You’re busy. In fact, you’re always busy that it’s practically your norm. Your alarm clock rings in the morning and probably after clicking the snooze button a few times, you hit the floor running. There are just so many things to do crammed in a single day. You’d like to get started on brainstorming for a new product idea; work on the current marketing campaign; and finalize the promotions and launches you have in the pipeline. You also need to hire a couple of new employees; train your team; and meet with prospect clients.
And the next day, it starts all over again.
So where does that leave exercise? Well, if you’re like most people, it figures at the bottom of your list – which translates to almost non-existent. After all, it’s hard to imagine even sneaking an hour or two out of the office to work out when you’re practically tied to your desk several hours on a stretch. But you should know by now that being physically lethargic causes health problems – a lot of them. You suffer from a bad back, horrible posture, and constant muscle pain. You get poor circulation in your legs, unnervingly soft abs, and very high chances of organ damage.
You know you should work smarter, not necessarily harder. Productivity, after all, doesn’t have to spell out clocking extremely long hours in the office, day in and day out. Being truly effective means you get your tasks done, but you still have room for other important stuff – like your health. Here are some resourceful ways to get exercise into your regular workday.
- Take a walk.
That’s obvious, you might say. But the irony is that because it’s so simple and obvious, many people take it for granted. Research findings from the University of Missouri School of Medicine reveal that sitting for six hours or longer can already affect the vascular function. How to reverse the damage? Taking a short walk will do the trick. And you don’t have to go far, either – 10 minutes will do. Get yourself out of your chair and go around your floor. Maybe you can grab a drink or snack at the café within the same block, or stroll at the park across from your office building. The point is to move to get your blood flowing again.
- Do some stretches.
Afraid you’ll lose your momentum if you leave your desk while in the middle of something? That’s quite unavoidable. For a lot of people, being in front of the computer all day is an accepted reality. But who says you need to leave? You can stay put and do stretching exercises right at your workstation. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to get yourself a good chair or an exercise ball.
- Use the stairs.
Your office building likely has an abundance of escalators and elevators, but it doesn’t mean you should take advantage of them every chance you get. Take the stairs whenever possible. It’s not as effortless as simply standing still and letting a machine do all the heavy lifting – but that’s point. It will help you speed up your heart rate, burn calories, and tone your body’s lower half. Isn’t that worth it? If you’re working in a home office or at the lower floor of a building, you can still find many chances to walk around and move.
- Make the most of an on-site gym.
A lot of offices and buildings now come equipped with their own gyms on-site. If you’ve not taken advantage of it before, you’re clearly missing out. Maybe you don’t consider yourself a gym rat, but then again you don’t have to be. You just need a place conducive for a workout, and that’s exactly what the gym offers. And considering that it’s usually offered free or at a discounted rate, you save money. Easily make a stopover during lunch or use your coffee break for it. Don’t want to run on the treadmill alone? Check for available fitness classes.
- Park at a considerable distance.
You may be used to parking right at your building every day for work. It’s time to break that habit. Parking farther away than you normally do will force you to walk more just to reach your office. If you combine that with taking the stairs every day, that’s even better. You can initiate more physical activities into your workday without going out of your way and disrupting your schedule. You can do the same when you’re out for errands, say to the bank or the grocery store.
- Bike to work.
If biking to work is manageable, then by all means do it. This is an especially appealing prospect if you live in a city (or not) that has good roads and properly designated bike lanes. Shifting from driving to biking to get to your office may compel you to make notable lifestyle changes, but it’s not anywhere near being impossible. It may be a tad inconvenient at first; however, the transition is bound to ease with time. What’s important is you’re taking conscious actions to help you move forward with your health goals.
Little things tend to add up over time. You may think that sitting at your desk for long hours every day for years is helping you to grow your business faster, but it does just the opposite. If you keep taking your health for granted, you won’t be able to handle the challenges that are sure to come your way – not to mention spend quality time with your family and friends and pursue hobbies and interests outside of work. When you learn to work smarter, you’ll easily realize that exercise not only can be incorporated into your regular day, you can actually have fun doing it.
How do you manage to exercise on your work days? Share your tips and experiences in the comments. We’d love to hear them.