Most of us spend the biggest part of our workdays sitting at our desk, the conference table and in other sedentary activities after which we get into our cars and drive home. Some people make it a mandate to get to the gym before or after work or get their exercise by jogging or engaging in some type of sport. But the truth is, for many, there just aren’t enough hours in the day to get enough exercise and unfortunately, their overall physical and mental health can be negatively impacted.
It’s an ever-increasing problem as our workdays get longer and longer with each passing year and taking back our “personal” time seems to be more and more of a challenge. With your health at risk, it’s important to figure out how to incorporate physical fitness while at your desk.
Here are three things that you can do without breaking a sweat:
Take a walk
Perhaps one of the easiest things you can do is to make certain that you get up each hour and walk around for a few minutes. Many of us get immersed in our work and hours can go by without us ever lifting our eyes from the keyboard. Set a timer on your computer or phone and when 60 minutes have elapsed, get up and into motion. Walk around the office and if possible, go outside for a break that is good for your mind, morale and physical well-being.
Easy hamstring curls
It’s pretty common to have your hamstrings tighten up if you spend all day sitting with little opportunity to stretch them out. This exercise is quick and easy to do whether or not you have a private office. Stand in place and kick one foot back with the goal of hitting your thigh. Lower the foot and do the same thing on the other side. Do 10 reps on each side and if you have an extra minute or two, aim for 10 more.
No need to drop to the floor for your pushups. Instead, stand an arm’s length away from the wall and with your palms on the wall lean forward and bend your elbows. After holding the position for a few second exhale and use your arms to bring you back to your starting position.
There are many websites and videos that provide excellent instruction on specific exercises that you can do while at work but just like going to the gym, the most important thing that you can do for yourself is to be committed and build the exercises into your workday schedule. I’ve also found that setting goals and recording my results helps me to be accountable so consider a workday fitness log to keep you on track.
Lastly, before you walk into the office, consider parking your car at the far end of the parking lot and getting in some extra steps before you hit the office and if at all possible, take the stairs rather than the elevator.
Now, don’t you feel more healthy already?