Many of us spend the majority of our day at work. This makes finding time to squeeze in exercise difficult. You might feel like those precious hours before the alarm clock goes off are better spent sleeping. After work, you may find your free time is better spent on other activities. No matter what your daily schedule looks like, it is important to find time for exercise. MyPlate recommends adults get at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of aerobic exercise each week.
Staying fit from 9 to 5 can become a normal part of you daily routine when you implement a few simple strategies. Heart.org shares the following ideas to move more:
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever you can, for at least a floor or two. Once that gets easier, add another floor.
- Instead of using the breakroom or restroom nearest your workstation, use one farther away, maybe even on another floor – and take the stairs each time you go.
- If you sit at a desk, make it a habit to stand up every time you make or answer a phone call. March in place or pace in a circle to keep moving.
- Stuck on a long call or need an energizing break? Stand up and do some basic strength and balance exercises, like squats, desk push-ups, wall sits, calf raises, tree pose and chair pose. (Click here for a list of stretches you can easily do at work).
- Keep small hand weights or a resistance band at your desk for bicep curls, lateral raises, rows, and overhead presses. Watch demos online or work with a fitness trainer to make sure you’re doing exercises correctly to avoid injury.
- Walk to a coworker’s desk or office to talk instead of using email, IM or the phone. The personal interaction is an added bonus!
- Traveling for work? Take along a jump rope or resistance band to use in your hotel room. Bring workout clothes, shoes and a swimsuit to take advantage of the hotel fitness center or swimming pool.
- Join or start a recreational sports league at your workplace.
- Form a walking club or team to walk together at work and raise money for charity events.
- Schedule walking meetings for informal discussions and brainstorming. Use a voice memo app on your phone to capture notes. You may find you’re more creative on your feet!
- Get off the bus or train a few blocks early and walk the rest of the way to work or home. If you drive to work, park as far away from the entrance as you can.
- Walk to a nearby restaurant for lunch instead of driving or ordering in.
- Explore your options for using a standing desk, treadmill desk or sit-stand desk riser. Alternate sitting and standing throughout the day, with lots of walking and stretching breaks.
When the work day is done and you’re back at home, consider taking things a step further to rack up even more exercise time. Complete this hourly challenge in between your other activities. Your work hours may vary, so adjust the time to fit your schedule.
6:00p.m. – 30 squats
8:00p.m. – Run up and down the stairs 10 times or sprint around your house or apartment complex.
9:00p.m. – 30 lunges
10:00p.m. – plank for one minute
Do a simple online search or consult with a personal trainer if you are unsure how to do each movement. If you’re feeling extra motivated, try doing two sets of each move. You can also use the movements above to build a HIIT workout. Click here to find out how.
To balance out all that physical activity, be prepared with healthy food on hand. Try this recipe for Mexican Coleslaw.
It is a fun twist on a traditional coleslaw recipe. Use it in tacos, on top of grilled chicken, or as a simple side dish. If you don’t like to use mayonnaise, try Greek yogurt instead. If Mexican flavors aren’t your favorite, try fresh lemon juice and lemon pepper seasoning. Enjoy!