Fortunately we are all becoming more aware of the importance of being active in order to maintain a healthy and happy lifestyle. Yet sometimes our lifestyles don't offer much room for being active. If you are one of those people who finds themselves sitting at a desk for most of your working day then you will know what I am talking about. It doesn’t mean that you don’t love your job, or that you would want to change it, however there is no denying that sitting all day just isn’t great for your health.
The human body is designed to be active; in fact we are supposed to be active for at least 14 hours of the day. When we sit for prolonged periods of time on a regular basis, specific bodily functions such as hormone production, start to stop functioning as they should be. This can result in poor circulation and a lowered immune system which can both lead to chronic illnesses such as high blood pressure, heart disease, cancers, and that’s not even mentioning the negative effects it can have on your mental and emotional wellbeing!
If this is all applicable to you, don’t start looking for a new job just yet, I am here to share some of my secrets on how you can incorporate a little boost of fitness into your usual day of sitting!
- Butt clenches. Ok it sounds funny, but these are actually really great and apart from working on toning your tush, they also work to stimulate circulation which is one of the key health disadvantages to sitting!
- Swap your chair for an exercise ball. These are really great for encouraging good posture, but they also work to strengthen your core muscles as you need to keep your body engaged in order to sit up-right. Even if you only use it for a couple of hours of the day, having an exercise ball handy means you can grab it for a quick workout during your lunch break, which brings me to my next suggestion...
- Quick 5-10 minute mid-work work out. Most of you can justify taking a couple of 5/10 minute breaks in order to get your heart pumping and energise your body. Not only will this help maintain a healthy body and heart, it will also stimulate your mind and support productivity (your boss is unlikely to say no to that!?)
- Walk out for lunch. Most workplaces offer a minimum of half an hour as a lunch break. So instead of eating at your desk, use this time to do a quick power walk to a different lunch eating destination.. Perhaps a local park or beach? Lead by example and encourage your work colleagues to come along!
- Opt for the stairs. Ok this one you probably already knew, but it’s a good one. Always opt for the stairs. You can even take them two or three at a time to really work your glutes!
- Standing desks. These are becoming increasingly popular as people become more aware of the health risks associated with prolonged sitting. They are usually adjustable, so that you can alternate between sitting and standing throughout your day.
There are many other ways in which you can incorporate a little fitness into your work day, so get creative and keep your body healthy!