Exercise has a myriad of benefits that range from weight loss to positive moods, from better heart health to a good night’s sleep. Exercise has also been shown to help increase you energy levels. In fact, studies have shown that exercise may help you get over that afternoon slump just as much, if not more, than a cup of coffee.
While working out at any time is a good thing, there has actually been research in support of taking time during your work day to break a little sweat.
What are the benefits of exercising during the work day?
Taking a break to squeeze in a workout may seem like a waste of work time, but Swedish researchers conducted a study that found that may not be the case. In fact, in their findings, exercise during the work day actually increases productivity, which means that fewer work hours are needed in order to accomplish the same tasks.
More than increased productivity, exercise during the work day can also increase cognitive abilities right away. A 2013 study from Psychology and Aging found that participants that exercised performed much better on memory tests immediately afterward than participants who didn’t.
How to exercise during the day
Hopefully by now I’ve convinced you of the importance of exercise for your overall health and also for your performance at work. So now the question is, how?
Working out during the work day will look different for everyone depending on their working situation. Those who work from home may find it easier to take a break for some activity, but those who work in offices may be able to benefit from things like company gyms. Whatever your situation there is a way to increase your physical activity during the work day.
Leaving the Office for a Work Out
This might not be a possibility for everyone. However, if you are able to head out for an hour or so during lunchtime this could be a great way to get your day’s activity in.
Activities you can do include running, walking, or heading to your gym if it’s close by.
Stacey Lastoe, writer for The Muse, decided to check out for herself the benefits of exercising during the work day. In doing so, she learned a few lessons:
“Make Sure Your Work Outfit’s Easy to Change in and Out of (and Can Handle a Little Sweat).”
If you head to a gym that has showers, that’s wonderful, but it doesn’t always happen. Plus, adding in showering can increase your time away from the office, which could be problematic. Lastoe relied on dry shampoo and deodorant–finding it to not be so bad of a solution.
“Book Non-refundable Classes That You Can’t Cancel”
She suggests booking exercise classes that can’t be cancelled because it holds you accountable. No brushing off your plan to workout so you can keep on working”…unless you want to pay a fee.
Before leaving the office, it’s a good idea to be familiar with your work’s policy in regard to leaving the premises during the day.
Increasing activity throughout the day
Leaving the office for a full workout isn’t possible for everyone every day. Have no fear, you can still add in a little extra activity by making some simple changes throughout the day. Here are some activity increasing ideas:
-Take the stairs whenever possible
-Walk over to a co-worker instead of sending an email
-Use phone call times to walk around a little bit. If you are tied to a computer during a phone call, or if you still have a phone cord, try moving in place while chatting.
-Invest in a standing desk. Or, simply stand whenever possible.
-Suggest having ‘walking meetings’ with co-workers. Instead of all sitting down, talk while walking around the building or the block.
Perform Desk Exercises
If you have your own office or work from home, this is a little easier. However, even those that work in cubicles or in shared work spaces can still get in a little desk workout.
Here are a few ideas:
-Stand up and do squats. Try 3-5 rounds of 10-15 reps.
-Do standing calf raises for a minute.
-While seated, squeeze your glutes for 5-10 seconds, release and repeat
-Use your desk chair to perform some triceps dips.
-Flex your abs for 5-10 seconds and repeat 10 times
-Tap your feet quickly at your desk for as long as possible.
Need more inspiration?
If you are like me, it can sometimes be hard to figure out what exactly to do when it comes to exercising. Thankfully, the internet is full of videos that can provide you with a program.
Looking for more advice to help you and your business thrive? Contact us at Lumen Advisory and Finance!