15 ways to focus on office fitness
One of the worst things for your overall health and office fitness is prolonged sitting. Weight gain, increases in heart disease, poor posture, all can be just a few ill effects for anyone who works seated at their desk all day. Add in seated time while commuting to work or once we arrive home and sitting down to watch TV in the evening, and you have officially spent the majority of your day barely moving.
While working at a desk job is not ideal or practical for keeping yourself healthy and in shape, there are ways to get around this. It may not be easy for everyone, but your health depends on it. Being proactive by eating well and moving often throughout the day significantly helps avoid weight gain, stress, and muscle mass decline.
What can be done? Adopt small changes practiced consistently for several weeks and gradually, you will begin to see and feel increases in energy and endurance levels, and overall well-being. Listed below are 15 ideas you can pick and choose from to get you started integrating office fitness on your journey towards a healthier lifestyle and a healthier, more fit you.
Get up and move every 30 minutes –
Ideally every 30 minutes, get up from your desk and go for a quick walk. It could be walking to the restroom, copy machine, water cooler or a colleague’s desk. Or if you’re able, do 20 jumping jacks or jog/walk in place for a couple of minutes.
At least twice during your day at work, take time to stretch. Touch your toes, reach your arms overhead for several seconds, or bend from side-to-side. Do this for at least 3 minutes.
Always take the stairs –
Skip the elevators or escalators. Find a flight of stairs and using them frequently throughout the day is a great office fitness strategy. This is also one of the very best exercises for toning your legs and buttocks while giving your heart a workout.
Deliver information in person –
Instead of staying seated clicking an email message or picking up the phone to talk to a co-worker, get up and deliver the information in person. Make it a habit to do this at least 3 times each day.
Take a walk on your lunchtime –
Whether you have an hour or only 15 minutes for lunch, it’s enough time to squeeze in a brisk walk. Use half the time to eat and the other half to get moving. Invite others to join you, making it a daily activity.
Wear a pedometer to monitor office fitness –
Just knowing you have a pedometer tracking your every step, can be an incentive to move more to clock in 10,000 steps a day.
Keep a pair of 5-pound dumbbells at your desk –
Sitting all day does nothing for maintaining muscle mass. Loss of muscle mass means increases in fat mass making you burn less calories and becoming weaker. Fight muscle mass loss by pumping some iron at your breaks. Here is a video showing you exactly what to do.
Wake up earlier –
If finding time for exercise is a factor, set your alarm 15 minutes earlier. Get moving before the rest of the world wakes up. You’ll be more wide awake and energized to face the day ahead.
Walk or move when talking on the phone –
When using your cellphone to make a call, make it a habit to get up and walk or pace while talking on them. Every little bit of movement helps.
Practice posture checks –
Every 30 minutes check your posture while sitting. Avoid slouching or hunching over in front of the computer as part of your office fitness plan; and make sure you are seated in a correct position.
Skip the vending machine for snacks –
Instead of relying on candy or salty snacks at the vending machine or eating a couple of cookies found in the break room, bring your own snacks from home. Keep a healthy stash of unsalted nuts, dried fruit, or cut-up veggies with hummus to satisfy your hunger needs.
Always have green or herbal tea on hand –
Sometimes all you need when the munchies strike is to fix yourself some hot tea. Grab your favorite mug and have several samples of tea to choose from each day.
Keep hydrated with water –
Always have a container of water in front of your at all times. This reminder is a good way to keep well-hydrated and to make sure you drink at least one full bottle before lunch and one full one before you go home. Drinking water will keep you fuller and less tempted to snack on empty calories.
Learn to say “no thank you” –
When tempting office treats are being passed around – cookies, doughnuts, bagels, pizza – simply say “no thanks” remember you office fitness plan and get back to your work.
Bring your lunch as part of your office fitness plan –
Grabbing fast food, eating snacks from the break room or skipping lunch all spell disaster for your health. Each day, bring your lunch. It is much easier to eat healthy when you bring food from home – fruit, veggies, a sandwich on whole wheat bread, a carton of Greek yogurt, or trail mix can be good options for a healthy lunch as part of your office fitness plan.