Do you work 9-5 in the office, with little movement other than to make a round of coffee? The majority of the working day is spent sat, hunched over a computer screen and this is bad for your health, eyesight, back and posture.
Here are a few tips to help you through the working day:
Take the Stairs
The stair climber machine is placed at the gym for a reason! Taking the stairs instead of a lift is great cardiovascular exercise and if you are feeling brave, you can always jog up them (carefully). In a gym workout, you can expect to burn 600 calories in an hour on the stair climber, so if you convert this into using the stairs at work, and if you are usually constantly up and down in the lift, you could be getting a good amount of activity into your day.
Drink More Water
Ice water is the best choice to keep your body hydrated, and instead of opting for tea or coffee, try to get at least some of your 8 glasses a day of water into your working day. Suggest office water coolers to be installed to help keep everyone in the office hydrated.
Exercise During Your Commute
It is not always possible to walk, jog or cycle to work, but if it is, do so. Alternatively, if you take the car, try parking a fair distance away so that you need to use your legs to get to the office block or get off at the train or bus stop before you need to and walk or jog to work from there. Exercise releases endorphins and your day at work will feel much better if you manage to squeeze in some form of exercise before the working day begins.
Your body burns more calories standing than sitting, so if possible, aim to stand for a chat with your boss or to take a phone call or better still, if the phone is portable, stroll around the office as you talk.
There are ways in which you can exercise by using your desk and chair! Try tricep dips, using the arms of your chair, or leg raises under the desk. If you do this for 10 minutes, you’ll not only tone your muscles, but you’ll burn approximately 50 calories.
It is probably wise to inform your colleagues or boss of your fitness goals, so this becomes normal behaviour at work! Rather than having a gossip in the staff room, use your breaks to catch a few minutes of exercises, such as toning. If you have some space, bring in some fitness equipment like dumbbells or an elastic resistance band to help you. It is important to move from your desk at least once an hour, which is the perfect chance to stretch and move.
Trade Your Chair for a Fitness Ball
Fitness balls are excellent for helping strengthen your core and improve balance. It might be a good idea to swap your office chair for an inflatable fitness ball and exercise just while sitting and writing/typing. You can also use the ball for your fitness breaks at work, for sit ups or the plank, depending on space!
Make Use of Your Lunch Break
If you are lucky enough to have a gym at your workplace and a discounted membership scheme, make use of it during your lunch break or get to work an hour earlier. Some employees have as much as an hour for lunch and if you plan it properly, this can be utilized for fitness – a quick game of squash perhaps? But don’t forget to eat! Eating throughout the day is crucial to fuel your body efficiently. In fact, eating smaller portions, more often benefits your metabolism.
Don’t forget to chat to your colleagues about your fitness plans and include them in your goal setting. This way, they are more likely to help you keep on track and encourage you. In fact, they may even want to join in. Perhaps you can organise a fit club at work, and use your lunch breaks to take up power walking at a nearby park, a quick jog or cycle or even enlist the help of a local yoga or aerobics teacher who may be willing to set up a pay-per-use session at your workplace if there are enough of you wanting to participate (and if your boss allows). Weighing yourself and recording the results will also help you feel accountable and assist each other in your weight loss plans.
When it comes to office health, it is often the food side of things and bad habits that let down your plans and goals. Even if you leave work and hit the gym for an hour a day, this can all be undone by bad nutrition and food choices throughout your working day. Stay away from the vending machine and remember to schedule enough time each morning to make a healthy packed lunch and bring some fruit/veg for snacking.
Sometimes working in an office can feel like a hindrance to your fitness ideas. But the truth is you need to pay the bills. It is possible to introduce fitness into your working week and work around it efficiently. Remember to take your gym clothes with you, and head straight to an exercise class from work, which means you are less likely to get home, unwind and make excuses not to go.
Working with other people who discuss fitness might actually encourage and help your fitness plans to improve and if the space allows, you can always fit the odd jumping jack into your 9-5 routine.
Check out article: 30-Minute Workout Template That You Can Fit in No Matter How Busy You Are