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Getting your workout in during the day
    Brianna Shaw, MSP
  • on Jul 30, 2019 |

People who have a hectic work/life schedule may have a hard time finding the time to work out every day. It is recommended that people should have AT LEAST 30 minutes of physical activity daily, but most people don’t have time or don’t make the time to do this. 

Easy ways to incorporate exercise into your busy day:

  1. Have a workout ball in your office – Sitting on an exercise ball makes your body use more muscles than you would by sitting in a normal desk chair by forcing you to use your abdomen and back to keep yourself upright. It also helps build better posture but try to limit the use of an exercise ball to around 30 minute intervals throughout the day. (make sure to ask your boss before using an exercise ball as there may be safety policies)
  2. Do leg raises at your desk – Straighten your one or both legs out under your desk and hold for 5-10 seconds. Release and repeat the motion on the other leg or again with both legs for 15 reps. If this isn’t tough enough for you, slowly work up the amount of time you hold your legs up.
  3. Squat over your chair – Use the muscles in your thighs to life yourself out of your chair and hold yourself above the chair for 15-30 seconds. Release and repeat the exercise 4-6 times.
  4. Do incline push ups – These can be done on a wall or counter by leaning over and placing your hands shoulder width apart against the wall/counter. Keep your back straight and your core muscles tight. Lower yourself down and up 10 times by bending your elbows. Increase the amount of push ups you do by 5 when they start to get easier. Remember to keep your elbows tucked in close to your body!
  5. Calf raises – Calf raises are a very easy exercise to do at any time! Raise yourself up on the balls of your feet (nearest to your toes) and do as any raises as you can in 1 minute.
  6. Wall sits – Take a document/report that needs to be looked over to a wall in your office and put your back against the wall, slide down as if you are sitting in an imaginary chair. Read the document/report while sitting against the wall for 30-60 seconds, rest and repeat as many times as you please increasing the amount of time or decreasing rest time if it gets easier.
  7. Take the stairs – If you are able to avoid the elevator/escalator, do so! Run or walk up the stairs or take them two at a time. Be very careful when doing this as it can be easy to fall or get injured. If you wear heels just walk up the stairs normally to avoid injuries.
  8. Change your commute – If you live close enough to your work it may be an option to walk or bike instead of driving. It is great for you and the environment! Make sure to keep an extra pair of clothes and shoes at work just in case and avoid commuting this way in bad weather for your own safety.
  9. Keep moving – Remember that standing is better than sitting and walking is better than standing. You can do this while waiting for the printer or when you feel like you have been sitting for a while. Get up and move around or go for a short walk.
  10. Workout during half of your lunch break – Set aside half your lunch break for a quick jog, walk, or exercise in your office. After working out you can cool down, change clothes and have a quick bite before getting back to work.
  11. Suggest walking meetings – This may not work for all workplaces but it can always be an option to talk and walk at the same time. You can walk the halls of the office or even outside while discussing topics usually talked about in regular sit-down meetings, you just get the benefits of physical activity!
  12. Stretching exercises – Make sure you take time during the day to stretch, this relaxes your muscles and reduces stress and tension. Stretches you can do at your desk include:
  • Grasp your hands behind your chair and stretch your shoulders backwards
  • Arm circles
  • Lean back in your chair and push your arms down on the chair to stretch your chest and shoulders
  • Shrug and roll your shoulders forwards and backwards
  • Roll your ankles and point and flex your feet
  • Roll your neck gently from left to right, focus on the spots that feel tight

Chances are, you’re not the only one struggling to get your fitness in for the day. Ask around and see if anyone would be interested in joining a workplace fitness group. Organize times where you all can get together and do a little fitness workout together as a group. This is a great way to ensure that every team member at your workplace is healthy and working towards a healthier lifestyle.