WALK TO WORK
If you live close enough and weather permits, turn your commute into exercise. Walk, jog, or ride your bicycle to work. Even if you’re not close enough, you can still park your car far enough from your office to get in a little walking, or get off public transportation at an earlier stop.
TAKE MINI-EXERCISE BREAKS
Once you get to work, don’t just plop down behind your desk and stay there all day.
Have you heard the saying, “Sitting is the new smoking”? Some health experts advise moving around for 10 minutes every hour to offset the negative effects of sitting for long periods of time. Even if you can’t move around that frequently, set an alarm to remind yourself to get up and move around as often as you can. When it goes off, take a mini exercise break. Instead of surfing social media or grabbing a coffee in the break room, take a walk around your office building, climb a flight of stairs, do a few squats or push ups against your desk, or indulge in a few stretches. Roll your neck gently from side to side, twist your torso in your chair, stretch your arms up towards the ceiling or out in front of you, circle your wrists and ankles.
TAKE STRUCTURED BREAKS
If your job permits, you may even be able to work in some structured mini workouts. Use an app, or search online for mini-workout programs, or simply do a few exercises at your desk: tighten and hold your abs or glutes for 30 seconds at a time, sit down and rise from your chair without using your hands, use the edge of your desk to do dips, march in place, do calf raises, or practice seated yoga moves.
Use your lunchtime to workout. Does your office have a gym? Use it! If not, is there a safe place to walk or run, such as a nearby mall or pedestrian-friendly side street? Don’t skip lunch, though. Only use part of your lunch break for exercise, so you can refuel to keep your energy levels up for the rest of your workday.
TRY A NEW WAY OF SITTING
Replace your desk chair with a stability ball. Sitting on a ball requires using your muscles to maintain balance. You may also consider replacing your regular desk with a standing desk, or with a device that raises and lowers your computer so that you can stand up to work part of the time.
KEEP IT MOVING
Look for other simple ways to add movement to your workday. Can you walk around while you talk on the phone? Take the stairs rather than the elevator? Walk to a colleague’s office rather than email or message him/her? Send all your print jobs to the printer farthest from your desk? You might also see if your fellow employees are game for a walking meeting rather than sitting around a conference table.
And speaking of your fellow employees, join with like-minded coworkers to form a fitness group. Take a walk together at lunchtime, or sign up as a group for a charity walk and encourage each other to train for it.
To maintain your weight loss, time devoted specifically to exercise will always be important. However, on days you’re strapped for time, consider these ways to sneak in some exercise.