It is the new year, which often means setting health goals and seeking new ways to improve your daily routine. Many people implement a new exercise regimen that encourages them to hit the gym a few times a week, or fit in workouts at home. Having a regular exercise routine that raises your heart rate and challenges your muscles is important, but it is also key to think about your daily movement outside of the gym. After all, the majority of your time is spent there, not in the squat rack or on a yoga mat.
Let’s do a little math to understand the implications of your daily movement versus time spent in the gym. Let’s say you have committed to working out 5 days a week for an hour (5 hours/week) and you get 8 hours of sleep a night, leaving you with 16 waking hours in the day (112 hours/week). That means you are spending less than 5% of your time breaking a sweat. So where does that leave you the other 95% of the time?
The goal here is not to downplay that 5% of the time, which is critical for your health as well, but to think about optimizing the other 95%. Many people adopt the mentality of crushing it in the gym, but then use that as an excuse to make poor food choices, always take the elevator and lay on the couch after work. That 95% can play a massive role in whether you achieve your goals or not.
Taking this a step further, many of you spend a fair portion of your week at work. A little more math here: a 40 hour work week is about 35% of your 112 waking hours, which is more than a third of your time. And I know there are plenty of you out there who are working more than 40 hours 😉 So let’s find some ways to optimize your health while at work, to ultimately help you achieve your bigger health goals!
Here are a few things to try in your work environment to amp up your movement. Remember, it all adds up!
- Take a moment mid-morning and mid-afternoon to stretch – this can be as simple as rolling your shoulders and neck a few times.
- Walk to the farthest bathroom – you’ll get more steps in and it never hurts to get a quick mental refresher from your work.
- Sit on a stability ball rather than a chair – your core muscles will be working right along with you 🙂
- Suggest a walking meeting – talking about something with a coworker that doesn’t require computers? Take a stroll around your building or outside while you meet. It may even help to get the creative juices flowing!
- Take a walking conference call – no one will know if you are glued to your desk chair or getting your steps in.
- Drink more water – this leads to better hydration levels, which leads to more frequent bathroom visits, which leads to getting more steps in. So many wins!
- Take the stairs – stuck in the groove of taking the elevator? Amp up your health and your glutes (aka your booty) by taking the stairs.
Try implementing two of these tips this week at work. Just watch, you could be the catalyst for a healthier workplace!