We’ve all been there – we pack a gym bag with the best intentions, only to drive straight home after work. Who wants to commit to a workout when you're tired and starving, and when it’s winter and already dark outside?
The good news is that you don’t need a long workout to reap the benefits. The not-so-good news? Squeezing in these active minutes might require a bit of creativity and planning. Need more convincing? Researchers found that people who incorporate their workouts into their work day are usually more productive and alert.
We scoured Health24 to find the best tips on how to get in some exercise during the course of the day.
1. Exercise at your desk
If you are working in an open-plan office environment, you're probably thinking, “There is no way I’m doing these.” But there should be no shame in office exercise. Who knows, you might even start a trend. These exercises are inconspicuous enough to do at your desk, yet effective for toning and stretching. If you really don’t want to be conspicuous, try and sneak into a deserted boardroom. These exercises include chair dips, core exercises, sitting on a Swiss ball instead of a chair and stretching. What are you waiting for? Read the article and get moving today.
2. Squeeze in a quick workout before or after work
If the desk-route is not for you, there are plenty of at-home workouts that are effective when paired with some intense, short bursts of cardio such as jump-rope, running on the spot or jumping jacks. You don’t require a gym or any equipment for these exercises. Simply change into some comfy clothes and do a quick workout before hitting the shower. Here are some guidelines to get you started:
The perfect 15 minute no-gym workout
The 15 minute-workout you can do in your lunch break
3. Hit the gym
If you do have a gym membership, don’t let it go to waste. If the gym is close to your office building, start going during your lunch break. If you choose a quick workout (use the guidelines above), you can be done and showered and ready for the second-half of the day within an hour.
4. Take a walk
Meeting a colleague or a friend during your lunch break? Grab a coffee on the go and take a walk around the block. Not only will you reap the benefits of some fresh air, but you will also get your heart rate up, which will help you to focus and concentrate on the conversation. Bear in mind, however, that the area around your office building might not be a safe walking environment – check out your surroundings and be vigilant at all times.
5. Factor your run into your work day
Training for your next race? Take your running clothes along to work and go for an hour-long run during your lunch break – that's if you have shower facilities at your office.
6. Move more
Instead of emailing your colleague at the other end of the floor, get up and go to their desk instead. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, set a reminder on your phone or laptop to get up and move every hour, or go to the coffee shop around the block instead of the one in the lobby of your building. These little bursts of movement don’t seem like much, but they add up. Even small 10 minute bouts can be effective, according to Dr Michael V. McConnell, head of Cardiovascular Health Innovations at Verily Life Sciences.
7. Spread the inspiration
Rope in your colleagues and go for group walks, or organise a group walk or run after work. Not only will you get moving, but you will bond with your colleagues and build morale outside the boardroom.
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