Fitness

How to fit exercise into your workday

How to fit exercise into your workday

Image courtesy of WalkTop/Fitneff Author: Canadian Living Credits: Image courtesy of WalkTop/Fitneff

Fitness

How to fit exercise into your workday

Use these tools to get moving at your desk and save yourself from sitting disease.

Getting exercise at work isn't exactly easy. Many of us have day jobs that require long hours of sitting in front of a computer or standing at a counter, and that's not good for our hearts and muscles. In a 2015 analysis published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, Canadian researchers found that sitting for prolonged periods of time was associated with a higher risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes, and about a 15 to 20 percent increased risk of dying from any cause. And unfortunately, though exercising after hours is healthy, it doesn't counteract the effects of a long sedentary day.

There are ways to squeeze exercise into all those hours at the office. Here are four ways to work out while you work.

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4 ways to stay fit during your workday

1. Download a desk workout app

Have you ever gotten so focused on something at work that you forgot to get up for three hours straight? Sometimes we all need a reminder to get up and stretch our muscles. This app lets you pre-program reminders to take short breaks for exercise. The one-minute workouts rotate through 45 different exercises, all of which can be done without even leaving your desk. Just select whether you want a workout for sitting or standing—there's even an option for in-meeting moves!—and follow along through the tension-relieving exercises. 1 Minute Desk Workout, available for iPhone and iPad, free.  

By: Jill Buchner Source: Courtesy of Apple Credits: Canadian Living

4 ways to stay fit during your workday

2. Walk while you work

Treadmill desks are destined to be office staples in the future, as we learn more about the dangers of long-term sitting. Why not ask your employer to invest in one now? Whether you work at home or in a professional space, switching from a chair to a treadmill is one of the best ways to prevent sitting disease. Plus, working while moving isn't the productivity killer you would expect; after all, the point of a treadmill desk is to avoid getting into a sedentary slump while you work, not to work up a sweat. You'll find it's easy to keep a steady pace while you prep for a presentation, and the movement may even boost your creativity. WalkTop Treadmill Desk (adjustable to fit most treadmills), $479, walktop.ca.  

By: Jill Buchner Source: Courtesy of Walktop/Fitneff Credits: Canadian Living

4 ways to stay fit during your workday

3. Sit on a stability cushion

If you need to sit all day, the least you can do is perfect your posture and build your core while you do it. A stability cushion is slightly wobbly, so it requires you to engage your inner abdominal muscles for balance and use your back muscles to sit up straight. Whether you perch on the cushion for an hour or eight each day, your core will benefit from a little extra engagement. Stott Pilates Large Stability Cushion, $85.50, well.ca.  

By: Jill Buchner Source: Courtesy of well.ca Credits: Canadian Living

4 ways to stay fit during your workday

4. Track your steps

Wearable tech is making waves in the fitness world, and for good reason: When you have a physical reminder to move literally attached to your arm, it helps you carry your fitness goals into every area of your life—including the office. Wearing a fitness tracker can give you the initiative to take the stairs, go for a noon-hour walk or even just take more trips to the photocopier to get your daily steps in. Bands like the Fitbit let you chart your activity for the day, so you can see when you're sedentary and make a plan for improvement. Fitbit Flex, $100, fitbit.com.

By: Jill Buchner Source: Courtesy of Fitbit Credits: Canadian Living


Read more about the dangers of sitting too long.



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