Exercise while you Work

images-1Do you ever have a day that there is NO possible way you are fitting in a workout? No matter how hard I try, on some days it just happens. I work in the medical field and I talk to nurses and doctors daily.  I would easily say that over half of the people I talk to daily are women and also mothers. They work so hard and are busy with their clinics. Depending on the specialty they work in, a lot of the time they are getting to work before 8:00 am and oftentimes staying late after 5:00 pm.  And like women in any career, a lot are also managing and coordinating their families at home. On top of that, many are single moms or have husbands who also have a demanding work schedule.  I honestly don’t know how many of us ever find the time to even go to the restroom, much less fit in our workouts.  I am amazed and inspired daily by these moms who work so hard to provide a great life for their families and rarely ever find much time for themselves.

 Here is one example of a busy mom, which I’m sure many of you can relate to.  I was in a breakfast at an office the other morning and was talking to the nurse about the importance of bone health, of course.  Then we ended up discussing fitness goals for the summer and she was asking my advice on what she could do on days that she didn’t have time to fit a workout in. In my typical peppy voice I replied, “What do you mean you can’t fit your workout in?  You can always find time fit in a workout.”  She kind of glared at me and then proceeded to tell me her day up until that point, which was only 8:30 am. She is a single mom with two kids. That day she had already made all the lunches, coordinated after school care, taken her 15 year old to swim practice at 5:30 am (club swimming) and then had to come back home to help get her middle schooler ready.  Then she had to go back to pick up her kid from swim practice and then take both of kids to different schools.  That was just her morning schedule.  Her night after work consisted of more carpooling to kid activities, making dinner, helping her kids with homework until about 10:30 pm and then finally a second to breathe.  I’m sure that second to breathe was then only momentary before she had to prepare to wake up at 4:30am the following morning and do it all again. Whew! I was exhausted just listening to her.  Not once did she complain about her busy day or about being a single mom. This is just how her life is and she glows just talking about her love for her children. Her days might not always be quite this busy. However, regardless of her schedule, we discussed some ways that she could make some small changes in her daily routine.

Here are some healthy exercises that you can fit into your workday to burn more calories and help keep your body engaged:

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1.  Walk the block.  Even if you’re on your feet all day, try to take a couple 10 minute walks outside to help get the blood flowing.  Studies show that the average person can burn about 50 calories in just one brisk 10-minute walk (3.5 mph/17-minute mile).  And if you’re a working girl who likes to wear heels to work, pack a pair of flats in your bag to work so you can walk comfortably.

 2.  Do some squats- Shut your office door and do 10-15 squats multiple times a day. Or every time you walk into a stockroom, file room, bathroom stall etc. do 10 squats before you walk out.  They can lift you, tone you, strengthen you and even help shrink your mid-section.  Just think how many squats you could fit into your day if you did them every time you walked into one of these places?

3.  Exercise at your desk- According to WebMD, one of the worst things you can do for your body is sitting still. It is proven to be hard on your bones, muscles and joints. If you have to sit at your desk, do a few simple stretches to break up the day a bit.  Try setting an alarm mid-morning and then again in mid-afternoon, to help alert you that it’s time to do a desk stretch. Also, try to switch out your office chair for an exercise ball.  This will help strengthen your core and can improve circulation.

 4.    Take the stairs– Whether you are going out for an errand or you are running down for a quick bite to eat, forget the elevator. Take the stairs down and up whenever possible. You might be surprised to see how it tones your legs.

5.    Get to Lunging- You can incorporate 10-20 walking lunges every time you take your walk around the block or find an empty hallway either before work or during lunch and get to stepping. Go to Shape.com to watch a how-to for performing a lunge correctly to avoid injury.

6.    Add wall Push-ups.  Traditional push-ups aren’t typically the best option at work.  Who really wants to place their hands on an office or hospital floor? However, a wall push-up can be a great alternative. Do them until you feel a burn and then push yourself to do 5-10 more.

Even though these exercises might not seem like much, even a little exercise is better than nothing.  If you stay consistent with these small changes, you will notice a difference. The American Heart Association says that even 10-15 minutes of daily exercise can prove beneficial for your overall health. Remember that 15 minutes of exercise is only 1% of your day.

Have a great weekend and as always love yourself to a healthy lifestyle.

Loren Silas

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One Comment to “Exercise while you Work”

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