It would be wonderful if we all had flexible lives that allowed us to get out for a good hike or ride at a reasonable time of the day, or if we always had the energy to get up extra-early for a workout.
Unfortunately, many of us live in a world where we're restricted to an office and staring at a screen for eight or more hours a day, with few opportunities for breaks. Long hours and other responsibilities may keep us from going to sleep early, so every extra hour is precious.
Being in the office might make you feel like you're losing precious time for exercise and the outdoors.
Thankfully, there are lots of ways you can increase your energy at work, even when you have to power all the way through your day.
It might be tempting to use your break to veg out and surf the internet for a few brainless moments, but it'll feel so much better to get some fresh air. Take a walk around your office park, stroll to a nearby park, or get down to a nearby café for a granola bar or cup of tea. Even if you only have a scant 10-15 minutes, that's still plenty of time for a quick walk.
This may seem like odd advice, but it's actually great for your body. Replacing your desk chair with an exercise ball (sometimes called a “yoga ball” or “Swiss ball”) will improve your posture and strengthens your abs. Balancing yourself on the ball forces you to use your core muscles, which will help keep them toned.
When you're in the zone, the time can speed by faster than you think. Remember to check the clock every once in a while and get away from the screen for a few minutes. Stand up and stretch yourself out. Do some twists, arm stretches, or even bend over and touch your toes. It's not cardio, but it'll help keep you limber and get your blood moving. Plus, your eyes will get a quick break from the screen.
You might not have dumbbells at your desk, but you probably have a water bottle. Use it or another object of similar weight to do some bicep and tricep lifts and curls.
When you're in the middle of a big job, you can forget to laugh. Don't! Share some time with your coworkers, enjoy each others company, and laugh. Laughter reduces stress and burns calories. Plus, it'll make you feel a lot better when you get back to that project.
These activities aren't a substitute for a full workout, but they'll keep you feeling awake and active at your desk. Don't let your desk job mean a life of slouching in front of a computer. There are lots of ways to keep moving!
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