Many Americans sit at work all day and do not exercise. Here’s how to sneak in a few workouts.
I sit for most of the day. OK, pretty much all of it. From Monday through Friday, I’m mostly glued to my desk chair—which is bolted to the floor in front of my desk—for hours and hours and hours.
My current work schedule, which I shuffled around earlier this year, has me working around 60 hours a week—which is not unlike most Americans these days. Three of my days are super long, while the other two are a bit shorter.
And while I enjoy my work, I do not enjoy not being able to work out as much as I used to. When you’re bogged down with work for so long, and one project runs into the next one, it’s often hard to fit in much more than a quick meal.
If any of this sounds familiar, there’s hope for us workaholics who yearn for more activity during the course of the day. There are options to at least get us up and moving every hour. Give these a try:
Water And Food Breaks
This is one of the easiest reasons to stand up and stretch the legs. After downing my two morning cups of coffee, I keep a water bottle next to me all day. It’s usually empty every hour, which gives me a perfect excuse to go to the kitchen and refill it. Same goes for food—when I’m hungry, which is about every two hours, I’ll go grab something. Standing up and walking around for a few minutes does wonders for me. Photo: www.shutterstock.com
Sitting for prolonged periods of time does a number on our glutes and hamstrings. It can then become more difficult to fire them properly on a run, which can lead to injuries as other parts of the leg do more work. Try this simple workout: Every two hours, stand up and do some body-weight squats. Go slow and try to get your thighs parallel to the floor. Start with 10 reps, three times a day, but strive to do three sets of 20 or more. Photo: www.shutterstock.com
Pushups are easy and can be done anywhere, in almost any type of clothing. Every two hours, the ones opposite your body-weight squats, perform 10 pushups. Strive for three sets of 20 or more throughout the day. This will work your upper body and core, which can also suffer from sitting all day. Photo: www.shutterstock.com
Stand-Up And Treadmill Desks
A stand-up desk can be a homemade contraption and may consist of stacking boxes or books on your desk to raise the height of your computer. Another option is purchasing a stand that can be raised and lowered. It will seem odd at first, but you’ll settle into a groove. Start by spending 15 minutes of every hour standing. This action alone will put you in a better position. If you or your company has the extra cash, a treadmill desk is another good idea. Set it to a very slow speed so that you’re hardly walking. Over the course of a day, you will have burned hundreds of calories without even knowing it. And your posture while working will be much improved. Photo: www.shutterstock.com
If you’re itching to get outside and run and only have a half hour for lunch, use that time to run and eat at your desk while you work either before or after. Nothing beats a good run, even if it lasts just three or four miles. Runs of this distance are a great time to work on form, do some quick intervals or shake out your legs on a Monday after a long weekend run. Photo: www.shutterstock.com
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