If the majority of your day involves sitting in front of a desk in a cubicle, it can be difficult to get enough exercise. Incorporating some simple changes into your day will improve your overall health.
1. Buy a pedometer. Webmd.com and TheWalkingSite.com recommend at least 10,000 steps per day. Using a pedometer is simple way to meet this goal. Here are some tips when using a pedometer:
Set goals. First, wear the pedometer for a week. Total up your steps and divide by seven to get your daily average. Then every day for a week, add on 500 steps. Each week, increase your daily step count by 500 until you’re averaging at least 10,000.
Start your day with 1,000 steps. That’s about 10 minutes of walking.
Find ways to walk more. Take the stairs, take walking breaks, do laps around the office, and talk face to face instead of emailing.
2. Desk exercises. There are many easy ways to keep your metabolism running while chained to a desk.
Leg lifts. Do these twice a day. Sitting upright, hold your legs together and lift them straight up until they are parallel to the floor. Hold as long as you can, then slowly lower them. Repeat 15 times.
Ab strengthening. Tighten your abdominal muscles and hold for a count of 20. Gently release, rest 20 seconds and repeat. Do two sets of 10-15, three times per day.
Point and flex your toes. Hold each stretch for 10-15 seconds. Do two sets of 10-15.
Sit on an exercise ball, if allowed. Your body will work to keep you balanced, engaging many different muscle groups.
3. Re-think lunch and meetings. These events are as much about eating and working as they are about socializing, but you can easily combine exercise with them.
Use the time wisely. If your lunch is an hour, take 20-30 minutes to exercise. Go outside and take a walk. If lunch is 30 minutes, walk for at least 10.
Schedule a walking meeting. WebMd.com suggested this, and it works best for low-key meetings.
Take a fitness class instead of lunch. Once or twice per week, try spinning, yoga, or Zumba. Eat something quick and easy at your desk afterwards, and take a co-worker for motivation.
4. Use what’s available. Sneak in an unused conference room to do jumping jacks, shadow boxing, running in place, or even yoga.