Monday, October 17, 2011

How to sneak exercise into your work day

I'm trying to psyche myself into finding ways to exercise more during the day.

  1. Exercising on the sly can make you feel guilty. Adopt the mindset that you are entitled to exercise. Make entitlement work for you. Often I tend to think I have to be at my desk for 8 hours straight or I won't get things done. Wrong. A quick break wakes me up so that I am more effective, get more done.
  2. Be on the lookout for low-hanging fruit on the exercise tree, such as drinking so much tea that you have to walk to the bathroom frequently. It doesn't matter what gets you up and moving -- anything that gets you up and away from the desk is a good thing.
  3. Get a job in a place where moving is built into the routine. Seriously, it's a quarter-mile walk at this place just to get a cup of coffee in the morning. I figure that will add up.
  4. Sneak in a walk. According to a map, if I walk the hallways, following the perimeter of the building on the inside, the distance is about 3/4 of a mile. If I happen to take such a walk while carrying a notepad or folder, then it will look like I'm on my way to a meeting or something, right? And therefore it really wouldn't look like I was doing something frivolous like getting exercise during the work day.

None of these are going to get the heart beating fast enough to count as cardio exercise, but I do believe they will help. There have been enough studies to convince me that even incidental exercise, just keeping moving through the day, helps to keep people fit.

I wish that this work place had stairs. That was the perfect way to get the heart rate up. As it is, I will have to plan some cardio in the day as well. Meager as it sounds, I'm going to plan for the following this week:
  • 15 measly minutes on the elliptical in the morning
  • 2 walks (1/2 mile) to and from the train, morning and evening
  • 2 walks (3/4 mile) each at morning and afternoon breaks
  • 1 walk (2 miles) at lunch

4 miles of easy walking and 15 minutes of ellipticalling. I'll try that for the week and see how it goes.

Done! Well, technically it's a semi-fail, since I only managed 2.4 miles of walking. But to make up for it, I did 30 minutes on the elliptical. I told myself that I only had to do 15 minutes on the elliptical. Then once I started, I was able to spin it out to 30. To my mind, that qualifies the star.

Site du jour: Cranky Fitness has some good ideas on how to sneak exercise into your day. I might be biased, since the inestimable Crabby McSlacker let me post there sometimes, but I think it's a great site.

Cartoon courtesy of brainpop_uk.


messymimi said...

Good way to fit in exercise, and you can ramp it up as you get into a routine at work.

Shelley said...

I used to hand deliver phone messages, instead of calling that person to let them know who had called. You are right, it's the little things that keep us moving, and true, it's not cardio, but it IS burning calories. I like the way you have some automatic exercise built in with the train walks.

Amy said...

are you allowed to have one of those balance ball chairs? if I could find one huge enough to use at a teller station i totally would.

EcoCatLady said...

Totally true. I used to have an office on the 3rd floor (well... actually the 2.5th floor) in a building that had no elevator. I always found excuses to run up and down the stairs doing whatever. I figure I probably climbed at least 30-40 flights of stairs per day. Plus, whenever I needed to chat with a co-worker, I always got up and stuck my head in their office. I found that people really appreciated the "personal touch" and I got to get up out of my chair!

Crayon said...

"Make entitlement work for you." Can I make that my mantra? And 4 miles of walking doesn't sound meager to me!

Anonymous said...

Not even a tiny smidge of a fail! You had goals and you mostly met them. Gold star.
Also, this is fabulously creative.
Oh man, I want a ball chair.

Spilling Ink said...

I love these points especially no.1, it really works well with my mind. I could totally work with that one.