Does exercise come in last place on your daily to-do list? While work and everyday responsibilities naturally take precedence over optional activities, exercise should not be considered an option. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in order to maintain health and well-being, adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise each week. This averages out to 30 minutes a day for five days. If you are already crunched for time due to work and family life, incorporating even 30 minutes a day is a challenge. Try one or all of the following solutions in order to fit fitness into your day.
1. Set Your Alarm Earlier
If you start your day earlier, you are more likely to squeeze in a morning sweat session before you get to work. Whether you plan a morning walk, run or catch a group fitness class at your gym, you will feel refreshed and ready to tackle the demands of your daily tasks.
2. Use Your Lunch Break for a Workout
This may be as simple as walking around the building, utilizing an on-site fitness center or making a quick trip to a gym for a lunch-time class. If you prefer group workouts, consider organizing your fellow employees for a walking or workout club.
3. Skip the Elevator, Take the Stairs
While this may not apply to everyone, if you work in a building with stairs, use them instead or resorting to the elevator. Not only will you get your heart pumping, but walking up stairs helps to shape your bottom.
4. Perform Seated Exercises while You Work
Did you know that you can tone your butt and abs without anyone even realizing that you are exercising? Perform isometric contractions by squeezing your butt and holding your abdominals in while you are on the phone or working on your computer. Begin by holding your contracted muscles for 20 seconds and work up to a minute. Perform these periodically throughout the day.
5. Walk to Deliver Messages
While you don't want to make a habit of strolling around the office for socializing, if you need to deliver a message, why not walk over and deliver it in person rather than calling or emailing. It gives you an opportunity to get your legs moving while getting to know your colleagues.
6. Schedule Mini Workout Breaks
Your boss may not appreciate you exercising on the clock, but try squeezing in mini exercise circuits without leaving your desk. This quick circuit targets most of your major muscle groups and does not require a great deal of space. These exercises can be performed relatively inconspicuously and you won't need to change your clothes or get on the floor.
- 20 standing calf raises
- 20 chair squats (sit down in your chair then stand back up, repeat)
- 20 desk or counter push-ups (use the counter or desk surface instead of getting on the floor)
- 20 standing leg circles each side (stand and extend one leg to the side while moving your leg in a circle)
- 20 standing rear kicks (bend your knee and press your leg behind you
How to Have an Awesome Workout in Only 30 Minutes
Amanda Hynes is a passionate fitness professional who loves sharing her enthusiasm for health and wellness with others. A graduate of Florida State University and a member of FSU's Cross Country team, she now holds a variety of fitness certifications in addition to 12 years of professional experience. Amanda specializes in instructing Pilates and yoga for groups and individuals--she has found Pilates and yoga to be beneficial for rehabilitation as well as injury prevention, and believes that both practices correct imbalances and restore the body from the rigors of everyday life. Amanda is also an avid runner who enjoys competing in distances from 5k's to marathons and recently qualified for the Boston Marathon.