We spend, on average, almost nine hours a day sat down – and that’s not taking into account the eight hours we spend lying down whilst sleeping – and this lack of activity has been linked to health problems like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. So how can we stay fit, and combat this issue?
You might think that you don’t spend that long sitting down each day, but when you break your day down, it’s easy to see how easy it is to fall into the habit. Perhaps you consider a home gym, or possibly just running for a few minutes each day. Both are viable options, depending on your ambition and spare time.
Most of us work in an office from 9 to 5 and sit at a computer desk for five days of the week, as well as commuting which can take up a substantial amount of time in your day (especially in major cities), and not forgetting the hours you spend binge-watching Netflix as soon as you get home. Unfortunately, it’s making many of us heavier and sicker.
As a result, it is vital to stay fit whenever you can if you have a busy work schedule. Here are 6 ways to ensure you stay fit and healthy when working in a full-time office job:
Walk as much as possible to stay fit
Walking is an easy way to keep active, so it’s best to fit it in wherever you can. If you drive to work, it is worth parking further away to get the steps on your FitBit up. Alternatively, the same goes for people who travel on the bus or train – get off a stop of two earlier and take a stroll into work
If you work in a high-rise building, split taking the lift and walking up the stairs to ensure you are getting some physical activity. Also consider going on lunch-time walks with some of your colleagues as a way of making exercise a way of socialising.
Move around during your 9-5
Sitting down can have a severe negative impact on overall health and well being as humans are simply not designed to be sitting down – especially not for long periods of time.
To avoid being sat for hours on end, it is sensible to set a timer on your computer to remind you to get up and move around every hour to two hours; make it into a routine and your body will thank you for it.
It is vital to make small changes to your lifestyle, such as walking to a colleague rather than phoning them. Some businesses are even considering introducing ‘walking meetings’ to combat this.
Workout at your desk
If you don’t have a chance to get up and about when at work, make time! There are many simple workouts that you can do whilst sitting at your desk, without drawing attention to yourself and needing gym equipment.
For example, a good workout for your abs is to squeeze the muscles in your core tightly for one minute, and then releasing – you can do as many of these as you wish whilst working.
Alternatively, an under-desk cycle is another smart option, that doesn’t take up much room or bite into your bank account.
Avoid skipping breakfast
As most of us know, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Thus, skipping breakfast is a ‘no-no’.
Your metabolism slows down when you sleep, so it’s sensible to eat within a few hours after you wake up, to help boost your metabolism for the whole day and avoid snacking on fatty foods later in the day.
A recently-conducted study found that women eat 100,000 calories worth of office snacks at their desks a year and indulge in at least three snacks during a typical working day, totaling almost 500 calories in an average 9 to 5 job.
It is advised to stay clear of typically ‘unhealthy’ snacks, such as crisps and chocolate, and if you are feeling peckish, opt for healthier options such as fruit. However, avoid dry fruit as they can be unhealthy and full of sugar.
Drink water – and lots of it!
Numerous studies have shown that drinking around 8 to 10 glasses of water throughout the day can be highly beneficial to your body, and also encourages weight loss.
If water isn’t your cup of tea, consider buying a water diffuser where you can add fruit to make your very own flavored water – without the added sugar and additives.
Setting up your own home fitness gym
In your journey towards a fit and healthy lifestyle, starting can be easy enough. Maintaining this lifestyle is where the challenge lies.
You might find yourself one day feeling tired and exhausted, balancing all your responsibilities and your hobbies.
Sometimes, instead of going to your local gym to squeeze in that much-needed sweat session, you’re tempted to just travel home. But what if your gym is at home?
Setting up your very own home gym can lessen the hassle of paying membership fees and driving to a different destination after a long day of work. It allows you to get your workout done in the comfort and convenience of your homes.
Find a Space to Set Up Your Home Gym
Before building your home gym, the first step is to consider its location. Where will you place the equipment?
When setting up your own workout station, it’s important to find a space to inspire and motivate you to move. In this step, you need to ask yourself the following questions:
How much space is available at home?
Take a look at the layout of your house and identify which room can accommodate gym equipment and give you the most freedom for movement.
Some people who live in smaller spaces may find this difficult, but definitely not impossible.
You just have to be more creative with setting up. Perhaps you can use your living room to double as a home gym.
When there’s a will, there will always be a way to make this work. The important thing to remember is your chosen workout space should not disrupt other areas of the house.
What type of exercises will you do?
When building your gym at home, it is important to consider what kind of workouts you’re inclined to do.
If you’re more focused on building strength and gaining muscles that require more equipment, you would need to find a bigger space. But if you’re more inclined to doing HIIT or cardio exercises, then smaller spaces will suffice.
Knowing what type of workouts you will do can help you choose the perfect space to set up your exercise station.
Buy the Home Gym Essentials to Get You Started
Once the gym room has been finalized, the next step is to determine which equipment to purchase. This, of course, depends on the type of workout you’ll be doing.
Every piece of equipment has its distinctive purpose. The main objective is to find one that will help you reach your personal fitness goals.
Some equipment is designed for cardio and endurance, while others are designed for strength and mobility.
On the one hand, if you want to focus more on increasing your heart rate and building endurance, some equipment that will work for you include a fitness air-bike, a rowing machine, a spin bike, and a treadmill.
On the other hand, if you want to define your muscles and get stronger, you should invest in a curl bar set, a dumbbell set, and weight plates. They are available in various weights, so you can easily adjust the level of intensity.
Maintain a Clean and Safe Workout Space
After allocating the perfect space and purchasing the necessary equipment, the last and final step is to arrange your home gym that ensures safety.
To do this, you need to ensure that all the equipment is in good condition before every usage. Clean the space after every session, and store away the workout gear in their proper places.
Most importantly, don’t leave any equipment lying around. In doing so, you prevent the occurrence of accidents or injuries.
Benefits of Having Your Own Home Gym
Having the convenience of a gym at home is empowering. The fact that you have full control of your body and your time gives you more freedom to do what you want.
You can get fit and stay fit on your own terms in your own time. There are no boundaries and no limitations. Your home gym is your complete domain, and you’re free to customize it any way you want.