By this point in the winter, most everyone but diehard athletes have given up on exercising, pending the first warm days that signify an end to sweater season. But of course, the benefits of working out are all year long, and include everything from stress relief to improved cardiovascular health. So how can you fit in exercise, without dragging your weary self to the gym?
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The answer is to try to get more exercise in your day-to-day life. A few ways to start:
1. Do things the hard way.
Take the stairs, walk over to talk to people to talk to them in person instead of sending a message, and get things for yourself instead of asking other people to bring you coffee on their way back from the cafeteria, etc. It won’t get you ready for a triathlon, but it’ll keep you from sitting in one spot all day.
2. Work in walking breaks.
You don’t need to do all your walking at once. Schedule 15 minutes before and after work, and another 15 minutes at lunch and at one other time during the day, and you’ll have fit an hour of exercise into your schedule, (nearly) without breaking a sweat.
3. Stretch at your desk.
WebMD offers 12 stretches you can do to ward off cramped muscles and stiff joints. Fit them into your routine to keep from developing repetitive-stress injuries and eye strain.
4. Use your chair.
You can do squats, dips, curls, and presses right in your chair. Sure, it’s not quite the same as the machines at the gym, but if you have a full water bottle and a few minutes, you can use your body weight to fill in the rest.
5. Do yoga.
Lower your heart rate and improve your flexibility without finding time for a yoga class. These stretches and poses are doable in most office spaces. (Although folks in open-plan offices might want to book a conference room.)
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