There are many aspects of your work that will affect your ability (or inclination) to exercise. Very often, your commute, time at the office, and then family responsibilities and chores at home can leave you feeling that you have no time or energy left for exercise. Alternatively, if you have a manual job, you could simply feel so tired at the end of the working day that you just can’t face any more activity.
Physical exercise is necessary for us to remain healthy and energised. Here are some ideas to help you fit a little more physical activity into your day, whatever your job.
Working in an office poses its own unique challenges for the health and fitness of staff. In some jobs, it’s actually possible to sit in the same position and in the same posture all day! This can result in chronic back and neck pain, stiffness in the shoulders and weight gain.
Office work can be mentally exhausting too. It’s amazing just how tiring staring at a computer screen for seven hours straight can be. All you want to do when you get home is collapse in front of the TV with some junk food and a glass of wine or beer – not good for your fitness levels! In fact, what your body needs is some vigorous exercise. Exercise stimulates circulation and kick-starts the production of the body’s natural feel-good hormones, which is crucial for relieving work-related stress.
Here are a few simple ideas to help you inject a little more movement into your working day.
- Put aside an allotted time slot at the end of each day for exercise. Half an hour is all you need, and even just seven minutes is better than nothing at all.
- Begin and end your workouts with lots of stretching. Concentrate on your posture; stretch your shoulders, ankles and hips; in fact, all those areas that stiffen up during your working day.
- The key to motivation is to choose a form of exercise that you really enjoy; perhaps you like cycling, playing squash or tennis, running, aerobics, or swimming. Whatever it is, it has to be fun!
- If you still don’t feel you can fit in a ‘proper’ exercise session, don’t despair. There are plenty of opportunities during your working day for a crafty office-based workout.
- If you live near enough to your place of work, walk or cycle and leave the car at home. If you take the train, stand up instead of sitting down.
- If you drive to work, park as far away from the entrance as you can. It might not seem like much, but all that extra walking will soon add up.
- At lunch time, instead of gobbling up a quick sandwich at your desk, go for a brisk walk around the block.
- Use the stairs instead of the lift!
If you work in a manual job, it’s likely that you’ll be getting a workout every day, anyway. Even so, it’s still important to warm up before you begin work. Stretching exercises and massages are good as they help to prevent overuse and repetitive motion injuries by stimulating blood flow.
- Your base fitness levels are probably pretty good already, because of the exercise you get whilst working. Choose an activity that uses different muscle groups from those you use every day.
- Focus on aerobic work, rather than lifting and strength exercises to avoid overloading muscle groups that you use while at work.
- Keep sessions brief and steady. You don’t want to injure yourself while you’re training so that you can’t work comfortably the next day!
If you have a physical job, the fitter you are, the easier your day-to-day working routine will become.
Exercise keeps your body healthy and your mind alert. Everyone can find a few minutes a day to fit in a little bit of exercise, no matter how busy they are at work.