WORKING OUT AT WORK
It’s hard to find time to exercise, but now you don’t have that excuse anymore. How about working out at work! We were not designed to be deskbound for eight hours a day, with little exercise other than tapping a keypad. There are opportunities everywhere if you pay attention. All it takes is a little planning and some inspiration to squeeze in some exercise all day long.
You already know the drill about being more active at work. Take the stairs whenever you can, take the subway, not a cab, etc. But, there are some other things you may not have considered.
· Sit on an exercise ball instead of a chair. This will strengthen your abs and back and you’ll work on your posture without even trying.
· Set an alarm to go off every hour to remind you to stand up and move around. Even if you just swing your arms or take a deep breath, you’ll feel more alert.
· Use the restroom on another floor and take the stairs.
· Use a pedometer and keep track of how many steps you take. Aim for 6,000 to 10,000 steps a day.
· Deliver documents or messages to co-workers in person rather than by email (it will give you a great excuse to walk by that cute person on the next floor)
· If you can, go to a park for lunch. Choose a deli or food store that is at least 5 blocks from your office. You can make a list of your favorite places and pick a different one each day. Don’t forget to buy something healthy.
· Get a headset for your phone so you can move around while you talk.
Be creative. Any movement is better than none, so don’t feel like you have to do sprints all day long. Adding short bouts of exercise throughout the day will help you burn more calories and will also reduce stress so you can easily smile at your boss when he or she piles more work on you.
If you have your own office, consider keeping a resistance band, ankle weights and even a couple of sets of dumbbells in your desk drawer. You can squeeze in some quick upper body exercises while you’re on the phone. If you work in a cubicle or don’t want people to see you exercising at your desk, all you really need is a chair and a couple of large, full water bottles you can use for any dumbbell exercise.
Some Great Resources
Even if you’re busy, there are things you can do at your desk. The resources below offer websites and software you can use to make your workday a little more active.
- Office Fitness Clinic, by Shelter Publications, offers ideas and software for working out at work
- Back stretches you can do at work
- Prevent repetitive strain injuries with WorkPace software
- Sissel Ergo Sit is a small, inflatable cushion you can sit on. It promotes good posture and helps you strengthen abs and back while you sit. It’s a lot like sitting on an exercise ball which I mentioned before.
- Desktop Yoga is a site offering yoga exercises you can do right at your desk.
- Intelihealth Desk Exercises – choose a body part and start stretching
Make Your Office Fitness Friendly
Even if your boss could care less about exercise, you can do a lot to get others involved in working out. Plan lunches where co-workers get together and talk about ways to exercise at work. Get a group together and join a local gym (and see if they’ll give you a group discount). We offer a group discount and corporate rate at Steel Gym. Hire a personal trainer to come and work with you and your co-workers during lunch…many trainers also offer group discounts. Have a contest to see who can lose the most weight by Memorial Day. There are a number of ways to encourage fitness in the workplace, so be creative in your approach to creating a healthier workplace for you and your peers .