Add more exercise to the workday

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Many people can benefit from more exercise. But after a long day at work and tending to obligations at home, making time for exer­cise can be an uphill battle. Come nighttime, there may be little en­ergy or time left to be active. How­ever, failure to engage in regular physical activity can be detrimental to one’s health.

The World Health Organization lists inactivity as the fourth biggest risk factor for global adult mortal­ity. Plus, long periods of sitting inactively may lead to increased risk for diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and obesity. Psychology Today also says studies indicate mental ability is directly linked to physical activity. Without regular exercise, one may have decreased concentration, poor memory, re­duced mental stamina, and a lack of creativity. Finding time to exer­cise while at work can help people reap the rewards of a physically active lifestyle.

The American Heart Association says taking advantage of little op­portunities to move more through­out the day can add up to a signifi­cant amount of exercise. Here are some ways to exercise during the workday.

  • Ride or work a portion of your commute. People who live close enough to the office can ride their bikes or walk there. If the office is too far, think about getting off the bus or train a stop earlier and walkthe rest of the way. You even can park further away if you drive to the office.
  • Switch out your desk. Desks come in different configurations and you may be able to opt for a tall or adjustable desk to enable you to stand and move around a bit while working. If that’s not pos­sible, stand up and do some bal­ance or strength exercises while on long calls.
  • Take the stairs. Skip the el­evator and go up and down the stairs each day. Doing so when coming in, going in and out for a lunch break, and when leaving in the evening can add up over the course of a day.
  • Start a walking club. Get to­gether with coworkers who also want to exercise and use your lunch hour to walk around. You can always eat at your desk before or afterwards.
  • Schedule walking meetings. Whenever possible, host walking brainstorming sessions or meet­ings. Take the meeting outdoors if the weather cooperates; otherwise, take laps around the building.
  • Store some workout gear at work. During breaks, do a few arm curls with dumbbells or use resistance bands to work inner and outer thigh muscles while sitting at your desk.
  • Volunteer to run errands. Step out for coffee or snacks during the day, making a concerted effort to walk when going for your daily jolt of caffeine.

Exercise can be included in the work day by making some minor changes that really add up.

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