Do you work a “desk job” or sit for long periods at work? Do you commute by car or train and arrive at your office in less than 1,000 steps? Do you go home at the end of the day, eat dinner, and afterwards engage in some sort of sedentary activity?
Sadly, for tens of millions of workers that lifestyle just about sums it up.
Studies have proven that regular exercise is essential for one’s mental and physical wellbeing (http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20048389), and yet many of us don’t get enough especially during the workday. Does this sound like you? If so I’m happy to share that it takes just a little bit of effort to improve the situation.
Here are some suggestions on how you can stay fit on the job:
Most of us spend a good portion of our day working at the computer. Hours can fly by before you realize your only movement has been your fingers on a keyboard. This type of inactivity can easily be changed by setting an alarm and scheduling a short break during each hour you are at your desk. Get up and stretch your arms, back, and legs, walk around for 5 or 10 minutes, or better yet, go outside for some fresh air. Don’t return to your seat until the time is over. If your employer allows it, consider getting a standing or treadmill desk to allow for greater movement during the day. (https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/248209)
There are many exercises that you can do while seated at your desk. Remember, you don’t need to sweat or burn calories to have a moderate amount of healthy exercise. You should include triceps dips (using a non-rolling chair, of course!), shoulder shrugs, leg lifts (under the desk, of course!), and neck rolls, as part of your routine. Check out many other great exercises here. (https://greatist.com/fitness/deskercise-33-ways-exercise-work)
Take a Walk!
Rather than a sit-down lunch in a restaurant, bring a healthy snack from home so that you can use the remaining time of your lunch break to take a walk. Usually you can get out of the office in all but the most inclement weather, and you’ll find that the exercise and fresh air leads to increased energy for the rest of the day. You can be social and walk with your coworkers, or use the time to listen to music, podcasts, or just enjoy being alone and having quiet time.
There’s no need to restrict snacking when the snacks are healthy and nutritious. Fresh or dried fruit, nuts and raisins, whole grain crackers and peanut butter can be munched while working and can serve to boost attention and energy. Stay away from sugary snacks, candy, soft drinks, and junk food that provide no nutritional value and add “empty” calories.
Consider this: most of us spend 8 or more hours per day at work. Unless you work in health and fitness or your job has you moving constantly, exercise is hard to find during an ordinary day. Incorporating these simple things into your day in order to maintain your health and wellness should be a mandate. You won’t regret it!