There are innumerable benefits of staying active in your daily life. If your job does not require you to work out for a living ( i.e. you’re not an Instagram model or fitness junkie with a billion followers), you may have find creative ways to keep your body moving at work.
Most healthy adults need at least 2.5 hours of aerobic exercise along with two days of strength training per week. If possible, you should aim for a moderate intensity level (or higher) to get the most health benefits. Diet also plays an important role in your overall health, so don’t let your bad habits get the best of you.
Here are four tips for sedentary office-dwellers to help you stay fit during your workday.
1. Kick Caffeine to the Curb
The coffee that you’re constantly consuming may be the reason for your lack of focus in the office. Coffee, with all its glorious caffeine, can severely dehydrate your body, causing the brain to slow down and fatigue. Dehydration can lead to a lack of awareness, problems with concentration, poor short term memory, sluggishness and irritability (who needs that?).
Rather than downing cup after cup of your favorite coffee, reach for some water. It helps flush out toxins and hydrate your body, so you can properly focus on your tasks (and avoid being the called the “office grouch”).
2. Be Active
While drinking lots of water may cause you to urinate more frequently, use it as an opportunity to get up and move around. You may even decide to use a restroom on another floor to burn a few extra calories (bonus if you take the stairs!).
Here are other simple ideas for burning a few extra calories:
- Take a walk outside during your lunch hour
- Use the stairs instead of the elevator
- Park as far as you can away from the front door of your office, which will force you to walk more.
- If you live close enough, walk or bike to work (you’ll save cash while burning calories!)
3. Stand Up at Your Desk
One of the best things you can do to offset the health-depleting effects of sitting on your bum all day is to get a standing desk. Hip and back stiffness and pain comes from sitting down for long periods of time. While you may not be able to convince your boss to invest in hydraulic-powered desks, you can jerry-rig your own by placing an adjustable computer stand on your current desk.
If you’ve got the funds, try investing in a Rebel Desk. It combines the idea of a standing desk with a treadmill, so not only are you not sitting, you’re burning major calories while you work. It’s a win-win, and you can also try it risk-free for 30 days!
If you still find yourself in a sitting position for longs periods of time, take stretch breaks to make sure you’ve got plenty of blood and oxygen pumping to your muscles. Here are five stretches that you can do at your desk. Aim for 15 to 30 seconds for each stretch.
- Neck Stretches – Slowly tilt your head toward your shoulder and hold for ten seconds each side. Keep this one slow and easy, the neck is very easy to injure.
- Arm Shoulders – Pull your arm across your chest, hook your other arm around it to pull the tension out of your upper back and rear shoulders.
- Back / Legs – Lean forward at the waist either from the standing position or sitting and bring your chest toward your thighs. Slowly try to straighten your legs – stretching your hamstrings.
- Thigh Stretch – Sit on left edge of your chair or stand. Grab your left ankle and pull it upward toward your buttocks. Switch sides.
- Calves Stretch – Stand and lean into your desk with your heels on the floor. Bend your knees slightly to stretch your achilles tendons.
Don’t Let Sitting At Your Desk Become a Pain in The Neck
If a Standup Desk is Great for a Legal Software Exec, It’s Gotta Be Great for Lawyers
How to Instantly De-stress with Progressive Muscle Relaxation