How do you exercise while working? Even while sitting at a computer?
And, what are some simple ways to do exercises at work?
Much of our time in our adult lives are spent in the workforce, for most of us that time is spent sitting. A sedentary lifestyle is dangerous, with one in four Americans sitting for more than eight hours a day.
It is not uncommon to work a job that requires 30, 40, or even more than 50 hours per week. With such a large portion of our schedule dedicated to working (and likely sitting), it is important to use our remaining time wisely.
In situations where there is little extra time to be found, we often put spending on self-care on the back burner. Often, one of the first things to be cut is exercise. The time spent on keeping your body healthy can seem like it would be better spent on other things.
Putting off exercise can sound like a good way to give yourself more time to complete household chores, do work, or fulfill other commitments, but it is not a good long-term solution. Whether you are trying to lose weight or get lower term life insurance, exercise plays an important role in your life.
It can be daunting to try balancing exercise and work, but it is absolutely possible. Here are five ideas to help you find time for fitness and keep your career on track. There are ways to exercise while working!
5 Simple Ways To Do Exercise While Working
#1. Schedule Workouts Like Other Appointments
One of the biggest roadblocks to workout consistency is trying to find time in your day. My advice is to schedule time rather than find it. Those may sound like conflicting ideas, but there is a difference.
Instead of trying to squeeze in a quick workout between meetings or appointments, put your exercise time in your daily agenda and schedule your other items around it whenever possible. This way, you begin to look at your workout as a part of your day rather than an unnecessary use of time.
In the health and wellness industry, we often preach that fitness is a lifestyle rather than a short-term commitment. To that point, if you look at your workout as something that will only be completed if you have time, you are viewing it as a non-essential activity in your day, and it will be less likely to get done.
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The truth is that your health should have equal or greater priority to your job. This can be hard to implement, but your future self will thank you. Your workouts are as important as your meetings because your wellness is as important as your career.
Scheduling your workouts shows that you are making them a priority, and it will help you stick to your schedule. In fact, by giving your exercise a specific time frame, you may even create greater efficiency in your day, which can lead to greater productivity at work.
Is it a good idea to work out before work?
Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer to this question. It can certainly be beneficial to start your day with a workout so that it is out of the way and you can fully focus on both your workout and the rest of your day. However, this doesn’t work for everyone.
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It is better to find the time of day that will consistently work for you. Try to find the sweet spot of your day when your energy levels are the best and you can step away from job duties without feeling guilt or obligation to get back.
#2. Set Your Goal and Plan Accordingly
Fitting exercise into your workday becomes easier when you focus on the reason you wanted to start exercising in the first place. It can help keep your motivation to reach your fitness goal and it can also help you decide how often to work out and what type of exercises to perform.
For example, if your goal is to work on posture because you’ve been having pain, you will follow a different routine than if you want to lose weight. You might even be able to find exercises to do at work while sitting that will help you reach your goal.
On the other hand, if your goal involves a more intensive set of exercises, you know that you’ll have to dedicate more time outside of work. Exercises for office workers can be especially difficult because of the need to maintain a certain appearance, so knowing the goal and how they plan to achieve it can help them know how to schedule it into their day.
Whatever your goal is, it is always helpful to have a plan. It is difficult to reach your destination if you don’t know how to get there. Trying to exercise without a plan makes it easier to want to give up or allow other items to take precedence over your workout.
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What exercises can I do while sitting at my desk?
Exercising at your desk can be challenging in regard to some goals because of a lack of equipment or just not wanting to break a sweat. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t find beneficial exercises that are a little less intense. Focusing on posture and activation is a good start.
Desk exercises at work can be as simple as tightening your abs, holding them for a period of time, and releasing them. The same can be done with your glutes. These exercises won’t necessarily help with weight loss or endurance, but they can teach your muscles how to activate properly, and this can help you in other ways.
If you do want to use a piece of equipment at your desk, a resistance band is a great place to start. You can do basic biceps curls or triceps extensions, but my favorite is pull-apart.
Resistance band pull-apart helps strengthen your rear deltoids and rhomboids. These muscles are responsible for posture in your upper body. This is especially important for employees who tend to hunch over during the day, such as those who work at a desk.
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#3. Start Slowly and Simply
New Year’s fitness resolutions often start with the best intentions, but the commitment fizzles out after a short period of time. Why is this? One of the main reasons is because people try to make all of their health changes all at once, and it becomes overwhelming.
The same principle applies when it comes to starting an exercise program while you are a working professional. If you are just starting to exercise, then a big goal like working out every day for at least an hour will soon feel like too much to handle.
Instead, it is more effective to ease your way into a routine. Once you have identified your workout goal, try planning one or two small steps or actions to put into your schedule that will help you toward your goal. As you get used to these couple of things being in your routine, it will be easier to add others.
Taking your goal slowly will also help give you confidence because accomplishing one or two small things is easier than tackling everything all at once. As you see you have the ability to take positive steps toward your goal, you will have the confidence and motivation to keep moving forward.
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#4. Find Someone to Hold You Accountable
When you set a fitness goal, you are typically the person who benefits most from achieving it. On the other side of the coin, you are the one who feels the letdown if you don’t reach your goal. For some people, the intrinsic motivation to reach a goal for themselves isn’t there and they need extra help.
If you are one of these people, consider finding someone to help hold you accountable. Especially amid busy schedules, letting yourself down might not always seem like a big sacrifice if it allows you to get something else done. This is where an accountability partner can help.
The person who holds you accountable can be either a workout partner or simply a friend. The point of the role is to understand your goal, talk with you about your progress, and help you solve problems as they arise.
Sometimes, just knowing that another person is aware of your goal and will be checking on you can be enough to keep you motivated to move forward. It is important, however, to understand that this person is there for support. You shouldn’t feel guilty that you have to check in with them if you missed a workout or are struggling.
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#5. Hire a Trainer
When all else fails, or if you want to maximize your opportunity from the start, hiring a personal trainer can be a great move to help you start mingling exercise with your work schedule. The great thing about a trainer is that they can help you with each of the previous four tips I have mentioned.
Personal training appointments can help you maximize the time available in your schedule. You can have confidence knowing that your workout will be efficient and effective under the supervision of a professional. They do the planning for you so you don’t have to wonder what to do.
A trainer can also help you find your goal and set small, achievable steps to get there. They can check in with you to see your progress, which is essentially the function of a person you would tab as your accountability partner.
Even if you are unable to hire a trainer for multiple sessions per week, they can still help you come up with the things you should do in between sessions. They can give you a list of postural exercises while sitting at your computer or make suggestions on lunch break sweat sessions.
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Working Your Workouts into the Workday
Our lives can become very busy with family, household chores, and social obligations. When you add in a busy work schedule, finding time to exercise can feel almost impossible. With the five tips listed above, however, you can find a way to stay healthy while staying on schedule.
Make a point to schedule your workouts like you do with any other appointment and make a plan in advance. Focus on accomplishing a few small things to help you toward your goal rather than tackling everything at once. This will help keep you on track without losing motivation.
Sharing your goal with another person is also a great way to stay on track. Having a support system is crucial for making progress, and it is also a positive thing to have someone who holds you accountable.
At the end of the day, hiring a trainer can be a great way to combine everything into one package. Time-efficient workouts, goal setting, planning, and accountability are all major benefits of having a trainer.
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Get Your Printable Habit Trackers
Ready to start working out while working and sitting? Sign up below to get your printable habit tracker templates, with spreads for 30 and 31 days. Choose small and simple exercises you can do every day, then make it stick with these trackers.
You should use whatever method works for you.
Always remember that your health is as important or more important than your work, so treat your workouts as such. In no time, you’ll find the balance between your career and lifelong wellness.Working and sitting at a computer all day? Looking for desk exercises? Click here for 5 easy ways to start exercising while working or even sitting. #FitnessGoals #FitnessJourney #StayHealthy #WorkLifeBalance Click To Tweet
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More About Guest Contributor
Dan Chojnacki is a certified personal trainer who writes and researches for the insurance comparison site, InsuranceProviders.com. He currently works in Green Bay, WI. His favorite forms of exercise include cycling, running, swimming, and playing tennis.
Last Updated on March 30, 2021