Wellness Wednesday: How to Get Fit at Work
Work. It is probably your second home. For some, it may even be considered your home. You not only spend 40+ hours a week there, but you probably consume two to three of your meals per day there as well (or at least make several trips to the vending machine for snacks). Your workplace may even offer some perks such as providing varying breakfasts and dessert-like snacks or maybe it neighbors varying fast-food chains. Most of your time is probably spent sitting behind a desk or you are constantly on the go. Either way, you are mentally and physically drained from work and the last thing you want to do is workout when you get home.
Sound familiar? Probably so.
How to Get Fit At Work
- Plan Your Lunches and Snacks Ahead of Time: You know the phrase, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer?" Well, that's not true in this case. In this case, let’s plan to keep your fruits and veggies close, and your junk food distant. Take time either the night before or the morning of work to prepare your day with a healthy lunch and snacks. By preparing such foods, you set yourself up for success by not relying on the vending machine or nearby fast-food chains. Your wallet will also thank you. Additionally, remember to stay hydrated! Try to drink half of your body weight in ounces. Thus, if you weigh 200 pounds, you should try and shoot for 100 ounces of water per day.
- Schedule Walking Breaks: When a muscle is not used for long periods of time, it becomes both weak and tight. By scheduling a ten-minute walking break every hour or two, these muscle effects can be reversed. In addition, research shows that the more active you are throughout the day, the more productive individuals tend to be. Try to make it a goal to achieve 10,000 steps a day.
- Posture: As you read the word posture, you are probably readjusting yourself into an upright position. If not, you probably are now. Sitting for prolonged periods of time can lead to poor posture. As this habit reoccurs day after day, such poor posture is reflected when standing and can cause neck and back pain as well as other spinal concerns. When sitting at your office chair, remember to sit up straight. The ears, shoulders, and hips should essentially be in a vertical line. Both feet should be flat on the floor and your computer should be at a height so that you can visually look straight ahead without having to tilt your head up, down, or even sideways at the monitor.
- Lunch Hour: If you are unable to exercise before or after work, using your lunch break as “power hour” is a great time. Whether your work has a gym within or nearby, there’s no excuse for not getting up and moving as you can incorporate either walking, running, cycling, or even a body weight strength program. Whether you have four minutes or 60, there is plenty of time to workout - just make sure your intensity level is high. By incorporating high-intensity interval training, your heart rate will skyrocket. For the bare minimum, all you need is a timer and yourself. For such interval training, you will alternate between an active period of high-intensity exercises and a short period of rest. For example, choose various exercises and set your timer for 40 seconds. Work as hard and as fast as you can for that duration and then take a 20 second rest period. How much time you have available to work out will determine how many rounds you perform. Shooting for 10 sets will provide you with a nine minute and 40 second workout. If you have more time, take a 60 second break after your first 10 sets and then repeat the 10 sets again. Other options to stay active throughout the day, may include: taking the stairs versus the elevator, parking further away from the front door, walking to your coworkers office to chat versus emailing them, or even commuting to work by bicycle.
Did you know that there are many benefits to enrolling in a healthy work environment?
Some of these benefits not only include overall better health and wellness among you and your coworkers, but also increased productivity, creativity, energy, employee morale, and even retention rates. In addition, a reduction in stress, absences, and illness is exhibited. Sounds fantastic, right?
Does your work place offer a healthy work environment or incentives program to keep you healthy? If so, feel free to comment below.
Joshua Reed is a Certified Personal Trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and is the owner of Reed’s Wellness and Fitness Training. He currently operates a small space in Ludlow, Kentucky and travels to see clients in the Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati area. He offers both personal, online, and small group training from his location, the client’s home, and/or outdoors. He is a 2012 graduate of Eastern Kentucky University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Adult Fitness and Wellness Management. Joshua currently attends the University of Kentucky, where he is earning a Master’s degree in Biomechanics with a concentration in running mechanics and injury prevention. You can reach Joshua via e-mail at [email protected] or on Facebook.
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