Life is hectic, exciting, and sometimes overwhelming which often leaves us feeling like we are on a non-stop treadmill going a bit too fast; yet we haven’t stepped foot into the gym in ages. We are so busy taking care of all the myriad details in our lives that include work, family, and friends that we sometimes lose focus and forget to take care of ourselves.
Unless you’re a nurse in a medical uniform or a dog walker, most of us who sit behind a desk for a good portion of our day don’t do all that lot of physical activity.
Here are some easy ways to incorporate exercise into your daily routine while doing basically what you are already doing, but you will be gaining so much more.
When you begin your day, before jumping out of bed and dashing out to work, take a couple of moments to do some gentle stretches to wake up those muscles and get them ready for the day ahead of them.
Walk the Extra Mile-
Now that you did a bit of stretching you are ready to start your day. If you drive to work try to park a bit further from your office and take a nice walk while enjoying the fresh air before getting into your office. Or better yet, walk or bike to work if that is at all possible. Nothing beats starting your day after a fresh and invigorating walk or ride.
Take the Stairs-
Now when you arrive at your office, even if our running late be sure to take the stairs (obviously not a good idea if your office is on the 47th floor of a high rise in NYC.) Climbing the stairs raises your heart rate which maximizes your cardio benefits. It also strengthens your core muscles and tones your body overall.
Take a Stroll during Work-
Instead of typing up a quick email and hitting send to someone sitting a few desks away from you, get up and talk to the person.
Use Your Lunch Hour to Move-
Instead of sitting at your desk during your lunch hour, use this time to get out and move around a bit. The best would be to use that time to go to a gym, but if that doesn’t work for you just go take a quick walk or do a bit of squats, leg lifts or stretches.
Yes, even while sitting at your desk you can get exercise! Here are a few easy exercises that you can do at your desk without much effort and without even getting up (no one will know the difference!).
- Foot Drill- tap your feet for at least 30 seconds at a time as you are seated at your desk.
- Shoulder Raises- Want to relieve some tension in your neck? Here’s how it goes: raise your shoulders towards your ears, hold for 10 seconds and then relax. To stretch those muscle a bit further, do one shoulder at a time alternating five times for each shoulder.
- Chair Dips- When sitting in your chair, place your hands on the armrest and slide your bottom to the front of the chair. Slowly straighten your arms and lift yourself off the chair, holding for 10 seconds. Return to the starting position and do 5 times.
- Seat Squeeze- This one is great for your glutes. Squeeze your buttocks, hold for 5-10 second, and then release. Repeat 10 times.
Depending on your job the ideas can vary, but always be on the lookout for opportunities to stretch those muscles and lose a few calories while you’re at it.