing while working increases your problem-solving.
You’ll become less sluggish and maintain a very positive posture using a standing desk.
Never forget one of the most useful tools…the random items in your office.
Before you laugh let me explain. Using simple office equipment in your office can greatly increase your chances of achieving fitness goals.
Next time it’s your turn to replace the paper in the copier machine use those stacks of paper to your advantage.
Hold a ream of paper in each hand and perform a shoulder shrug. Slowly lifting the paper using only your shoulders.
You can also make good use of the long hallways in your office. During your break perform some lunges up and down the hallways.
Being creative is key!
Never use something that will cause you harm but you will be surprised by what’s laying around your office that can be used for fitness.
Tip 4 – Never Neglect The Power of Steps
Don’t overthink your routine or plan. Simply start walking.
Walk to work, your next meeting, or during breaks. Simply moving will automatically get your heart pumping and help you’re thinking process.
I understand not all of us live in a place that walking or biking to work is a reality. If it’s not possible to walk to work an alternative would be to park further away from your building.
Parking further away will force you to get a couple of extra steps before and after work.
If you’re like me you probably receive endless phone calls during the day.
Next time your phone rings automatically stand up and begin walking. Spend the conversation walking and talking.
This will help break up your day and keep you sharp during those important conversations.
Spend your break moving. Walk the stairs in your building or go for a quick stroll around the building.
It’s going to be tempting to stay seated to unwind during your break while playing on your phone. Resist the temptation!
When you need to communicate with a coworker get up and actually go see them in their office.
It’s never been easier to avoid face to face conversations with a coworker. Don’t let this stop you from walking down the hall to talk to them.
It’s not only physically healthy but mentally healthy to have these face to face conversations. It keeps us connected and can lead to more engaging conversations in person.
Your lunch break is one of the best times to get up and move. It’s your time during the day to get the most movement.
Again, you can walk the stairs in the building or take a stroll around the building.
Instead of following the crowd and having someone deliver food go pick it up yourself.
Better yet bring your own food from home! Exercising, stretching, and walking are only part of the process to achieve a healthy life.
The other part is maintaining a healthy diet.
When you bring your own food you can control the portions, the types of food, and not feel like you have to eat pizza with your coworkers.
Your wallet will also be thankful for the food you bring from home.
You’ll be surprised how many calories you’ll burn by spending your time moving at work.
Tip 5 – It’s Only Awkward If You Make it Awkward
I make it sound so easy to move and get steps right…
I understand doing these simple things can cause a lot of awkwardness for you and your coworkers.
You’ll feel like you’re disrupting the norm by moving.
Please be encouraged to not let the haters stop you from doing what’s best for you. It’s all about you and your health.
While they might make a comment or two; keep reminding yourself that you have big goals to achieve.
It’s only awkward if you allow it to be awkward. Stand up with confidence and get to work.
You never know what effect seeing you move will have on others. It may gain you a new workout buddy in the office.
One of the easiest steps in maintaining your fitness goal is to find a buddy!
Yes, finding a good routine and developing a plan is important. Most people won’t succeed though without someone to keep them accountable.
Let’s all face reality; working out alone is terrible. There is no one to celebrate your accomplishments or to push you to be better.
Most likely there will be someone in your office that shares your goal of a healthier 2019.
Find someone with compatible goals and develop a plan together. Then when you’ve both reached your fitness goals you can celebrate together.
Don’t let your job be an excuse for not accomplishing your goal of improving your health.
They’ll be inspired by all your hard work and start moving with you!
Credits: Soundtrack “Eternity” provided by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com); Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License; http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/