Lack of exercise is currently the number-one killer of Americans. Lack of exercise contributes to obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer. However, most Americans spend eight hours a day sitting at work, two hours a day sitting in the car, and struggle to find time to fit any kind of exercise into their lives. The good news is, exercise doesn’t have to consist of a daily two-hour visit to the gym. As little as five minutes of running or 15 minutes of walking per day can have significant health benefits.
Take The Long Way
An obvious way to increase exercise is to bike or walk to work. If you live close enough to work and have safe roads to commute on, go for it. For the rest of us, an easy way to add more motion into your day is to always park as far from the door as possible. To effortlessly add some weight-lifting into your day, try tossing a few soup cans into your briefcase or bag to make it heavier, or strap some weights to your ankles and wrists and wear them all day. Never take the elevator. When taking bathroom breaks at work, don’t use the nearest bathroom- travel to the one furthest away from your desk. If you’re finding all of this extra walking is time-consuming, try running instead. Well, maybe not to and from the bathroom, but running across the parking lot to your car at the end of the day, sure, or up and down the stairs.
Ditch The Chair
If your workplace allows it, get rid of your desk chair. Sit on an exercise ball instead, or get a standing desk. The best solution is a treadmill-desk but they can be pricey. If your workplace won’t allow such things, just try to not sit in the chair as much as possible. Stand up instead whenever possible.
Learn To Fidget
Try to never hold still. Keep a dumbbell at your desk and whenever one of your hands is free from work do some arm exercises- bicep curls, rowing, shoulder shrugs and the like. When both arms are occupied with typing, the legs can be busy doing leg lifts and other exercises. When on the phone, learn to pace back and forth, or march in place, or hula-dance. Get a stress-relieving ball and squeeze it under the table at meetings.
Incorporating motion and exercise into each and every day is easy. It’s mostly a matter of changing your mindset. The other problem is discarding social norms- racing across the parking lot at work or dancing in your cubicle may seem embarrassing at first, sure, but consider the alternative- an early grave. If we all move together into health, sitting motionless will become the embarrassing behavior of the future.
Information and Image provided by KT Tape.