If there is one excuse for not exercising that we hear time and time again, it is that “my work gets in the way”.
And the people who offer this reason always seem to be the most despairing about their workload / lack of recreation equation. But often they are also the most ambivalent about solutions. Funny that!
I am not saying that work is never an obstacle when it comes to finding meaningful time to devote to regular exercise and physical activity. It really can be! However it is absolutely not an insurmountable problem.
It might be an old cliche but…
Where there is a will there is a way!
There is no denying that we live in a world where work has never involved so much physical inertia. Obesity is on the rise and so is type 2 diabetes.
For the first time in human history, more people are dying from being overweight than malnourished.
This is significantly more than just coincidence. Along with the incredible technical advances we have seen over the last few decades have come working environments, jobs and duties that require sitting down for hours on end, day after day.
In fact it is now common for a day to look like this;
Get out of bed, get in car (on bus/train) and sit down. Get to work and sit down. Go out to lunch sit down. Work throughout the afternoon and early evening sitting down. Get home, put TV on sit down. Have dinner sitting down. Go to bed…Repeat!
And when you factor in snacking at your desk and maybe not always grabbing the healthiest lunch, then you can see how this forms the perfect scenario for creeping weight gain and general deconditioning.
Lets not make this an excuse otherwise it will be a habit!
Lets look at how to exercise at work. It really isn’t too tricky!
Here are a few tips to make your day a bit more physical if not necessarily strenuous
1. This really couldn’t be more simple – Stand more!
Make sure you get out of your seat. Stand up. Move around. Some workplaces are wising up to this and integrating stand up desks into their environment.
Are you a bit of a shirker when it comes to making the tea and coffee? Well here’s an additional reason to do your bit!
2. If you take public transport to work – if you can – disembark a bit earlier and walk the rest of the way.
3. If you have a lift or escalator to take you to you floor – ignore them and take the stairs!
4. When standing do a series of steady paced calf raises. Simply rise up onto your twos, down and up again for a number of repetitions.
5. If you feel a bit self conscious about the above exercise and people seeing you, this one is ‘invisible’. From your seated position, feet planted firmly on the floor under your desk, simply drive your foot into the ground and away from you without actually sliding it away. Hold this for 5-7 seconds, then change to the other foot. Repeat a few times. You’ll feel this in your quads and it’s also a great knee strengthener.
6. Has you chair got arm rests? If so (and only if they can take your weight) – every time you rise out of your chair push most or all of your body weight up by grabbing your arm rests and driving up with the arms. This is really good for the shoulders and triceps. Maybe do a few tricep dips while you are there!
None of these activities are dramatic or require a current level of fitness above the basic. However, in the same way that inactivity adds up and causes weight gain and poor health, these combine over time and will reverse that process and guard against slipping into sedentary old ways.
From my own personal experience and the fields I work in, there are people exercising very effectively around considerably greater obstacles than a busy working life.
So now you have a few more tips about how to exercise at work, don’t let work be an excuse!
Connect here with WatchFit Expert David Lyons