Working Out @ Work
New Year, New You.
And for most people that means getting into better shape. Time to work off all the Christmas cookies and eggnog. So, we all make New Year’s resolutions to hit the gym and improve our health.
But then the excuses start: I don’t have time….I’m so busy with the kids…My boss has me working late…
Ah, but wait. Working late is no longer a problem.
We found a loophole. We found workouts that keep you on track while you’re still working. That’s right. Working out at work. Yep, getting the most bang for your buck…. You’re welcome.
Here’s how to kill two birds with one stone:
- Work out on your lunch break
This is perhaps the most obvious answer to a crunched schedule. If you can’t work out before or after work, lunchtime is your next best bet for fitting in a full workout at the gym. Hopefully, your office has a gym in the building or nearby. Being in close proximity makes working out more accessible and, therefore, increases the likelihood that you will actually do it.
If there is not a gym nearby, you can still squeeze in a workout with a half-hour run or a speed walk around your neighborhood or in a nearby mall. While this may take a little planning ahead (you’ll need to pack a gym bag), it’s still better than skipping out completely. And be sure to grab a quick lunch after – refueling is key to continuing good fitness.
- Take a quick “active” break
It’s normal to take a quick morning or afternoon break. So this year, instead of hanging out at the water cooler, take a quick walk. If it’s a busy day, stand up, stretch and walk up or down a couple flights of stairs. On days you can afford a full ten minutes, take a walk around the building or parking lot. Even just 10-15 minutes can make a difference. In fact, recent research by Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports claims that even short walks have both long- and short-term benefits. They also have positive effects on your mood, causing you to feel more enthusiastic, less tense, and generally more relaxed.
- Start or join a group fitness club
Sports and hobbies we have outside of work often come up in conversations with colleagues. For many, interests overlap. So why not make this common interest an opportunity for common goals? If your workplace does not already have any fitness programs in place, opt to create one. Many others may be interested in yoga, soccer, basketball or even group jogging and training. If you are working out in a group, you not only increase the fun social aspect, but you’re also more likely to follow through with the commitment. A group will motivate you and hold you accountable.
- Work out at your desk, subtly
Yes, you heard me. You can even do some isolated workouts while you’re getting the boss’s report done. One great idea is to replace your desk chair with a stability ball. This is a simple — yet effective — way to add comfort, improve posture and strengthen abdominal muscles. You’ll welcome the change.
Here are some other ideas from Fitness Magazine for subtle workouts at your desk:
- Flex or tighten your abs and hold for 30 seconds. Release, and repeat 10 times.
- Squeeze your glutes and hold for 30 seconds. Release, and repeat 10 times.
- Buy a hand gripper and use it at your desk to work out your forearms and hands.
- If you’re at a standing desk, do calf raises for one full minute.
- Walk or bike to work
If you’re fortunate enough to live close to your office, you can walk, bike or skate to work instead of driving. Not only does this add to your daily workout routine; you’re also “going green” — doing your part to help the environment. It’s a win-win.