This week I want to turn to something tangible and give you concrete methods to implement. A few of my clients have recently been swamped at work and they’ve found it more difficult to set aside that full hour or so they would normally head to the gym. I’ve been working with them to find some suitable little tips and habits they could implement into their workday to make them more productive from a fitness and health standpoint. Humans are built to move throughout the day. Five minutes here or there can make a huge difference. Here’s what I’ve come up with:
Its becoming more apparent that sitting for long stretches throughout the day is having a negative affect on our bodies. The last few years have seen the creation of several alternatives to sitting at your desk. There are plenty of people now using standing desks, treadmill desks, and even the hilarious hamster wheel standing desk.
I have a standard size desk that I built for my home office several years ago but If I am typing or on a long phone conversation I have small stool I can rest my laptop on to be at the appropriate standing height for me. Even if a standing desk is not possible for your work place, make it a point to stand up and walk around after about 15 minutes of sitting.
Resistance bands are light weight, portable, and incredibly versatile. You can do hundreds of different exercises from deadlifts and squats to rows and resisted push-ups. They are relatively inexpensive and they come in various tensions so you can continue to challenge yourself.
A suspension trainer such as a TRX is another portable and versatile tool. The handles attach to two straps mounted on an above anchor point. From there you use your own body weight as resistance. The angle of your body determines the difficulty of the movement. If you have an office, you can just mount it on the back of the door. It could also be mounted on a tree or fence outside during a break. You can get a tremendous and effective whole body workout in just 15-20 minutes. Chest Presses, Bodyweight Rows, Squats, Lunges, and planks are just a few exercises that can get you going.
I have a Metolius hangboard mounted in my office. Every time I pass under it, I’ll do a few pull-ups or strict hangs to work on my grip strength. But the pull-up bar in your office doesn’t have to be a permanent fixture. I’ve also used an Iron Gym door frame pull-up bar since I began working out and my progressions in that area have been great.
Its easy to forget the most simple yet most sophisticated tool we have. There are plenty of options here even if you don’t have a tremendous amount of space in your work area. Body weight squats, jumping jacks, split squats, pushups and planks are all a good way to get moving even if its for 3-5 minutes.
Those are some of my top ways to integrate fitness into my workday. Do you have any other favorites or suggestions? Leave them in the comments below.