Many of us would love to be able to get more exercise, but the problem most people face is having time to workout. With our busy lives, some of us barely have enough time for work, family and home obligations, and sleep, so getting in a workout on top of all that would be quite a challenge.
So what to do when you don’t have time to workout? Since we spend so much time at work, it makes sense to try to squeeze in small bits of exercise throughout the day at work. The recommended amount of physical activity for health benefits varies depending on individual needs and goals, but 30 minutes of moderate activity is a good place to start. Note that this does not mean the 30 minutes has to be done all at once; it can be broken into smaller amounts of time that add up to 30 minutes total. Looking at it that way, it is easy to see how you can squeeze in some exercise at work in order to total 30 minutes per day. Here are ten simple steps to get a good workout at work.
- If you drive to work, park as far away as possible from your building, so that you get a good walk in. Wear a pedometer and try to get 10,0000 steps in per day.
- Take the stairs whenever possible inside the building.
- Put in face time with your coworkers. Instead of emailing, get up and walk over to see your coworker. You can also suggest taking walks during meetings instead of gathering to sit in a conference room (if there is no presentation or anything that needs to be seen). When you are on the telephone at your desk, stand up instead of sitting down.
- Trade your desk chair for an exercise ball. This will force you to work your core to balance. Or have your desk replaced by a high desk, so that you have to stand at it. This will greatly reduce the amount of sitting you do per day.
- If you have an office, you can close the door for privacy during breaks or at lunch and do a number of no-impact exercises. You can do squats, lunges, pushups, crunches, etc. You can even keep hand weights at your desk (or use waterbottles) to get in some light resistance training.
- Join a local gym and workout at lunch. Many gyms offer 30 minute “express” classes that cater to working professionals on their lunch break. Or you can walk on the treadmill or use one of the other cardio machines for 30 minutes. This will leave plenty of time to shower and grab a quick healthy lunch.
- Like to be social during lunch? Start a lunchtime walking or jogging club. Forget the water cooler and catch up on the latest office gossip or entertainment news while getting in shape with your coworkers.
- Set a timer on your computer or cell phone to go off every hour to remind you to stand up, step away from your desk, and either walk a lap around the floor or go up and down a flight or two of stairs. Every little bit of activity counts!
- Want to encourage your co-workers to fit in exercise too? Start a sports league at work. You can practice or play games during lunch or after work at a nearby location or local school.
- Whether or not you have an office, you can still do some exercises at your cubicle. Isometric exercises are performed without weights and require you to tense your muscles for a time and then relax them. Since the moves are performed without actually moving any part of your body, no one will actually even know you are exercising!