Balance is important to happiness and success in life. Too much of any one element and stuff can really start falling out of place. Each of us has a juggling act to manage – keeping a healthy body and mind, our work life managed and personal life fulfilled. It can seem impossible to make time for it all.
Bye, Bye Physical Labor…
There was a time when old-fashioned hard, physical work was how most people kept their bodies in shape. The technological advances within our society have changed that for most of us. Jobs have largely moved behind computer screens and desks allowing us to sit in cubicles all day limiting physical activity. With the reduction of physical movement, people experience tight muscles, weight gain, fatigue, pain, hypertension, carpal tunnel, vision problems, heart disease, diabetes and more.
Our bodies are meant to move, stay active and challenged. The majority of society no longer needs to move much in order to survive. Now we have to put in the extra effort to include activities to stay moving. But once you start the habit, you won’t want to stop!
Hello Healthy Exercise…
Exercising releases chemicals in our brains that give us energy, clarity and make us feel happy. Taking time to include different types of body movements will have many positive benefits including:
- Maintaining a healthy body weight
- Cleansing your body
- Great for your heart, blood circulation, cell regeneration and lungs
- Combatting diseases
- Boosting confidence and self-esteem
- Feeling happy and relaxed
- Boosting energy
- Getting better sleep
- Having fun!
Now let’s look at seven fun (and sneaky ways) we can fit exercise in at work, without getting in trouble 😉
7 Ways To Get Exercise at Work Without Bringing in The Dumbbells:
Stand when possible
- Research has shown that standing and moving around for 2-5 minutes every hour reduces the factors that contribute to diseases from sitting all day.
- Set your alarm hourly to remind you to get up and stretch
- If you can stand at your desk, do so!
- Sit and stand in intervals throughout the day
- When standing do 3 sets of 10 calf raises each day by going up on your tip toes then back to flat foot.
Use your breaks (and trips to the bathroom) for a brief exercise. You will get a boost of energy.
- If you are in an office where you’re embarrassed to exercise or it is not acceptable, go into the bathroom.
- Do 10 squats (or as many as you can. Work your way up!)
- A quick 10 jumping jacks
- Stretch out your muscles
- Place left ear to left shoulder, then switch sides (Repeat 5 times)
- Look right, left, up and down (Repeat 5 times)
- Stretch arms across chest one at a time, then above head together
- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, bend over as far as you can reach and hold it for 5 seconds. (Repeat 3 times)
- Roll your shoulders back ward and forward (5 times each)
- Make your hands into fists and roll them in circles (10 times)
- Open hands and close them, stretching fingers (5 times)
Walking at Lunch
- If there are restaurants close enough to walk to, opt to walk there.
- Pack your lunch and eat as you walk.
- Pack your lunch and eat, then take a walk for the rest of your break time.
- If you can go outside, the sunlight is good for your mind and body.
- Recruit coworkers to walk together during lunch.
Increase Exercise in Your Commute
- Rethink the way you get to work. Is it possible to ride your bike, take the subway or the bus? If you can include more walking in any way, take advantage of it.
- Take the stairs instead of an elevator
- Park far away, so the walk is longer
- Take a long route walking
- Leave something in your car so you have to go get it
- Walk around the airport if traveling by plane
Sit Up Straight
- Sit up straight with good posture while working.
- Strengthen your core (back muscles and abs)
- Keep your spine in an upright condition to prevent curving.
- Stay more alert
- Encourage co-workers to keep good posture and remind you when you slouch
Undercover Desk Exercises
- Hold your legs straight out under your desk in 15 seconds intervals. (Add weights as you get more toned.) (5 times)
- Tap your toes interchanging for 1 minute intervals (3 times)
- Glut squeezes- squeeze the buttocks for 10 second intervals (5 times)
- Swivel your office chair from one side all the way to the other and repeat 10 times. Great for abs.
- Flex your abs, hold for 15 seconds and release (5 times)
Look for Reasons to Move
- If you do have parts of your job where you have physical movement, make the most out of it. Take the trash out. Clean around the office. Pick up your normal pace to get your heart pumping.
Incorporate a few of these discrete tips into your work day and improve your health without sacrificing the quality of your work.