If you have an office job, like many Australians do, it’s all too easy to spend too much time in your car, at your desk, and then on the couch at night. This sedentary lifestyle can be tricky to break and before you know it, you’ve gained weight, become stressed out and feel like you’ve lost control over your health. We know it can be hard to fit in exercise when life is hectic, so, even if you do spend most of your time behind a desk, here are just 6 short tips on how you can break away from the sedentary office routine, and incorporate some mild physical activity into the daily grind!
1. Try a Pedometer
You’ll be shocked at how much of a difference this makes. You get competitive with…yourself, honestly. There are so many gadgets and gismos out there for activity tracking, but if you’re not in the mood for a watch that can send you into space, why not just buy a cheap pedometer to put in your pocket and wear during the days. Experts agree the daily target should be approximately 10,000 steps. If you drive to work, sit at your desk all day, drive home and that’s it, then your steps could even be as low as 1,000! So why not park further away from work than normal, take the stairs instead of the lift, and go and visit colleagues on another level of the office rather than just calling or emailing them – you’ll soon rack up your steps and you’ll be surprised how addictive it is to try and reach your daily goal!
2. Bike or walk to work
If you live within a reasonable distance of your work, why not start cycling or walking in? This will be a nice refreshing start to the day and will help to get your muscles moving right from the off. If you live too far away, consider walking or cycling part of the way; perhaps you could walk to the bus stop or train station instead of taking the car.
3. Short and regular breaks
Take 5 minutes every hour simply to have a stretch of your legs and muscles – walk around the office or car park, or go and grab a coffee from down the road. Not only is this important to get you moving, but having a brief break from staring at a screen each hour also increases your productivity as well!
4. Use your lunch break
Don’t just spend your entire 30 or 60 minutes of free time sitting down eating your lunch. Make a point of only eating for half of your allotted time and going outside and walking for the other half. Not all workouts have to be in the gym, and besides, this isn’t the time for a hardcore workout where you’ll need a shower afterwards – just walking at a moderate or slow pace is still more beneficial to your body and mind than sitting for an hour! Plus, the change of scenery is a good way to break up the day.
5. Exercise at your desk
If you have the opportunity to stand up and work, then do so, at least for parts of the day! Standing obviously puts more stress on the body than sitting does, thus, it will help to burn more calories! If you don’t have the option to stand, then try a simple lower body exercise to increase your circulation such as simply pushing up on your toes and rocking back on your heels as you sit. While we’re on that note, try not to cross your legs because this greatly limits circulation to your lower body!
6. Trade coffee catch-ups for walking and talking
Instead of meeting up with friends for coffee, brunch, dinner, cocktails – whatever you like to do – why not meet for a walk instead? This still gives you ample time to chat and catch up, but also helps you not to consume meals or drinks that let’s face it, aren’t that healthy. And it also helps to save your bank account!
These 6 tips are not lifestyle-changing tips, in fact, you barely even have to disrupt your daily routine for most of them! Staying active doesn’t have to be working out for hours in a gym, no, but it is important to keep yourself moving from day to day, and hopefully now you’ll see just how straight forward that can be!
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