It’s an unfortunate fact that the average office worker spends nearly 10+ hours per day seated. The Washington Post talks to health experts who say, “sitting is the new smoking,” as it contributes to the risk of cancer, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.
Adding a workout to your daily routine is a total game changer when it comes to your general health, and you’ll also notice a marked improvement to your cognitive process. Getting just 5 minutes of cardiovascular exercise can stimulate anti-anxiety effects, reduce stress, and make it easier to process new information and confidently execute solutions.
In our cheeky blog, How to Deal With Co-Workers Who Want to Get Physical With You we dished about our elite athletes, and the great culture of physical activity within our company. Today, we’re giving a shout-out to the rest of us who don’t run ultra marathons or bench 300 lbs, but who still know the importance of keeping active through small daily efforts with these tips & tricks.
5 Tips On How To Get Physical In The Office
1. Modest Changes to Everyday Actions
Not everyone can fit a formal workout into their day, and sometimes the evenings are too cramped with other to-do’s that make it impossible to get in a full workout, period. If that’s the case, then small changes to your everyday actions will at least get your heart pumping and calories burning.
Let’s be honest, there are those of us who categorize walking to meetings as a daily activity, but we both know we can do better than that. Start by making small, easy changes to everyday tasks to kick-start that ticker. For instance, skip the car and ride your bike, get up and walk around the office or block each afternoon, and for pete’s sake take the stairs. Maybe even ‘forget’ a file and do the stairs twice. If you’re office is on the ground level like us folks at Top Draw, try standing desks or swapping your chair for an exercise ball to help with focus and posture.
2. Don’t be Shy
Don’t let the office environment make you feel awkward about swapping your heels for running shoes or your jacket and tie for a sports shirt. If you need to do 20 push-ups then drop down and do them right. Don’t waste your workout on sloppy form, and quit hiding behind the office plants. While you probably shouldn’t be pumping out reps directly in front of your clients, you shouldn’t feel the need to hide your positive efforts from the people you spend almost 20% of your life with. Yes, you spend nearly 20% of your life with the strange people you work with. Please note that I performed my own brainy math to conclude 20% (and yes, I included all holidays). Plus, there’s a good chance that your toned office guns will encourage others to get down with you. I mean, get down on the floor with you… to workout. OK, that got weird. Moving on…
3. Take Advantage of Lunch and Coffee Breaks
It’s called a lunch hour, an hour. You can easily take at least half of that time and walk, bike or jog a few blocks around your place of work. Maybe there’s a gym in your work neighbourhood with a swimming pool or track for those winter months.
For us at Top Draw, a run in the Edmonton river valley is a favourite way to burn off some steam. Did you know a brisk walking pace can burn about 50 calories in 20 minutes? Bam! Top up that 50 cals with a small weight in each hand and you’ll find yourself flexing in front of the mirror in no time.
4. Keep it Clean
Meetings in the afternoon? Need to look professional? I feel you.
It can be tricky to have a full workout during your lunch break and then pull yourself back together to look presentable in the afternoon. Not all of us can rock a shaved head, nor do we all have the luxury of an in-office shower.
My trick: a bottle of dry shampoo, wet wipes and a small travel towel. All of which can go a long way towards fixing yourself up post workout. For ladies (or gentlemen) with long locks, a sock bun can be your saving grace.
Rather than talking about how to find motivation, instead I’ve decided to list two methods that work for me.
Temptation bundling: the act of combining two activities; one that you love to avoid (running), and one that you love to indulge in (fave playlist, podcast or audiobook). Basically, you allow yourself to only enjoy the thing you love, like a low-brow audiobook, when you partake in the thing you hate, like running.
Gym Pact App: This app is designed to encourage people to meet their health and fitness goals by earning money as a reward. It’s a big commitment simply because if you don’t meet your goals then you pay someone else. However, when others don’t meet theirs then you pack in the pennies. Some Gym Pact app users earn up to $50.00 in less than a week. Learn more: http://www.gym-pact.com/
If you’re still finding it difficult to find time to workout on the job, talk to your employer about your goals of incorporating fitness into your work schedule. The best bosses understand that physical activity can really boost an employee’s performance, and they’ll be eager to see you succeed.
Want to read about how we are getting physical at Top Draw? Read our blog post, How to Deal With Co-Workers Who Want to Get Physical With You.