I had the idea to write this post about a week ago because I see and hear so many people using the fact that they work in an office or work long hours as an excuse for putting on weight or struggling to lose it. This absolutely DOES NOT have to be the case. And as if to prove my point my work has decided to do a health and fitness awareness week to help all it’s staff to realise the importance of staying healthy at work. As part of this awareness week my employers are running a pedometer challenge where 10 teams of 5 people have to walk a total of 2500 miles over the course of a week. Thankfully all of my team members are just as fitness crazy as I am so we decided to put ourselves forward for this challenge and there was a prize for the team that walked the furthest – challenge accepted! My lovely colleagues nominated me as their team leader and we will be taking part in the pedometer challenge and I felt this tied in nicely with the post I was planning to write!
I really want to emphasise at this point that the the tips I am going to give you are to enable you to be active during your working day, these are by no means a substitute to a workout. The important thing is that by being active during the day, you are less likely to get that afternoon slump and you’re helping your joints and limbs by moving them often, this should help to prevent aches and pains caused by letting your joints get cold and stiffen up whilst you’re sitting at your computer.
So here’s the list of things I have given to my colleagues to increase the number of steps they are taking during the day, and then I will go on to give another list of other activities that you can perform whilst working that can help you improve
1. Try to park further away from the offices in the morning, this will mean you have to walk further to and from your car. Obviously take into account your safety with this one, don’t park far away in an unlit area in the dodgiest part of town!
2. Don’t phone or email people who work in the same office / building as you, get up and walk to their desk to talk to them – this is good practice in business anyway and isn’t just about getting your steps in!
3. Every half hour or so get up and walk around the office – again it is good to get yourself out of your chair and will help to refocus your brain and isn’t just about improving on being active.
4. At lunch time you MUST go somewhere. I have been the biggest culprit of this, and would often sit and eat lunch at my desk. Now I found it so much better to get away from my computer and away from my phone for 20 minutes. Walking around in the fresh air with a colleague does wonders for you and you go back to work after lunch feeling refreshed and ready to start again
5. If you have a dog make sure you are walking them before and after work. (You should be doing this anyway for your pooches sake, but it benefits you too). I love the time I get on my own before work to get my head in gear for the day ahead, and after work I like to go through and clear my head of everything work related so I’m not taking my work home with me.
7. Morning exercise with your team; you may have seen some videos of Japanese businesses doing this and getting their teams to exercise and stretch before starting work. If you have like minded people in your team, just have a quick jog on the spot, or have a walk and talk meeting and you can talk about what projects you’re working on etc.
8. When you need the bathroom, if you have more than one set of toilets, use the one’s further away. It means you’re walking the extra bit further and keeps those legs active and barely takes any extra time!
9. When you feel the need to get your heart rate up; take the stairs but take them twice, run back down and do them again.
Some of these might seem a bit excessive but you get the point and if you want to do these then suggest a similar pedometer challenge to your colleagues and compete against each other and bring some fun to the office!
My other tips for exercising at work are as follows:
1. When you go to the bathroom do 20 squats after you’ve been, if you do this every time you go to the toilet you can easily get in at least 100 squats a day – and this solves the mystery of why there is always a queue outside the ladies toilets!!!
2. When you get up from your chair or sit down don’t use the arms of the chair or the desk to support you. Use your legs!
3. When you’re sitting at your desk lift your legs straight and try and hold them up for as long as possible, or pulse your legs.
4. When you’re digging around in the fridge at work and looking for something on the bottom shelf do a squat and hold it or pulse whilst you’re looking.
Stop finding excuses and stop holding yourself back from being as active as you can possibly be. The only thing standing in your way is you!
Love Roo xx
PS – I also want to point out that my enthusiastic and eager beaver team won this challenge hands down! A bit of healthy competition can really encourage you to achieve your greatest results 🙂
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