If you spend your days gazing at a computer screen, you may be working hard, but only with your brain. Meanwhile, your body is merely ticking over, or worse, stagnating. It’s important to remember that the rest of you needs exercise, too, especially your heart, and that time should be made for this, however busy you are. Fortunately, every little exertion will help. Here, a personal trainer from Atlanta, David Reagan, shares some suggestions for slipping brief activity slots into your daily schedule when working conditions allow:
Tip #1. Get moving while your refreshments heat up
When you get up to put the coffee machine on, move around until it’s ready to serve. Do the same while waiting for the kettle, microwave, toaster, and other cooking gadgets. You might do squats, sit-ups, jumps or jogging on the spot, for instance.
Tip #2. Store ready-made snacks at a distance
If you have snacks on your desk or in easy reach, move them to another room, ideally on another floor, to encourage stair-climbing, and make that your permanent storage place for those packets and bars. This way, you’ll factor a little exercise into every snack time.
Tip #3. Walk while you talk on the phone
If your working day involves phone calls, you can make these on your feet. Pace up and down the room or from floor to floor as you converse. You may find you can do exercises, too, such as knee bends and hip swings, while chatting.
Tip #4. Extend your walks on return from the restroom
However hard you work, you’ll need to break off from time to time to visit the restroom. This natural need will inevitably involve a short walk, and you could extend the return trip to your desk by making a few loops or detours or adding in an exercise routine.
Tip #5. Pursue enjoyable activities in your lunch hour
Everyone deserves a relaxing lunch break, but that doesn’t mean it has to be sedentary. Factor in a five or ten-minute exercise slot, making it as pleasant as possible to keep you motivated. You might step outside for a midday stroll, take a turn on your scooter or pushbike, or swing on an exercise bar, if available. If you enjoy sports, kick a ball around the nearest green space, or run three-legged races with your colleagues or housemates. You’ll be doing your heart a favor, as well as enhancing your lunch breaks.
Tip #6. Move your body while resting your brain
However efficient you are at your desk work, chances are your brain will slow down after a few hours or sooner. What it needs then is a short break, preferably with a change of scene and an oxygen boost, and you can provide these by taking a leg stretch and a breath of fresh air. In other words, you can reverse the roles of brain and body for a few minutes, resting your weary head while setting your heart pumping.
Tip #7. Don’t let anyone wait on you
Finally, avoid delegating physical tasks to others. If you need a notebook from the other end of the room, fetch it yourself, rather than asking a colleague to throw it over or a housemate to drop it on your desk as they pass. This rule can be extended to other tasks away from the desk, such as adjusting the blinds, emptying the trash can, or washing the dishes. If you’re working from home, be sure to take your turn at answering the doorbell, walking the dog, checking the mailbox, and doing other domestic chores. You’ll work all the better for those little extra walkabouts, and so will your heart.
Once you start looking out for opportunities to exercise while you work, it’s easy to find them. What’s more, your heart will thank you every time and through all the years to come.
About David Reagan
David Reagan is a personal trainer working with executives and high-end clients in Atlanta, Georgia, helping them balance their busy schedules with workout and meal plans to achieve optimal results. He has graduated Atlanta Personal Trainer Program and is NASM Certified. David Reagan specializes in weight loss, personalized workout plans, bodybuilding, and nutrition and believes that customer satisfaction always comes first.