Exercise While Working. Why not?
Updated: May 24, 2021
Living a healthy lifestyle is important for everyone. It assures that the individual will live a long and healthy life free from the many lifestyle diseases such as diabetes that are increasingly becoming commonplace. Further, exercising is important for body image, which is an important factor for self-esteem among individuals. For this reason, exercising has become more than a need. It has also become a fad for those who want to have washboard abs, slim down to supermodel sizes, etc. However, there is the misconception that exercises are effective only if an individual spends a copious amount of time in the gym with all kinds of equipment (McDermott, 2013). For this reason, many people believe that due to busy schedules, there is no time to visit a gym and exercise. This post bursts this myth and presents various ways people can exercise while at work without breaking their schedule.
Forget Elevators and Escalators
By simply walking, an individual would burn calories, which would count as exercise. There are various opportunities to walk around while at work. One of the main ways an individual can ensure that they walk more without interfering with their daily work schedule is to avoid lifts and escalators. Most buildings are several floors up and make use of escalators and elevators. By taking the stairs instead of using the lifts and escalators, an individual would walk more, burn more calories and thereby attain results equivalent to going to the gym (McDermott, 2013). This, of course, is done as the individual moves from one office to another and, for this reason, does not interfere with the daily work schedule. Therefore, a walk to the boss’s office four floors up automatically turns to a workout session.
As noted from the strategy discussed above, walking is a reliable form of exercise that anyone can easily do and incorporate into anyone’s busy schedule. A second strategy that ensures that individuals walk more without going out of their way or interfering with their schedule is by parking their vehicles further away from their offices. This translates into a longer walk to the office rather than a short dash (McDermott, 2013). The extended walk equates to exercise that does not interfere with the workday. With this strategy, no special gym time has to be blocked out, and the daily routine and set schedule to work are maintained. Ultimately results of the exercise can be reaped. In this case, the morning commute has turned into a workout session that doesn’t require intricate prior planning or moving things in one’s calendar. This effectively bursts the myth that gym time and equipment are necessary to exercise.
Move around the Office
While at work with busy schedules and with the help of technology, people tend to stay at their desks the whole day. This has the effect of minimizing movement and taking away an opportunity to exercise. By incorporating a lot of movement within the office, it is possible to reap the exercise fruits. Obviously, the movement envisaged in this instance is not a random movement but rather a movement that makes sense concerning an individual’s job description. For example, instead of emailing one’s colleague, it is much better to get up and walk to their office and have a discussion (Smith, 2013). This proves to be more efficient communication while at the same time providing an opportunity to walk around and exercise. Similarly, instead of talking on the phone on work-related matters, it would be beneficial as a form of exercise to walk over to that colleague and have that conversation wherever they are.
Bike to Work
When the workplace is not too far from the office, it is possible to cycle to work. Cycling provides the opportunity to burn plenty of calories while still covering the same distance that would be covered in a car on the daily commute (Mayo Clinic, 2015). In fact, with perennial traffic, this mode of transport may end up cutting down on commuting time in rush hour. Ultimately time will not need to be taken off for exercise; on the contrary, time may end up being saved. Not to mention the positive effect that such a practice would have on the environment. With this cheap, affordable, and accessible mode of exercise, it would no longer be an excuse to claim that there is no time to put in a workout. The benefits of burning calories will still be the same as attending a gym and cycling on a stationary bike while paying an exorbitant membership that one doesn’t have time to make use of.
Stand Up at Work
Sitting down is an activity that does not burn many calories if any. Therefore, the aim at work is to ensure that sitting downtime is cut down as much as possible. Since most of the work is carried out at the desk, simply standing would suffice as an exercise to minimize too much movement. It is possible to get some work done at the desk while standing. This would burn more calories than sitting down at the desk would (Mayo Clinic, 2015). By undertaking this simple action of doing work while standing instead of sitting down, burning calories is the ultimate point of all exercises.
Use a Fitness Ball
A fitness ball is an effective way of getting in a session of exercise without interfering with the flow of work and work schedules. It also doesn’t require movements that may attract unwanted attention in the office. This mode of excising is also very effective in ensuring that the whole body, and especially the core, is worked out throughout the day. This is achieved by substituting the office chair with the fitness ball. Since an individual sitting on the fitness ball would have to undertake a balancing act when sitting on the ball, it works the body muscles (Mayo Clinic, 2015). This is a cost-effective method, doesn’t draw unnecessary attention to the individual, is easy to implement, and doesn’t make one burst into a sweat. Overall, it ensures that an individual can easily put in a workout at work.
At The Desk Workouts
As an acknowledgment of the fact that people are working longer and longer hours, various exercises that can be performed while an individual is at his or her desk have been developed; these are fairly innocuous exercises that do not draw attention to the individual, are not disruptive, and do not take up too much space and time. Most importantly, they can be performed right at one’s desk. One easy exercise is to stretch right at the desk. By simply stretching one arm over the head and touching the ear on the other side, and repeating with the other hand, this can be achieved (Smith, 2013). By stretching, the individual would avoid getting back pain from all the sitting. The muscles of the body would immensely benefit from the stretching. This exercise is important in ensuring that the body muscles do not cramp and keep active when at work.
A second workout technique that can be utilized at the desk at work is commonly known as the magic carpet ride. This particular workout is designed to ensure that you work your core as well as one’s arms. The exercise entails firmly planting the arms on the armrest of the office chair, crossing the legs, and lifting with the arms so that one is sitting cross-legged in the air with only the arms providing support. While this position is achieved, the person is meant to hold it for between ten and fifteen seconds and then repeat it three or four times (Smith, 2013). By doing this exercise right at the desk with only the chair as equipment, one would be well on their way to those washboard abs and toned arms.
A third workout that can easily be performed at the desk with minimal time and disruption is known as the wooden leg. This particular action is meant to engage the lower body and work out the muscles in the lower region, especially the legs. To perform this particular exercise, all required is to sit back in the office chair and lift one leg so that it is parallel to the ground. Thereafter, one is expected to hold this position for a few seconds. After this, change to the other leg. The effect of this exercise is that it works out the lower body and firms up the leg muscles (Smith, 2013). Due to the nature of this exercise, colleagues at the office would probably not even realize what is going on under the desk, and it doesn’t require leaving the desk.
In conclusion, excising is undoubtedly important for health as well as for body image and self-esteem that it brings. However, due to the busy schedules that characterize modern living, there is barely time to put in a workout. However, as has been demonstrated above, there is no need for expensive gym membership or equipment. Neither is there a need to block out a large amount of time to work out. By undertaking the various activities that have been described above, it is possible to have the benefits of exercise. All these can be achieved without falling back on work schedules and missing deadlines because they are achieved within the work environment. They are performed in tandem with work activities. For example, walking around the office is done to pass on a message rather than use the phone. Similarly, taking the stairs is used in situations where going to another floor is necessary. Ultimately, therefore, an individual who utilizes the strategies set out above benefits from them while still working.
Mayo Clinic. (2015). Office Exercise: Add More Activity to Your Workday. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/office-exercise/art-20047394
McDermott, N. (2013). Taking the Office Stairs and Getting off the Bus Early: The Fast-Track Weight Loss Tricks Scientists Claim are more Effective than Long Gym Sessions. Daily Mail. Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2408387/Fast-track-weight-loss-taking-office-stairs-getting-bus-early-MORE-effective-gym-sessions.html
Smith, J. (2013). The Ten Best Exercises to Do at Your Desk. Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/02/06/the-10-best-exercises-to-do-at-your-desk/2/