5 Tips For Getting Exercise During The Workday
With many of us having busy work schedules and hectic personal lives, it can be difficult to find time to factor in any kind of exercise regime. It’s a well-known fact that physical activity stimulates brain chemicals and results in us feeling happier, less anxious and more motivated. Following an extremely tough period globally, effects on mental health have risen dramatically reports by NPR, and this is having a massive effect on people with busy work life.
So it’s important, more now than ever, that we pay attention to our well-being, physically and mentally in line with our article on ‘How to Take Care of Your Mental Health’. With that in mind, here are 5 top tips on how you can implement exercise into your working day.
No matter what the activity may be; intermittent stretches, lunchtime gym classes, social walks with friends or colleagues, it’s important to schedule each exercise into your diary like it’s part of your working day. Research has shown that there is a direct correlation between well-being and productivity so consider it equally as important as any work meeting. Today outlines why scheduling exercises into your daily schedule is important as you are more likely to stick to a planned out routine, so treat each activity as an appointment you can’t miss. Set yourself reminders and goals to keep the motivational momentum going. In time these exercises sessions will become a natural part of your day.
Bike or Walk to Work
Should your commute to work allow you to do so, walking or biking to and from your workplace is a free and easy way to burn calories and keep healthy. Cycling has become a preferred mode of transport for many commuters and biking is continuing to rise in popularity. ‘Globally cyclists logged 8.1 billion miles in 2020,’ according to an article by LiveStrong. The frustration of sitting in traffic or experiencing public transport delays is also avoided. It’s a win, win!
Sitting at a desk all day can lead to discomfort, aches and pains and long-term physical effects on your body. Poor posture, repetitive motions and being stationary for lengths of time can worsen any existing conditions and potentially compromise your health in the future. Whenever and wherever possible, engage in stretches at your workstation. Also, a lot of these exercises can be done whilst seated.
Here are a few to consider:
Tricep Stretches – Raise your right arm over your head and bend it. Raise your left arm and reach over to grab your right elbow, gently pull until you feel the stretch in your bicep and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat using the same technique but swapping arm positions.
Overhead Reaches – Extend your arm above your head. Reach over to the opposite side and hold for 10-30 seconds. Repeat with the other arm.
Torso and Trunk Rotations – Keeping your feet on the ground and facing forward, hold your arms out in front of you and bend at the elbow. Twist your upper body and hold that pose for 10-30 seconds then repeat on the other side.
Neck Stretches – Relax and lean your head forward. Slowly roll your head to one side and hold for 10 seconds. Repeat on the other side. Relax and raise your chin back into the starting position. Repeat this exercise 3 times in each direction.
Shoulder Shrugs – Raise both shoulders upwards towards your ears. Drop and repeat 10 times in each direction
Before doing any of these stretches be mindful to research which exercises would be best for you and your health. Some examples are outlined here in an article on easy stretching exercises by SymptomFind. Remember to breathe normally and don’t push yourself to do more than what is comfortable. In time you should find you become more flexible and comfortable and no equipment is required.
Take advantage of your lunchtime to fit in some exercise for the day. Plan a walk with a colleague; this could be your usual trip to the store or simply around the block. Research the area in which you work for the best walking routes and change them about to keep them interesting. If you’re a member of a gym, many places now offer classes specifically catered for those who choose to workout during their lunch breaks.
If your work environment is suitable, simply standing more regularly than sitting can have a positive effect on your health. Whilst the number of calories you burn by doing so may not be hugely increased when compared to sitting, there are plenty more benefits to standing around, especially if you can incorporate more movement like pacing or even more stretches. Standing can improve your circulation, reduce spikes in blood sugar and can help relieve muscular pain. Many offices now provide standing desks but if you don’t have access to one, and you can safely elevate your PC, that’s a good substitute.