How to Burn More Calories During Your Work Day
Unless you’re a fitness instructor or a professional dog walker, there are very few jobs that require regular or continuous activity, meaning most of us are sitting for a living. Being desk-bound is the reality for many people, and we know that sitting takes its toll on our health, but there are several ways to get moving despite a job that requires you to be at desk for a large portion of the day.
Bike or Walk to Work
Distance and weather-permitting, get in some exercise before and after work by trading your car or public transit for a bike or your walking shoes. Starting the day with a walk or bike ride will give you energy, and riding or walking home will help clear your head and minimize any anxiety that may have built up from the day.
Take the Stairs
Working in a building with stairs means you can use them to your advantage to help combat your time sitting at a desk. Either take the stairs rather than the elevator, or you can also take stair climbing breaks if you keep running shoes at work. Take 10 minutes of your lunch break to climb up and down stairs, during which you can burn up to 150 calories and you’ll also be toning your thighs and glutes.
Get Up Once Every Hour
Since it can be so easy to get so caught up in what you’re doing that you end up sitting for long stretches of time, set your watch or your phone to go off every hour. Once you hear that alarm, get up and walk around the office. You can also use this hourly alarm as a reminder to drink water.
Keep a Skipping Rope in Your Office
As long as there’s no risk of disturbing someone below you and you have the space, stash a skipping rope at work. Skipping rope can burn up to 10 calories a minute, making it a great exercise for mini workouts. You can take the rope outside if you don’t have the space to jump indoors.
Get a Rebounder
If there’s room in your office, or you work out of a home office, invest in a rebounder (a mini trampoline). Jump for 60 seconds every hour, or any time you feel like you need a break or an energy boost. Jumping on a rebounder has been known to be beneficial to your lymphatic system, not to mention, it’s fun and burns calories.
Remember to Stretch
Sitting at a desk can wreak havoc on your posture. Even if you try not to, you often end up hunching over or sitting in positions that can cause discomfort by the end of the day, or in the long term. Keep your joints from getting stiff and promote good posture and flexibility by adding some simple stretches or yoga poses to your day.
Go for a 10-minute Walk
In addition to or instead of climbing stairs, aim to squeeze a brisk 10-minute walk into your work day, either while on a scheduled break, or when there’s a lull in the action. This will get you heart rate up, your blood pumping, and most importantly, your legs moving.
Find a Gym Nearby
The best way to ensure you go to the gym regularly is having one close to your place of work. Keep gym clothes in the car and either hit the gym before or after work depending on your schedule. If you can’t find a gym you like, look for a yoga studio close to the office for some pre or post-work stretching and de-stressing.
Sit on a Stability Ball
Trade your office chair for a stability ball for a chance to work on your core strength while you sit at your desk. You don’t need to choose one over the other, but you can alternate sitting in your chair and on the ball to benefit your posture and core, and improve balance. Just make sure to inflate the ball to its full height and ensure that when you’re sitting on it, your legs are parallel to the floor.
Try Walking Meetings
Meetings at work don’t always have to involve a conference room. If you’re scheduled to meet with a small group (two to four people) and the weather is cooperative (e.g., there isn’t a blizzard outside), suggest a walking meeting. You can walk while you talk and get some exercise and fresh air while you work out the details of a project.