COLUMN: Working your workout into your work day
Finding time for fitness can be a challenge. We all live crazy busy lives, but if being healthy is important to you, you will find a way to work exercise it into your day.
Here are some suggestions that can help. Here’s a few stretches before you get out of bed in the morning - lying on your back, alternate bringing one knee at a time to your chest. Start slowly, hug for a few seconds, release and grab the other knee and do the same thing; start holding a bit longer each time, until you feel the muscles in the low back and butt start to ‘wake up’.
Then sit up on the side of the bed – a few ankle and wrist circles, head tilts side to side; then with arms extended – reach as far forward as you can, cross one over the other, then pull them back as far as it’s comfortable – breathing deeply as you do this, repeat a few time and get as much oxygen in as you can. One last one before you let your feet hit the floor. Sit up tall with your calves against the side of the bed. Slowly rotate your upper body to the left – exhale as you do it and hold for a few seconds. Inhale as you return to your start position, then exhale as you repeat to the right.
While you are waiting on the coffee to brew, try a few stretches at the counter, maybe a few squats or lunges. Make use of every second of your day! Sitting in the car on route to work is the perfect time to work on the abs. Try pulling your belly button in towards your spine, while keeping your ribs tall. Hold it in tight as you exhale as long as you possibly can, keep repeating that until you get to work. Clench your butt at the same time. This can also be done at your desk or standing as well.
Make sure you park as far as you possibly can. It’s amazing how quickly those extra steps add up. If you have a desk job, it’s important to get up periodically and move around. Try to get up every 20 to 30 minutes, if for nothing else just stretch. Leg stretches, overhead reaches, side bends – they all help. Don’t sit and talk on the phone – try standing up and do some knee lifts, or squats, lunges or how about a few side leg raises. The whole idea is to move. If you can inject a bit of oxygen into you often, your whole system will function much better.
Take advantage of your breaks and lunch – take a walk, go for a bike ride – have you considered riding your bike to work? If your workplace has an exercise room use it – go in early or stay and workout before you head home. Put all those few minutes of movement all together and you have done your body well. It will crave more, so give it more…you will want to find the time.
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