Maximising Time in Your Working Day for Exercise
Keeping up with an exercise regime takes dedication and discipline, and it’s fairly easy to fall behind in the gym. At M20 we hear lots of different reasons why it’s difficult for people to keep on top of their exercise plan. A ‘lack of time’ is the most common complaint from men and women with families and people with busy jobs when it comes to working out, but there are solutions via some simple changes.
Granted, we’re blessed with free time at the weekends but you’ll be surprised how much time you can free up in the week too. For instance, getting out of bed just 30 mins earlier, means you can perform stretching exercises, sit ups, press ups and simple yoga positions without even leaving the house – hey, you could even do it in your bedroom slippers! Also, don’t underestimate the benefits of a 15 minute run first thing in the morning, it’ll get the blood pumping and give you energy for the day ahead.
However, if it’s too difficult to peel off that cosy duvet and motivate then fast forward to the office environment where the sluggishness really kicks in. Every day, thousands of people sit at their desks, barely flinching while their fingers tap away on the keyboard.
Here are 5 Ways to Include Exercise in a Busy Day
– Get up 30 minutes earlier (20 minutes of exercise)
– Walk or cycle to and from work (20 minutes to 1 hour of exercise)
– Take the stairs where you can (5 minutes throughout the day)
– Perform Leg Curls from your office chair (15 minutes, though could be 7.5hours!)
– Go for a brisk walk or find a gym at lunchtime (30 minutes)
So that’s an easy 90 minutes of exercising to slot into your average day without much hassle.
Use Your Lunchtimes
The majority of folk get an hour’s lunchbreak, and it only takes 10 minutes to eat a couple of sandwiches right? That leaves 50 minutes to do some form of exercise. Unless you work in a coal-mine there will undoubtedly be somewhere to walk to for 30 minutes…go briskly, even take a pair of trainers into work with you (and for total excuse bashing – take some waterproof trousers, that way you can walk even if it’s raining). Increasingly, larger organisations are now offering gymnasiums or if you’re town centre based there is never a gym or sports centre too far away. Not every exercise session has to be a full on 90 minutes of cardio, fat burning full-on gasp fest! Do what you can in the limitations of the time you have. It all counts but what doesn’t is surfing Facebook for another hour, seriously do you really care what Tom, Dick and Harry are having for their lunch or how many coffees they’ve consumed that morning? Thought not.
Now, whilst these following exercises won’t burn significant amounts of calories, they will stop you seizing up as you sit from 9am to 5pm glued to your monitor. Other benefits include tension and stress release, improved circulation and improved concentration.
The Office Chair Leg Curl
This is a simple, discreet but effective office exercise, and it can also strengthen some of the most essential core muscles in your body. Park your backside in the middle of the seat, next, lift feet as high as possible, keeping the back straight, and hold. Hold this pose for 5-10 seconds, lower the feet back to the floor and perform again.
The Office Lunge
Stand with your head and shoulders pushed all the way back to create the perfect posture. Next, take a giant step forward with your leading leg and try to create a 45 degree front knee bend, try to hold the position, putting your hands on your hips for balance. This is a good exercise for an empty restroom, storeroom or corridor if you’re a bit self-conscious of ‘performing’ in front of your fellow cubicle dwellers!
The Office Victory Sign
Sitting at a desk all day can certainly ruin your posture, as well as give you a bad back. The ‘victory’ exercise helps you to exercise the muscles in your back without even leaving your chair, and it also helps develop your inner core muscles. Begin the exercise by getting into the perfect posture position in your seat. Next, exhale while stretching upright, extending your arms like a pointed arrow in the air. Hold this position and then lean forward opening up your arms. Make sure you inhale during this final position to strengthen your core muscles. Just 5 repetitions will leave you feeling loose, supple, re-energised and ready to crack on with more computer based work!