“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” -Arthur Ashe
As a society, we are making positive changes to be healthier. We eat more whole foods. Fab. We make it to that morning fitness class. Kudos! These are good things, but it’s important to take a closer look at our overall activity level. A busy day being “healthy” doesn’t always equate to enough activity.
As a fitness teacher, I am fortunate that staying active is part my job. I feel for those who are seat-bound and missing out on some much needed daily movement. Whether you are at an office desk job, or at work from home, moving is something we can all strive to do more of. But it may take some creativity and commitment. Below are 5 ways to keep it moving throughout the work day.
1. Dine alfresco.
No, I’m not talking about the patio at a restaurant. Dining outdoors (weather permitting) is a lovely idea, plus it will keep the mustard from dripping onto your computer. If you are sitting at a desk from the moment you begin work, take your lunch break and then go right to sitting again, well, doesn’t that seem silly? Food is extremely portable these days, making it easy to take your turkey wrap outside. Take a stroll and get some fresh air.
2. Do an office circuit workout.
All you need is 10 minutes, the floor, a wall and some tunes. Invite co-workers to join. More bodies = more energy! Go 3 rounds non-stop.
Round 1, Wall Squat Arm Raise: Stand with your back against the wall. Keeping tailbone to shoulder blades firmly pressing against wall to align your spine. Take a generous step forward, bend legs 90 degrees. Knees lined with ankles, contract abs. Raise arms over head than lower shoulder level, repeat 10-15 times during hold. Start with 25 sec hold work up to 60 sec.
Round 2, Side Plank with Leg Lift: Right side plank, elbow under shoulder. Spine aligned, head to heels. Hold plank feet stacked for 30 sec. Raise top leg and hold 10-15 seconds. Repeat left side. Modify on knees.
Round 3, Wall Bridges: Lay on back, arms at your side. Feet hip width apart against wall, knees 90 degrees. Lift hips so they line with knees and shoulders. Squeeze butt and abs. Lower so bootie hovers 3 inches off floor, repeat 10-15.
3. Step it up.
I’m speaking of taking steps, and more specifically, tracking your movement. There are plenty apps to choose from – find your fave. A pedometer works great too. The goal is to track how much you are (or maybe aren’t) moving throughout the day. You should shoot for 10,000 steps a day, but begin with baby steps. Aim for 5,000 to start and work your way up from there. You will be pleasantly surprised how many steps you will accumulate so quickly. Taking the stairs vs. the elevator, for example, can rack up 100 or more steps.
4. Don’t get tied up.
For the love of moving your body, get up! Forever gone are the days of being tethered to your desk by a phone cord. We now have the luxury of wireless everything, but don’t get caught up in being lazy because of modern conveniences. When you’re on a phone call, stand up and walk around the office if you can. Take your meetings outdoors. Make the most of modern technology and purposeful use of the space around you.
5. May I interrupt you?
We schedule meetings, dinner dates and hair appointments because our time is valuable. So is our body and mind! Start prioritizing your activity time. Set an alarm on your trusty smart phone. Designate an activity each time the bell sounds. Go to the mailroom, visit a co-worker and inspire them to take a water break with you. Try your mini-circuit workout again. Remember, a body in motion stays in motion.