Good morning. Get dressed. Eat breakfast (maybe?). Take the kids to school. Make the commute. Nine to five grind. Lunch somewhere in between. Commute home. Maybe work from home. Take care of the family. Make dinner. Eat dinner. Get ready for bed. Go to bed. Goodnight. Repeat.
Sum up your day pretty well? Mildly repetitive, a routine of events that’s become comforting online in its methodology. And between those late nights at the office, lunch meetings, and trying to maintain your personal life, it can feel like there’s no time left in the day to go to the gym. We understand how hard this is, so we’ve compiled a list of ways you can keep active in an environment that tries to glue your nose to a screen all day.
- Bike/foot commute – This may feel like a big commitment, and to a certain extent it is. You do have to wake up earlier, bring a change of clothes with you and pace yourself to ensure you make it to work on time, and depending on how far from your workplace you live, this may not even be an option. For those of you who d live relatively close to, however, this has a number of advantages. In addition to being eco-friendly, not paying for gas, and never having to fuss over parking again, you won’t have to worry about when to work out because your cardio exercise has already been programmed into your work day. Plus, being a bike commuter is growing in popularity and many major cities around the world are beginning to paint bike lanes to make the experience much safer.
- Take the stairs – Similarly to the first point, taking the stairs is an easy way to incorporate exercise into your daily routine. This one, thankfully, does not require a change of clothes and not nearly the same time commitment. Taking the stairs is a good, low intensity cardio workout that you can do in the office, your apartment complex, school, university – wherever you may find yourself. You can do this at the beginning and end of your work day, and you can also take breaks when you’re bored or stressed in the day to run up and down a couple flights.
- Stay on your feet – No need to stay stationary all day! When you’re meeting up with someone in the office, stay standing. For example, meet in the break room or in the doorway to your office rather than at a desk. You would be amazed how many more calories you burn and how much more awake and energized you will feel when you’re not seated for hours on end.
- Pack a lunch – Lunch breaks can lead to an influx of way more food than you need. Restaurant portions are often unnecessarily large and talking over the meal keeps you too distracted to actively watch how much you’re eating. Furthermore, it can be difficult to determine even approximate macronutrient intake. So, whip out your grade school lunch box and bring healthy, nutrient rich lunches with you to the office rather than risking the restaurant scene and host lunch meetings in your office instead. The environment is quieter and more private anyway.
- Switch the snacks – Keeping a dish of candies on the desk may seem inviting and sweet, but it also encourages you and those around you to mindlessly eat unhealthy foods when they’re not hungry. Switching out your jelly bean bowl for mixed nuts or assorted fruit will eliminate the temptation of sweets and even improve your eating habits as you will be eating snacks with both nutritional content and filling capacity, which can prevent you from overeating later.
- Hydrate – Here at Health Fitness Revolution, we strongly believe in the connection between a healthy body and a healthy mind. Hydration is one of the keys to having both. We suggest that you aim to drink on average 3 litres of water each and every day, and even more if you’re highly active. With your body energized and hydrated, your mind will be much more engaged and focused, enabling you to be much more efficient at work.
- Take a lap – Movement is necessary not only for fitness but also for focus. When you’re feeling overwhelmed with your work, get up and move around the office. This may include getting up to chat with your coworkers (which can serve as a refreshing mental break), or it could simply be taking a lap around the office, or (boss permitting) even around the block. Your short cardio workout will be a good way to get your blood pumping and by the time you’re back in the office, you’ll be well rejuvenated!
- Stretch break – There are few things more taxing on your back than sitting hunched over a desk all day, every day. Sitting sedentary in this kind of position can lead to back and neck pain and even leg restlessness, which is enough to drive anyone nuts with the jitters. To reduce the onset of your antsiness, get up and have stretch! Do this periodically, ideally about once every half hour. This will keep your blood flowing with minimal effort, allowing you to stay energized and wary of your posture.
- Mini workouts – When you just can’t make time for the gym, there are several exercises you can do in the office without any extra equipment. These mini workouts can help you stay fit when you are too busy to leave work and give you the energy boost you need.
- Teamwork makes the dream work – The hardest part about keeping fit is resisting the unhealthy temptations of the world around you, and doing this alone can be particularly taxing. One way to help curb this temptation is to find a workout buddy or group. Your group can functions as a support system, reinforcing your dedication to fitness. Every group is different, but working together can promote such events as healthy dinner parties and post-work exercises.