We all know that regular exercise has a range of benefits, from reducing the risk of heart disease, to improving your mood and mental health. But between work, family and social commitments it's not always easy to fit it in. Here are six ways you can make exercise a part of your work day.
1. Find a gym near work
It’s much easier to fit in your gym session when you can go straight to work, or straight from work. Check out what gyms are near your workplace – GymBetter gives you cheap and convenient access to a wide network of gyms around Australia on a pay-as-you-go basis, making it so easy to get active.
2. Walk instead of calling or emailing
Use every opportunity you have to get up from your desk. Pretend it’s the ‘90s – instead of emailing or instant-messaging your colleague across the room, walk over to their desk and have a chat with them face to face. The steps add up, and it gives you the extra benefit of having some social interaction.
Take the time to stretch at your desk (or better yet, away from it.) Olympic sports physiotherapist Mark Alexander suggest standing up every 30 minutes to stretch out your chest and extend your spine to reverse the hunched position of siting. This will help reduce back and neck pain as well as making your feel more energised.
4. Get moving at lunch time
First, it’s important to take your lunch break – studies show that most Australians don’t. Having a break during the day is beneficial for your mental health and wellbeing, and it’s also a good opportunity to get active. Instead of eating at your desk or sitting down in the kitchen area for your whole lunch break, make a point to get up and move for at least part of your allotted time. Go outside for a walk and enjoy the change of scenery. To get the blood pumping even more, you could even jog up and down the stairs, or sneak off for a quick nearby gym session or a circuit in the park.
5. Start an office fitness challenge
Get your co-workers involved and make it a challenge to be more active together. It’s always easier to make healthy choices when you’re doing it as a group and you have that support network there motivating and encouraging you. There are plenty of ways you can make it fun and social – maybe you can start a friendly competition to track your steps and see who can walk the most in a day, or you could organise group walks at lunchtime, or make a rule that every hour on the hour you all stand up and do ten squats.
6. Take breaks to move
Put some time in your calendar and set an alarm to remind you to take a break – then get up and go for a short walk around the building, or up and down the stairs. You don’t have to go for long – just make sure you take a 5-10 minute break a couple of times throughout the day. Not only will it get you moving, it will help clear your head, so you go back to work feeling a bit more refreshed. Get a friend to come along and you can combine activity with social interaction that will give you another wellbeing boost.