Health and Fitness | Six Simple Ways to Improve Fitness at Work
By Rebecca Parsons
Being a full-time ocean athlete is the dream. Endless days of training on the water, healthy eating, competing with friends and traveling the globe chasing pumping surf. Who wouldn’t want to do it? Unfortunately, the dream is only a reality for a select few. The rest of us have to find another ways to support our paddling habit. And unfortunately for many of us, that means a 9-to-5 office job. While sitting in an office all day may seem detrimental to your training routine, it doesn’t have to be. We’ve rounded up six simple ways to help you stay fit while on the job.
Eat a hardy breakfast. You’ve heard it before: “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” That statement holds a lot of truth. Your metabolism slows tremendously while you’re sleeping, but eating in the early hours of the day will help kick-start your metabolism. Additionally, skipping breakfast causes you to crave fatty foods come lunchtime. So do yourself a solid and eat some breakfast, even if you’re short for time.
Sit on a medicine ball. Exchange your office chair for a medicine ball. Sitting on a medicine ball can help improve your stability and balance due to the fact that your core is constantly engaged. Stronger ab muscles will help improve your posture, as well as prevent lower back pain.
Stand up. Stand as often as possible. It’s important to get out of your seat at least once every hour. Set an hourly alarm on your phone as a reminder to get up, stretch, and take a short stroll around the office. Stand while taking phone calls and try to meet with coworkers over a walk when possible. Even better: opt for a standing desk if it’s an option.
Desk isometrics. While you may not be able to spend your day working out on the water, you can sneak in some mini workouts at your desk. Get creative and try doing chair push-ups, draw the alphabet with your foot, tighten your abs for a minute at a time, do leg lifts from your chair, or periodically tighten your glutes for five to ten seconds. It might not seem like much, but if you repeat these things multiple times throughout the day you’ll be surprised how much they add up
Lunch wisely. Most office jobs offer a hour-long lunch break. In lieu of hitting a nearby fast food joint with colleagues, pack a healthy lunch and use the time to take a walk, practice yoga, or do a short core workout.
Commute consciously. For many, commuting is a drag. But it also serves as an opportunity to sneak in an easy workout. If you live close enough, bike, skate or run to work. If you live a little farther, make it a once a week event. But if motor transport is the only realistic option, be sure and park on the outskirts of the parking lot and take the stairs to your office. Every little bit counts! –RP