Getting your workout in during a busy workday can be a challenge for many, especially if you have a demanding job or work multiple jobs. Working long hours can make it difficult to get up extra early to workout and staying up later to workout doesn’t help when you’re already competing for enough sleep at night. Being creative with fitness and mindful with moments of opportunity can help you incorporate fitness into your busy workday. Many larger corporations have a health and fitness counselor on staff that you can utilize for personalized support. Here are some tips to add some extra steps and wellness into your day to improve personal fitness without having to find extra time to drive to the gym:
- Take the stairs whenever possible. Stair climbing helps strengthen the legs, hamstrings, and glutes in addition to getting your heartrate up for cardiovascular fitness. If you normally take the elevator at work, take the stairs. Wear a pedometer that counts elevation in addition to steps because vertical steps count too! Climbing stairs burns more calories than walking and running because you engage more muscles in climbing. For the average person, an average of 3,700 steps is approximately one mile. If you work in an office building or live in an apartment building where you have access to stairs or a parking garage, it’s easy to add an extra mile or two each week just by taking the stairs. Certified wellness coaching encourages individuals to take the stairs whenever possible for increased personal fitness and wellness.
- Park further out to get in extra steps. No more fighting for the front row parking spot at stores or at work! The average person needs approximately 2,000 steps to equal one mile of walking. Parking further out gives you the opportunity to get additional steps in without any extra effort. Wearing a pedometer or fitness watch can help you keep track of your steps and distance traveled. Many of the smart phones have fitness apps that have many of these features built in for tracking number of steps taken each day. A certified weight loss coach uses this trick to get in extra steps and miles each week.
- Keep ankle weights in your desk at work. Do you have a desk job that requires you sitting most of your day? Keep ankle weights in your desk so you can do leg extensions from under your desk while you are typing or on the phone. It’s discrete, and easy to do without having to leave your desk. Seated leg extensions can be done by attaching the ankle weights to your ankle and lifting one leg at a time while keeping your knee parallel to your other knee and being mindful not to hyperextend the leg. Leg extensions help build the muscle around the knee joint that help protect the joint from injury. Leg weights can be used with an exercise office chair or chair ball as well. Natural weightlifting and resistance training can be done from your desk!
- Wall sits in your office. If you have a wall, you can do wall sits! Wall sits help work your lower body with emphasis on your quads and glutes. Wall sits can also improve functional fitness and improve stability. Start small and work your way up to holding for longer periods of time. If you are new to wall sits, try doing one for 15 seconds and gradually work your way up adding ten seconds each week. It doesn’t take a long time but provides big benefits to your personal wellness and supports your fitness goals.