10 Ways to Add Exercise to Your Workday
With a little creativity, it's possible to add exercise to your workday without ever leaving the office.
"Whether you're the company president or a hard-working employee, a little creativity and dedication to your health can make it possible to incorporate fitness into busy days with office exercise," says fitness specialist Samantha Rowland at the Fit Woman website.
Exercise at work also improves productivity, according to a Swedish study reported in ScienceDaily.
Here are 10 ways to add fitness to your workday.
1. Use the stairs. This may seem like an obvious choice (unless you are on the 15th floor), but sometimes we don't think of it because the elevator is fast and convenient. "Researchers found that for sedentary people, even a few minutes of daily stair climbing -- a vigorous but easily accessible form of exercise -- can improve cardiovascular health," according to the American Council on Exercise.
2. Walk during lunch. Use a portion of your lunch break to take a walk. Walk around the building, the parking lot, the long driveway or the pond. Remember to bring walking shoes.
3. Use the on-site gym. Bringing fitness to the workplace is "as simple as dispatching a yoga teacher to an empty conference room to fully staffing corporate gyms," says Chrys Shimizu, a senior staffing manager at Office Workouts in Agoura, Calif. "Employees appreciate the convenience of exercising at work and the fact that their companies offer the benefit."
4. Exercise in an empty conference room. If your office does not have a fitness facility, consider exercising in an empty office or conference room. Take a few minutes to do crunches, jumping jacks, marching in place, stretches or toe-touching. Clear this idea with a supervisor and make sure no one else is scheduled for the room at the same time.
5. Wear weights. If the nature of your work permits it, wear weights on your wrists and ankles. The added weight will force your muscles to work harder as you go about your daily activities.
6. Sit on a fitness ball. The Mayo Clinic offers this suggestion: "Consider trading your desk chair for a firmly inflated fitness or stability ball.... You'll improve your balance and tone your core muscles while sitting at your desk. You can even use the fitness ball for wall squats or other workplace exercises during the day."
7. Try chair exercises. Your office chair can be used for bending and stretching exercises. Hold onto the back of the chair while you stretch your legs out in front of you and then scissor swish them up and down. Hold your legs together and raise them up as high as you can and hold that position for 30 seconds to strengthen stomach muscles.
8. Find reasons to walk around. Get up and move. Use the printer on the next floor; walk to your colleague instead of sending an email; take the stairs to the cafeteria or hand-deliver letters to the mailroom.
9. Leave your car at home. If you live nearby, consider walking or biking to work.
10. Use a treadmill desk. Treaddesk (shown, top) is one company that offers a treadmill with a desk positioned on top. The user walks along at one to two miles per hour and can simultaneously write, type on a computer or use the phone.
Read more: 40 (Mostly) Free Ways to Stay Fit