How to Turn Your Workday into a Workout
Written By: Kayla Baron, ATC
Use your job to improve your health with these 3 Simple Practices I’d bet that unless you’re a personal trainer, professional athlete, or something similar, you’re not utilizing your workday to your health’s advantage. If anything, you probably exercise to counterbalance the effects of your job! Sedentary jobs are on the rise 1 and inactivity is showing to be more harmful than ever.2 But we have good news for you fresh off the InSite Health Press! There is a way to get your heart rate up and enjoy the benefits of a workout from home or the office without cutting into your time or budget. Try implementing one, or all three, of these simple practices to improve your health today!
Retrain your brain: We all have habits or routines that we do every day. Pair making the daily 8am pot of coffee with a sneaky set of lunges. Commit to calf raises instead of acting like a zombie waiting for the microwave. Are you in the habit of checking Facebook, or other social media platforms while eating lunch at your desk? Train your brain to dump a lazy habit by rewarding physical activity instead! Allow yourself a small sweet treat for lunches that you spend outside stretching on the lawn.
Microbreaks: Incorporate small walks or stretch sessions into your task to break up the day. Stand up and take a walk around the area every thirty minutes. Walking bumps the heart rate, maintains and improves bone and joint health, and allows the mind to refocus. Pick a new muscle group to stretch every hour, making sure to hold each stretch for 20-30 seconds to achieve real flexibility benefits. Want to take it up a notch? Treat your body to burpees, crunches or pushups throughout the day. The easiest way to remember microbreaks is to practice the 20/20 rule – for every 20 minutes of work, you owe your body a 20 second break. That means that for one hour of work, your body needs at least a full minute of stretching or break activity. Set an alarm in your phone to go off every 20 minutes and put your phone out of reach if you need the extra reminder and motivation to get moving.
Walk the walk: Stairs are great for working our large muscle groups, especially the hip muscles. Once you begin to do this regularly, your cardiovascular endurance will increase and taking the stairs will be just as quick and convenient as the elevator. Enjoy the bonus quiet time, too! Don’t have stairs at your home or office? Find another convenience-creating shortcut to remove. Consider moving the microwave or coffee pot to a room further away or using the bathroom on the other end of the building. Once you decide to implement some of, or all, the tips above, set yourself up for success with an accountability partner or partners. Changes in behavior are more likely to be effective if you attempt them with a buddy. Feel free to wag your fingers at each other when rules are broken, but don’t forget to encourage and reward each other when you succeed!
Industrial Sports Medicine Professional
Kayla is an Industrial Sports Medicine Professional for InSite Health. She is a certified and licensed Athletic Trainer that graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Athletic Training from Northern Illinois University. She joined the Industrial Sports Medicine field after spending two years as an Outreach Athletic Trainer. Kayla is passionate about making a difference in the lives of our working athletes.