Health

Quick, easy ways to sneak exercise into your work day

Don't let work be an excuse for your sedentary lifestyle. Use these tips to get some exercise during office hours

A workout is not exactly what most of us look forward to at the end of a long day at work.

Unfortunately, weight gain is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to health issues stemming from an inactive lifestyle, and a lack of exercise may lead to more serious problems like high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases.

So before you fall into a downward spiral towards a sedentary lifestyle, try these quick and easy ways to sneak in some exercise during office hours.

STAND WHILE WORKING AT YOUR DESK

Standing up intermittently while you work can help you be more productive and keep you in shape at the same time.

A study published in the Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews found that physical inactivity reduces the production of lipoprotein lipase, an enzyme that breaks down fat. So stand up occasionally to keep the muffin top at bay. Your back needs a good stretch too.

GO FOR THE STAIRS

Go up and down the stairs in your office building. The resistance from stair climbing will work your quads, glutes, calves and hamstrings. If your office is on a high level, start slow and challenge yourself each day till you manage to get to your office without the elevator. That will burn some serious calories every day.

MAXIMISE YOUR LUNCH BREAK

Your lunch break is a great time to sneak in a quick workout. If your office has a gym, a short, high-intensity run on the treadmill will do the trick. Alternatively, pick a farther lunch venue and walk there.

If you need that extra push, sign up for group exercise classes. Working out alongside others will motivate you to achieve your fitness goals.

BRISK WALK DURING YOUR ERRANDS

Whether you are headed to the toilet or another part of the office to run some errands, try brisk walking instead of strolling.

You will burn more calories simply by picking up your speed. For instance, walking at 8kmh will burn more than thrice the calories compared to walking at 4kmh (calculated based on a 55kg person).

WORK OUT WITH A COLLEAGUE

You are probably not the only one around the office who is trying to move towards a healthier lifestyle. Find like-minded colleagues and plan for lunch or post-office workouts together. It will be so much more enjoyable sweating it out with someone.

TURN YOUR COMMUTE INTO A WORKOUT

If you live close enough to work, get your daily dose of exercise by walking or biking to work. You can also alight a stop earlier or later so you cover more distance.

Quick, easy ways to sneak exercise into your work day

Don't underestimate these additional minutes you are clocking in, as they can really add up. Walking more will increase the chances of your body tapping on stored fat and whittle down your waistline over time.

This article first appeared in Shape (www.shape.com.sg)

MEDICAL & HEALTH