In a perfect world, you’d have access to a gym at the office … and time to use it. In reality, you’re probably lucky if you can grab some lunch in between meetings. But that doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice your health for your job.
You can get fit while you’re working. It’s all about taking advantage of the time you have and making a few small changes. Try some of these exercises great for building strength, increasing your daily steps or just get moving a bit more — all while you’re at work.
1. Swap in Stairs
From the trip on the subway to the five floors you have to travel between meetings, there are lots of ways to choose stairs over machines. Instead of the escalator up from the subway, take those steps that go right beside it. Take the stairwells between floors to raise your heart rate and increase that blood flow to your brain.
Taking the stairs can have small benefits in the short term, but in the long term can help you lower your blood pressure, drop a few pounds and even help fight osteoporosis, at least according to some studies.
2. Stretch at Your Desk
Getting a bit of movement in doesn’t have to mean panting and cardio — it could mean getting those muscles stretching slow and easy. There are lots of techniques you can accomplish at your desk, from ways to move your feet and toes to prevent blood clots to desk yoga for your neck and back. Stretching is also a great way to take a break and lower stress and increase your focus.
3. Meditate in Minutes
Find your OM at work with some mindful meditation. Yes, you can get fit in your brain, not just your glutes and hammies. At your desk, on a plane to a conference, or even on your commute — you can find some peace. At Mindful.org, Janice Marturano offered some tips and guided meditation tips as well as a quick 10-minute guided practice audio lesson. Meditation has a lot of benefits, including improved memory, better focus and even increased ability to think creatively.
4. Push Up the New Year
Want to keep on track? Try a 30-day challenge where you build up strength or stamina bit by bit to get fit. You can even convince your coworkers to join you for an afternoon break. Try a 30-day pushup or sit-up plan or maybe just some planks that you hold for an increasing length of time. Makes for some great team bonding and an easy way to see your progress every day.
5. Improve That Posture
We sit like jerks. We hunch, we slouch and we let our bellies get all soft and squishy. Instead of just oozing to the floor, try some posture improving exercises and tools to make your back and body happier. Some quick tips include being mindful of your shoulders and back’s position to using a lumbar pillow to keep you from slouching. Or try sitting on a posture-improving balls or devices.
Whatever you choose to improve while you’re at work, remember that variety is key and it’s never an “all or nothing” deal. Figure out what makes you feel good and keep at it. Here’s to feeling more fit in the coming year!
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