There is little disagreement – exercise and staying fit are important for our health and overall well being but if you work in an office and spend much of your day at the computer or in meetings, it can be difficult to find the time to exercise. Throw in family obligations and a commute that takes place by car and you might find that most of your days (workdays anyway) are devoid of exercise.
Well the good news is that you don’t have to quit your day job. It’s really not so hard to be active and stay fit at work and here are some quick tips that you can incorporate into your daily fitness routine:
• You know the time you take circling the parking lot to find the space closest to the door? How about taking the opposite approach and park as far away as possible regardless of whether or not a closer space is available. Forget about the weather too. We’re not talking about hiking to Everest and a few extra steps are good for you.
• The stairs can provide you with a perfect Stair Master “experience” without having to go to the gym! Unless you work on a very high floor, take the stairs whenever possible.
• Set an alarm so that you remember to get up every hour to stretch and bend and drink some water. (There are many free apps that can help you to turn these stretching breaks into a “habit.”)
• Use a pedometer or fitness bracelet and track the number of steps that you take each day. The rule of thumb is do 10,000 steps per day and I can guarantee that you will be astonished about how few steps you take especially if you spend most of your day sitting at a desk. It’s a great reminder to get up and walk. (There are also free pedometer apps to get you going.)
• Keep a set of dumbbells and a resistance band in your desk. You can easily do some exercises while you are on the phone, listening to a conference call or on a 2-minute break. Maintain a record of how many reps you accomplish during the day. (Yep there’s an app for that.)
• And while you’re using technology to help you along there are many websites and articles that provide instructions on exercises that you can do while at your desk. Check out this terrific article, Deskercise! 33 Smart Ways to Exercise at Work.
• If you’re really serious about increasing your fitness routine while at work you might just want to explore a treadmill desk. While not inexpensive they do offer you a way to keep moving throughout the day.
As in most exercise the key to success is to turn these activities into a daily habit that you do automatically. But the real key is to start now – no excuses. Sure you can start slowly but simply getting started is the very first step.