Sneaky ways to work some exercise into your workday

20 September 2017 - 13:10 By AFP Relaxnews
Instead of carrying a big water bottle, keep your drink in a small glass so you will have to get up from your desk to refill your drink.
Instead of carrying a big water bottle, keep your drink in a small glass so you will have to get up from your desk to refill your drink.
Image: iStock

Most of us know how important getting enough exercise is, but with the fast pace of modern life, everyday responsibilities can sometimes get in the way.

For those struggling to find the time to fit in a workout, Dr. Irvin Sulapas, assistant professor of family and community medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in the US, has some expert advice.

"I always tell my patients any time you can get up and move is the best time to work out. It doesn't matter if it's in the morning, middle of the day or at night."

"The American College of Sports Medicine recommends exercising at minimum 150 minutes per week, but you can spread that out however you want - 30 minutes five times a week or an hour three times a week."

To help you hit these targets and get moving more every day Sulapas offers the following tips: 

• Instead of carrying a big water bottle or thermos, keep your drink in a small mug or glass so you will have to get up from your desk to refill your drink.

• Exercise at your desk. Good options are leg lifts and knee lifts. You also can stand up and do squats to get your legs pumping, but even something as simple as getting up from your desk and walking around your office for a couple of minutes every hour or two can help.

• If possible, use a sit/stand desk, which can give you the option of being a little bit more active in your workplace.

• During your lunch break, take a walk for 15 to 20 minutes around the block to get in some exercise.

• Use the steps instead of the lift whenever possible.

• If driving,  park your car farther away from your destination so you get in a few extra steps. 

• If possible, walk or bike to your workplace. You'll soon feel a difference in your fitness!

As well as exercising, eating a nutritious diet is also an important part of a healthy daily lifestyle.

Sulapas recommends having small, frequent meals and having healthy snacks such as yogurt, fruit, and peanuts, which can stave off hunger and improve weight loss.

It's also important to stay hydrated whenever you exercise. When exercising you exert a lot of energy and staying hydrated can prevent injuries, cramping, early fatigue, and the possibility of fainting.