Many of us are heading off on our summer holidays soon, and sadly many of us still haven’t achieved that beach-bod we promised ourselves after the Christmas break.
This can be due to a number of reasons including long hours spent behind a desk and the temptation to eat less healthy convenience foods rather than use your rare free time shopping and cooking better things. Unfortunately, as well as taking its toll on your weight, the sedentary lifestyle that comes with most office jobs can also make you more vulnerable to stress, make it harder to sleep properly, give you aches and pains in your muscles, and leave you feeling less energetic. You want to be at your best not only on the beach but when it comes to your performance in your job, and actually, the key to this is often finding a way to make time for exercise.
Here are four strategies to get more activity into your life when you have a demanding, office based job.
Don’t Be Sedentary In Your Free Time Too!
The issues caused by being stationary a lot of the time at work are going to be multiplied if you are also stationary when you are not at work. Even if you think you are usually too tired when you’re not at the office to exercise, Netflix binges will exacerbate things rather than make you feel better, so earn your lazy time with some activity. Look for a fitness class or gym you like and go regularly, or look for ways to be active at the weekend.
Wear a Fitness Band
If you currently don’t do much exercise at all, wearing a fitness band like a Fitbit can give you an accurate idea of your current fitness level, how many calories you burn in a day and how many steps you take. For most people, even just having that constant reminder on their wrist that they are accountable for their fitness makes them careful to walk a little bit more or add a little more activity to whatever they are doing.
Use Your Lunch Break
When you are very busy it can seem like the obvious thing to do to skip your lunch break and eat at your desk. This is adding another hour of inactivity to your day. Even just taking a walk can make a big difference, and even if you want to work through lunch, you have a smartphone – why not make those calls you want to make outside while you get some exercise? You’ll feel like you’ve had a decent break even if you’ve actually gotten a lot of things done.
Use Your Commute
If you work near home, you could consider walking or cycling to the office instead of driving or using public transport to pack in more activity. If you are feeling really ambitious and have showers at the office, you could even try running! If you have a longer commute, look for ways you can get a bit more exercise into it, like getting on or off the bus or train a stop earlier and walking, or even just taking the stairs instead of using the lift at work!
Getting more activity into your life is hard when fitness has to take a back seat to your work, but it isn’t impossible, and if you try a few of these strategies you can easily build good habits that’ll help you stay focused and avoid some of the pitfalls of a sedentary job.