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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Health & Fitness: 10 Ways to Stay Active at Work

Like many of you, Adrianne and I work an office job 8 hours a day (at least) 5 days a week. That equals a lot of sitting and not much activity. I used to be a server and between running around to my tables and lifting heavy plates I didn't have to worry too much about remaining active. Since switching over to the desk job my activity level has decreased dramatically. I've come up with a few tips for staying more active throughout the day and hope they help you too!

1. Take a break at least once an hour to get a glass of water, hit the restroom or just take a quick lap around the office. Sitting all day is really hard on your body and breaking it up really helps. My future husband is a Physical Therapist and told me that I really need to be getting up every 10-15 minutes. Although that is ideal, not much work would get done!

2. Use your lunch break to get away from your desk. I used to eat at my desk during my lunch while continuing to work. Now I either leave the office and go for a walk, go window shopping or go to the gym. Our work recently installed a fitness center and I've been utilizing that on my lunch break on most days. Not only is my workout already done but it really breaks up the work day.

3. Schedule your workouts and write it down in your calendar. I keep a calendar in my purse and I log all of my planned workouts for the week. If they vary at all after I've planned them out I make the changes so I can keep record of what I did each week. It keeps me accountable and like any other "appointment" on my calendar, I feel like I have to do it.

4. Make workout plans with a friend. Go for a walk and talk about life. Help each other out  through a challenging weights workout. I've found that when I workout with a friend it doesn't feel like working out. Time goes by so quick and before I know it -- the workout is done!

5. Buy and wear a pedometer. Studies show that people who wear a pedometer on average walk a mile a day further than those who don't. Add that up and that's 7 miles a week! I know if I was wearing one I would be much more conscious about how many steps I was taking.

6. Always take the stairs. This may not apply to you if you work on the ground floor (or 57 stories high) but I've found that taking the stairs to the 4th floor every day has really helped give me some extra cardio. No matter how good of shape I'm in, I always find the stairs to be such a challenge!

7. Park farther away. Not just at work but everywhere. It's so easy to stay in your car and hunt for that perfect close parking space. Think about how many extra steps you could get in if you just parked a little farther away.

8. Instead of calling or emailing a coworker -- go walk and see them! I find it's so easy to hide behind my computer all day and not have any face-to-face interaction. If I would get up more and go visit my coworkers in person, not only would I move a lot more but I would be able to interact with my colleagues. Win-win if you ask me. 

9.  Work on your posture. It's so easy to slump down and look at your computer screen all day. Make a conscious effort to suck in your belly, pull your shoulders back and sit up tall. It's great for working all the muscles in your core and is so much better for your body. 

10. Do stretches at your desk. It will help get your blood flowing and give your body a small boost of energy. I find that stretching really helps when I'm super stressed at work -- it clears my mind and helps me focus. 

Those are just a few of of the many things you can do each day to get some more activity into your life. I find it's always nice to have a friendly reminder from time to time. 

Are you doing any of the above to stay more active? Do you have any other ways that you use to get more activity into your day? 

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