Federal guidelines recommend that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic physical activity each week, plus strength training. But that’s a tall order when you’re running a business that consumes 50 or more hours of your week.
Despite the challenges, exercise shouldn’t be sidelined. The long-term benefits — such as reducing the incidence of heart disease and diabetes — are essential to maintaining a healthy and satisfying life.
Here are five strategies for squeezing more physical activity into your workday:
Exercise in the morning
If you’re not a natural early riser, this may be easier said than done. But research shows that people who exercise first thing in the morning typically get more physical activity than those who try fitting it in later in the day. It makes sense: You are less likely to lose motivation if you work out before the workday sets in.
Hold “walking meetings”
Chances are, you spend a lot of time sitting during the day because you’re talking on the phone or meeting with a client or employee. Turn those sedentary tasks into active ones by suggesting that you walk instead of sit. Of course, not every meeting or phone conversation is conducive to walking, but certain ones, such as informal “check-ins” on projects, very well may be. (Research also shows that walking meetings have other benefits, such as increasing employee engagement, according to Harvard Business Review.)
Force fitness into your routine
People do a lot of things instinctively that reduce their physical activity — like taking the elevator instead of the stairs, parking as close as possible to their destinations, and driving rather than walking or biking. Committing yourself to taking stairs, parking farther away and walking and biking whenever feasible can add a significant amount of physical activity to your day. Incorporate more physical activity by transforming your work space into an active one. Select a height-adjustable standing desk or a desk riser that allows you the option to stand upright verses sitting all day. Use a ball chair or active stool to stabilize and help strengthen your core.
Get a fitness tracker — and use it effectively
Smart fitness bands are designed to motivate you to move. You can set personalized daily step goals, create alerts that prompt you to take a short walk every so often, and jump into some friendly competition with others.
Have a workout partner
Whether a significant other, a friend or a neighbor, having a workout partner is a big motivation. One study by the Department of Kinesiology at Indiana University found that spouses who joined a health club and worked out together had only a 6 percent “dropout” rate — compared to a 43 percent dropout rate among married individuals who did not work out with their spouse. But no matter who the partner, the important thing is to find someone who is similarly motivated to work out and do the same amount of exercise as you. If you can't find that someone, another study by Stanford University researchers found that simply getting a regular phone call from someone who inquires about your exercise routine can greatly boost how much you work out.
Fitting exercise into your workday isn’t rocket science. With the right motivation and strategies, you can energize your workout routine without taking from the time you're spending growing your business.
About the Author
Kelly Spors is a freelance writer and editor based in Minneapolis. She previously worked as a staff reporter for The Wall Street Journal, covering small business and entrepreneurship.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and neither the author nor Office Depot, Inc. warrant the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
Note: The contents of this article are for information purposes only. The information does not constitute a medical consultation and cannot replace medical advice. Any information should never be used as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other health care provider. Before you start working out, you should get a medical checkup or otherwise be fit for this type of activity. It is important that you warm up and stretch before each workout, and that you use common sense while exercising: do not go over the top when exercising! If you experience any pain, feel weak, dizzy or exhausted or become short of breath, immediately stop your workout. There are many possible causes for physical discomfort. If you are experiencing persistent symptoms or symptoms that are severe enough to interfere with your job or personal activities, consider seeking medical assistance.
/account/v2/editBillingDisplay,/orderhistory/subsManager,/orderhistory/submitReturn,/account/accountSummaryDisplay,/account/loginAccountDisplay,/account/myfiles,/csl/listAllhttps://request.eprotect.vantivcnp.com/eProtect/js/payframe-client3.min.js?d=20200812 Join Now