Workout Any Time, Any Place
These 10 tips will help you get a workout each day on the job or at home by adding exercise to your daily routine.
The human body wasn’t made to sit at a desk for eight hours a day, or to sit on a couch watching television or playing video games all evening. Your body is built to move, but many of us are just too busy to make it to the gym several times a week.
However, it’s possible to get a workout each day on the job or at home. A workplace workout gets you in the groove to get the job done right. Multi-task. Move that work report along, but move your muscles and joints once in a while, too. You’ll feel better, and chances are, that report will be better as well. At home, adding exercise to your daily routine will help you feel better and more energized. Of course, you should check with your doctor first to make sure your health is good enough to undertake an exercise program.
1. Park far away. Before you even start your workday, add a little workout by parking as far away from the entrance as possible. Walk briskly to the entrance, elevate your heart and breathing rate slightly. Get blood flowing so you’ll be better prepared for your day. Running errands on your day off? The same advice applies. Those big-box store parking lots are huge, so make good use of them to get in a workout while going to the entrance, and coming back pushing a full shopping cart.
2. Skip the elevator. If you work in a multi-story building, take the stairs instead of the elevator. As you become more fit, take the stairs two at a time to increase your aerobic workout. Try to take the stairs five to seven times throughout the day. You won’t wear yourself out, but you will increase your physical fitness. While travelling, take the stairs to your hotel room and walk off some of the weight you’ve probably gained while eating in restaurants.
3. Set the alarm. Set your cell phone alarm to remind you to exercise throughout the day. Then quick-step march or do a few squats or jumping jacks. If you’re at work, you may need to close your office door or find a private space, but the effort will be worth it. A short burst of exercise will energize your body and mind and increase your metabolism so you’ll burn calories faster.
4. Loosen up. Sit up straight in a sturdy chair, extend your spine, then raise both arms and stretch toward the ceiling. Roll your head in a circular motion to loosen up your muscles – especially important if you work at a computer all day. Lower one shoulder, then the other. Stretch from your waist to your fingertips, but don’t overdo it. Stretch just enough to feel a little pull.
5. Strengthen your legs. If you’re sitting at your desk or on the couch, lift one leg, hold it straight out for two seconds, then slowly lower it to just above the floor. Hold for another two seconds, then lower your leg to the floor. Repeat throughout the day to build muscle strength.
6. Stand, don’t sit. Walk, don’t stand. Take every opportunity throughout the day to move your body for some stretching and to keep those joints limber. At work, stand at your desk when you can. Take a quick walk during your lunch break. Don’t email a co-worker across the hall – walk over and deliver the information. At home, if you can’t break away from your favorite TV show, pace back and forth or do some stretching while you watch. Even better: move your stationary bike or treadmill to a place right in front of the television so you can work out while you’re watching. (Exercise equipment doesn’t do any good if it’s just being used as a clothes rack.)
7. Give your eyes a break. Staring at a computer screen eight hours a day isn’t good on the eyes, and scouring over the fine print in the contract can give you a major headache. Every half-hour at work, turn your eyes away from the computer screen or the small-type document you’re reading, and focus on objects around the room. If a window is part of the office décor, give your eyes (and your spirit) a break by looking outside. At home, walk away from the television, put down the tablet or smart phone, and check out what’s happening in the yard.
8. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Many of us enjoy a cup of coffee as a pick-me-up, but too much coffee may be too much of a good thing. Keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. Keep a bottle of water close by, and take sips regularly to feel better all day. Sure, coffee may give you a boost, but water makes you feel better, too.
9. Get some air. Pull in your stomach muscles and inhale deeply. Hold for a few seconds, then slowly release as you relax your stomach muscles. Repeat throughout the day to aerate your body. If possible, get outside and breathe some fresh air. Recirculated air in your house or office may be stale, and you’ll feel better with just a few breaths of fresh air from outside. If you can open a window, let the fresh air in (assuming it’s at a comfortable temperature, of course.)
10. Set your work chair and desk properly. Back aches, loss of circulation in the extremities, neck and shoulder pain – all of these discomforts may be eliminated by setting your chair at the right height and at the right angle. Elevate your chair so your feet rest comfortably on the floor. Your head should look straight forward at the computer screen. Also, if you work extensively at a computer, take advantage of ergonomically designed keyboards, wrist rests and other devices that lessen the likelihood of repetitive stress disorder.
Sure, many of us don’t have time to squeeze in a little exercise, but you can fit in a workout anywhere, anytime, if you simply think about it. The key to better fitness isn’t more time – it’s more healthy activities throughout each day.
The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank, a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A. Member FDIC