How to keep fit at work and during the working week
Even if you love the addictive buzz of keeping fit, working out regularly an start to feel like a chore on weekdays, especially if you hold down a demanding job and work at a desk for most of the day. Modern, computer-based jobs aren’t usually designed to support regular fitness habits – but there are some clever ways you can stay active, healthy and happy while working 9-5. Promise!
You’ve probably already felt the mental and physical benefits of regular workouts. and the studies agree. According to a 2018 study published in JAMA Network Open, being sedentary comes with a higher risk of premature death and disease that is even higher than smoking.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways you can sneak in exercise throughout the day, no matter how busy things get at work. Give these daily workouts a try and, before you know it, your sneaky workouts will become a new habit that helps you keep fit at work and feel healthy and happy forever.
1, Rethink Your Commute
Walking or biking to work is an easy way to get in your daily exercise – simply swap the car or bus for a walk or a cycle, even if it’s just a few times a week. Live too far away to get to work on human power? Stick your bike in your car and park within a reasonable distance from your workplace. From there, bike or walk the rest of the way to work – you’ll end up boosting your fitness and your car journey will be cheaper, too. If you walk or bike to work, don’t forget to apply a daily moisturizer with SPF on your face before you step out the door.
2, Get straight to class
My top tip for fitting exercise into a busy working day is to find a gym, a fitness class or a running route that is right next to your office, so you can go straight to or from a workout on your way to or from work. That way, you’ll never get home, feel an energy slump and rethink your plans to head out to exercise – by the time you get home in the evening, you’ll have done it all. You hero.
3, Do Yoga Stretches at your Desk
Once you arrive at work, start off the day with a few yoga poses at your desk. A simple sun salutation will get your energy levels up in the morning, and hip openers and back bends are really relaxing in the afternoon when you’ve been sitting at a desk for hours. If you want to do yoga subtly, seated spinal twists are great for releasing tension. But really, who cares what you look like? You may even find your colleagues want to join in. Find some of my favourite yoga resources here.
4. Invest in a Fitness Tracker
Sitting for long periods of time isn’t good for your mental or physical well-being. To help keep you active, invest in a fitness tracker that reminds you to move throughout the day. You don’t need to do a full workout every time it sends an alert – just stand up and do a few stretches before sitting back down at your desk. Consider combining your fitness tracker with a mood tracking app. You might be surprised at how much your mood improves when you stay active throughout the day.
5. Suggest a Different Type of Happy Hour
Who says after work networking has to happen at the pub? Suggest the occasional physical activity instead. You could sign up for a group fitness class, go for an evening run together or just kick a football around in the park at lunchtime.
6. Take on More Grunt Work
Simple tasks such as moving boxes, tidying up the office or even standing up to make a round of coffees can seem tedious – until you see them as a physical break from your desk. And tackling a few menial tasks every now and again will make you look like the office angel.
7. Turn Your Office into a Pop-Up Gym
If you’re lucky enough to have your own office, take advantage of space by keeping some fitness equipment on band. You don’t need to have an entire gym in your office – stick to a few dumbbells beneath your desk, swap your desk chair for a stability ball and keep a fitness mat in the corner of your room for a fast workout.
Stuck in an open office cubicle? Skip the equipment and practice isometric workouts instead. Isometric exercise is a type of movement that focuses on a particular muscle group and can be done anywhere – flexing your abdominal muscles while you take care of your inbox or practise wall sits while on a phone call.