Fitting fitness into your daily routine
Part of maintaining a healthy balance between work and life not only involves beating burnout at work but also includes taking care of your physical wellbeing. One of the main reasons it is so challenging to fit exercise into our busy schedules is that it’s simply not part of our daily routine. Brushing our teeth is easy because we are used to it, and the same can be true for fitness.
Tips for working fitness into your routine
Wake up earlier
It isn’t easy to become a morning person if you were never one in the past, but when accomplished the benefits can be great. The Daily Health Post provides five reasons to incorporate early morning workouts into your daily routine:
- People who work out in the morning have shown to stick to their exercise plans better than people who plan to exercise after work.
- It can actually increase the impact that exercise has on your heart.
- Exercise has been proven to increase mental focus and acuity for up to ten hours past the initial workout which means you are powering your brain power up for an efficient workday.
- Studies show that AM workouts result in not only fewer food cravings throughout the day but also more calories burnt throughout the day.
- Exercise releases feel-good endorphins that improve your mood and energy levels.
These 5 morning workouts take 5 minutes or less (there's one for you no matter how late you are!) http://t.co/a5P8CAgI7M— POPSUGAR Fitness (@POPSUGARFitness) May 28, 2014
Tone during the commute
The lucky ones who live within a few miles from work can easily use their bodies as vehicles to get to their destination. You are going to get there one way or another, so why not simply walk, run or bike there? Oftentimes it can be faster than taking the subway or sitting in heavy traffic. Plus this method of transportation forces you to take just the essentials to and from work with you, making it easy to leave that heavy laptop at work rather than coming home and being distracted by endless emails.
Pat Roix, a licensed corporate wellcoach and certified American College of Sports Medicine Health and Fitness instructor has an alternative solution for the majority of commuters out there with longer daily travel distances. He suggests that when traffic comes to a standstill, like it often does in Southern California and other major commerce areas, use breathing exercises, drawing your navel towards your spine as you exhale. Then repeat until your wheels start rolling again. The simple act works your core muscles, strengthening and energizing your entire body, which is a great day starter.
Work out at work
Many corporate wellness programs are designed to keep you physically fit throughout your professional development. But even if you don’t have a Google campus, complete with a basketball court, you can make exercise at work a reality with these simple deskercises:
- The Desk Chair Swivel – Use the twirl in your char to your advantage by toning your oblique abs by sitting upright and with the feet hovering above the floor and hold the edge of your desk with your fingers and thumbs then swivel side to side for about 15 rounds.
- The Seated Leg Raiser – One of the best parts about this deskercise is that its hardly noticeable underneath your desk. While seated, strengthen one or both legs and hold in place for five or more seconds then lower them just enough to not touch the ground and repeat.
- The Stairmaster – This one is one of the oldest workday recommendations in the books. Ignore that elevator and take the stairs up to the top floor. For those in the hundredth and something floor in a fancy city-scape give yourself goals of increasing number of flights to get to then take the lift the rest of the way.
- Create Your Own Track – You don’t have to travel to a busy track to get your blood flowing. Whether it’s on a quick lap around the building on a short break or a longer loop around a local park, schedule time to get it done. It’s also a great way to socialize with friends at work while motivating others to fit exercise into their daily routines.
Turn chores into exercise
Our everyday chores often take a lot of physical effort to accomplish as we empty the dish washer, lift the vacuum, reach high places to dust etc. While cleaning may not be the most enjoyable activity, it is something we all must perform and can be a workout if you want it to be. SparkPeople, an organization with a mission to help people live healthier suggests:
Try to be as efficient and quick-paced as possible, and I guarantee you'll work up a sweat. If you're doing lighter housework that is harder to get your heart rate up (like laundry or organizing), throw in some lunges or push-ups every few minutes to start feeling the burn!
Transform family time into play time
Spending time for family is often the main motivation for balancing work and life commitments, which is why it is the perfect time to get fit and encourage your family members to do so as well. If you can’t tear your kids away from the latest video game console, consider using the technology to your advantage. There is now numerous options for gaming software that allows you to control commands with body movements such as X-Box Kinect, PlayStation Move and Nintendo’s Wii. From traditional guided workouts to dance parties try transforming your workout time into play time with family members.
The bottom line
By taking the process of working out away from willpower you are able to transform tasks into habits that become natural parts of your daily routine.
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