Making Exercise Work

How getting active at the workplace might make all the difference in your day as you focus on losing weight

Making Exercise WorkThere are only 24 hours in a day. For most people, at least one-third of that time is spent sleeping, and another third (if not a bit more) is spent working. The remaining time is split between commuting to and from the office, eating, running errands and sneaking in as much time with the people we love as is humanly possible. For those who really work at managing their time the right way, exercise is incorporated into this 24 hour cycle, 30 minutes at a time.

Waking up 30 minutes early to go for a jog or hitting the gym on the way home from work are both great habits to adapt—especially if your goal is to lose weight. But stop and think about the time commitment here. Even if you are spending a full 30 minutes working out every day, there is a huge chance that the remaining 23.5 hours in your day are spent in a sedentary position—sitting at the office, driving, sleeping, or resting. During your medical weight loss program, you want to start incorporating physical activity into your daily routine as much as possible, and this might mean making some changes to your daily routine.

The Workplace Conundrum

A sedentary lifestyle is the norm throughout the United States—this is not unique to Newtown or Pennsylvania. Approximately 80 percent of the US workforce are employed at desk jobs. This means that most US workers spend the majority of their time stuck to a desk, and often to a computer. This provides very little opportunity for getting up and stretching your legs, unless you make a point of it.

Becoming active at work might actually be easier than you think. You don’t need to completely rethink your career in an effort to get more steps in throughout the workday. By making a few simple changes to your daily routine throughout the workweek you might find that you can increase your activity level substantially, and in doing so support your weight loss goals.

Here are a few tips to help you become more active at work:

  • Make a point of standing up for at least one minute every half an hour. Stretch your legs and arms before sitting back down.
  • Once an hour, take a brief walk across your office. You can take this chance to fill up your water glass, go to the bathroom, or check in with a co-worker.
  • Try standing at your desk instead of sitting. Use a prop to raise your computer screen to make this more accessible.
  • Take lunch-time walking breaks with your co-workers to get in a brief midday workout.

You can also try to bring in some exercise equipment to sneak in a bit more exercise. Try keeping some hand weights under your desk, or sitting on an exercise ball instead of in your desk chair. If your office is looking to make a few upgrades, suggest a treadmill desk that you and your co-workers can take shifts on.  Getting more active in the middle of the day is a great way to support your health and wellness goals as you focus on losing weight.

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