As a career person, finding time to exercise can be a real challenge. After a long day at the office, fighting the primetime gym crowd is usually the last thing you feel like doing. But sitting at a desk all day isn’t exactly good for you health either. Making an effort to stay active is important. Taking small steps to increase your exercise level at work goes a long way. Here are 3 simple ways to get started.
1. Dress Down
You wouldn’t think it, but the type of clothing you wear to work can directly affect your daily physical activity on the job. An ACE-sponsored study used pedometres to track the exercise levels of 53 healthy men and women from 25 companies during regular workdays and “casual” days, and found an eight percent increase in physical activity and an extra 25 calories burned on days when they were permitted to wear jeans and comfortable shoes as opposed to traditional office attire.
This might not seem like much, but wearing casual clothing every workday would translate into burning an additional 125 calories per week - the equivalent of almost two pounds of fat over the course of the year. So when you get a chance, talk to your boss about changing the dress code.
2. Exercise on Your Lunch Break
Rather than spending the majority of your lunch hour waiting in line for food, pack a lunch and use your lunch break to squeeze in some exercise. Eat quickly in the office or outside, then head to the gym for a workout or simply go for a walk. Make it a team event and encourage your co-workers to join you, so you can still engage in that necessary work-related conversations that typically occupies your midday meetings. If nothing else you’ll save money and probably eat healthier by preparing and bringing your own lunch, so you might as well give it a shot.
3. Be Aware
Whenever you are forced to plant yourself behind a desk, stay conscious of things like posture. Try to sit up tall as much as possible, keeping your abs contracted and your shoulders pulled back. If you feel yourself slouching, get up and stretch for a minute or two, or take a walk around the office. If you’re really ambitious, do some wall squats, lunges and a few push ups at your desk, and then back to work. The more you do during the workday, the less time you’ll need to spend training after hours at the gym – and the better you’ll feel about going to work.
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