Have you ever noticed how exhausted you feel after a long day of work? Whether you stand all day or work at a desk, work can be stressful and tiring, leaving you with little energy to get exercise. If you’re like many other desk workers, you feel even more exhausted after spending eight hours or more sitting at a desk. The reason why you might feel tired after work is because sitting can be downright exhausting while causing stress on your body.
Unfortunately, even if you don’t sit all day, you might have little time for working out. You may already wake up before the sun comes up to get your family ready for the day, bathe, and get ready for work before spending at least eight hours at work and coming home to do more chores like cleaning and cooking dinner before going to bed. Getting enough exercise during the workweek can be daunting, but it is possible, and it may even make you feel more awake throughout the day. Here are a few tips for working out during the workday.
Make a Schedule
Making a schedule can help you find times throughout the day you can dedicate to working out, even if it’s just a few minutes during your lunch break. No matter how you choose to work out, what’s important is finding time to actually do it. So before you dedicate yourself to a single workout, check out your schedule. You can write down all your daily activities and when you normally do them to determine if there’s any way to fit in just a few minutes of exercise a week.
A good thing about exercise is that you don’t have to do it all in one session. Instead, you can break your exercise routine up throughout the day. For example, you can stretch during your lunch break and then hit the gym on your way home from school, or you can go for a run on your lunch break and stretch before bed. There’s no limit to what you can do once you actually find the time to do it.
Walk Instead of Driving
Depending on how far away you live from work, the grocery store, or any other place you go throughout the workweek, you can choose to get there in a healthier way, like walking instead of driving. For example, if the grocery store is less than a mile away, consider walking there multiple times a week instead of driving there on a Sunday. The less food you carry back, the more walking you’ll have to do throughout the week. Of course, this isn’t always possible, depending on how far away your store is. However, if you have to run errands that are nearby, consider walking or riding your bike instead. There are also apps that help find a buddy for you to walk with.
Stretch at Your Desk
While you may look silly doing it, stretching at your desk can provide you with a little bit of an energy boost throughout the day while also providing your body and muscles with much-needed exercise and a break from sitting slumped over your desk. Sitting for more than a few hours at a time can cause discomfort, aches, and pains and even lead to long-term health problems. Aim to take a break from work every hour for five minutes to stretch at your desk to relieve your body from all that sitting.
Standing burns more calories than sitting, but it can also make you fidget more, which is a type of exercise. Since standing promotes movement, you’re more likely to pace around the office or your home the more you stand. It will also help you feel more energized by putting your spine in an upright position. Of course, there are some tasks you have to do while sitting because you can get more focused when you sit but aim to stand for at least a few hours every day to help you burn more calories.
If you want to maximize your calorie burn while standing, consider incorporating some exercise or other movements throughout the day. Instead of sitting down and planning your day in the morning, do it while you’re standing or pacing around to burn more calories and increase your energy.
Speaking of pacing, walking around the office or your home is another great way to get some much-needed exercise throughout the workday. Even though you won’t be burning as many calories as you would if you went for a run, you could still burn more calories by pacing around the room for any chance you get. Also, any time you pick up your cell phone at work, consider standing up and walking around as you talk instead of sitting in a stationary and sedentary position.
Use Your Lunch Break
Whether you have a half-hour or full-hour lunch break, you can use some of your break time to get more movement in your day. If you have a full hour, consider spending 15 minutes eating a meal you brought from home before going for a walk for the rest of your break. If you have enough time, you can even visit the gym to hop on the treadmill for a half hour, giving you enough time to shower and make it back to work.
Unfortunately, if you have a shorter lunch break, your options for getting exercise may be limited. Instead, you can consider eating your lunch throughout the day and using your lunch break to go for a half-hour walk or run.
Have More Active Meetings
Depending on your line of work, you can also make meetings more active by meeting with clients in a more active setting. For example, you can treat them to a round of golf to discuss important business or go on walking meetings.
Any time you have to have a meeting with someone in person, ask if they’d like to have a walking meeting. These meetings can help you discuss all the important work stuff while allowing you and your coworker or boss to get some exercise throughout the day. Of course, walking meetings aren’t ideal for every situation. Still, you can start finding ways to incorporate them into your work life by talking to coworkers and your boss about how important it is to move throughout the day.
Getting exercise throughout the work week is crucial for your physical and mental health. If you’re not taking care of your body, it can be difficult to take care of your work. Therefore, you must start finding time to work out, no matter your time constraints.
Julia Olivas graduated from San Francisco State University with her B.A. in Communication Studies. She is a freelance who loves sharing her passion for digital marketing and content creation. Outside of writing, she loves cooking, reading, painting, and her pup Ruby.