Being Active, it’s healthy for all of us to stay moving, stretching, and get our heart rate going. But let’s be real here, we’re all very very busy during the week and hate the sight of “that guy” in the neighborhood who’s shredded… YEAR ROUND! It so happens that we walk outside the house once a week to pull in our trash can in the morning from the curb prior to work and act like we don’t care that it’s 6 am and our neighbor just wrapped up his 3rd 15mile bike ride this week on a Wednesday. But let’s face it, we all care a little bit, or at least I do. I know I care because while I pull in my trash can (empty mind you) I feel a small cramp in my bicep and some pull in my legs to get it to its rightful place in the backyard. I don’t like that this 30-foot huff and puff stroll to my backyard actually made an impact on my body, let alone my emotions by thinking about it 3hrs later while working.
So what do we do to stay active during a busy work week? I mean we don’t need to be our neighbor fitness Phil (Hey, the name works alright) or anything however we do know underneath that a little more movement during the week really does do a middle-aged man/woman (Young, Middle-aged, Older, Super Old, Ancient; you get it) some good. The new norm at almost any full-time job in 2021 looks something like this: An 8hr work shift that takes a total of 9hrs either at the office or while working from home. These 9hrs Monday-Friday also include up to 1hr of breaks which are two 15-minute breaks and one 30 Minute lunch (A 1-hour lunch if your company is stellar and really loves you!). See below for what’s working for many within the hours of this modern-day-worker-bee shift.
The Small Suggestions
Snack at your desk. This opens up your pre and post-lunch breaks for different activities. Rather than doing a lap or two around the office floor looking for someone to talk to or for a couch to sit on so you can surf youtube for the next great Fail Video, you can now break for the outdoors.
If you’re a couple of floors off the ground in a corporate building you can make it outside in time to take a 5-8min walk and make it back to the desk in time for the next exhilarating work task. Even this small amount of movement just twice a day increases blood flow, your daily step count, and calories burned. Vitamin D from the sunlight outside acts as a soothing energy source and mood booster to continue a productive workday. Something great about walking is that multitasking to eat a serving of fruit is very doable. A little sugar buzz and some fiber are a solid compliment to a stroll in the sun.
- Let’s talk about lunch. Remember now, we graze and snack at the desk because that’s what today’s human does, don’t argue with me here. I’m right, look around the office, and if your office is really sad and you happen to be alone then go peek out your door and even pretend you’re walking somewhere important and tell me you didn’t spot someone eating at their desk…. I’ll wait, do it. Even if you eat a little during lunch you still have a small amount of free time to stretch, move, go outside again to break up the monotony of looking into a blue-lit screen under fluorescent lighting. Something many are doing is running or even walking a mile around the office building or alongside a path near work for lunch (easy for the lucky 1hr lunchers!). So do you, be the you that you need to be to progress 1% each day and to feel good. No one NEEDS to run during lunch, however, the key focus during the workday is to GET OUTSIDE.
Be creative and alternate to further break up each day of the week. You don’t need to stress about scheduling your activity for the small breaks and lunches that you have. Make sure this is something that stays enjoyable and slightly spontaneous. If you feel that today is a stretching day, then stretch. If hopping on a bike that you can rent outside the corporate building is the flavor of the day then by all means ride a bike!
Keep in mind we aren’t looking to be “Fitness Phil” here and nor do we need to just like our shredded neighbor either. This isn’t about a body type we’re shooting for nor a body fat percentage. This is ultimately to increase our blood flow and to stimulate energy within our bodies. Healthy blood circulation keeps the nutrients within the bloodstream available to all the places in the body that it flows. Movement throughout the day promotes blood circulation throughout the body and benefits our cognitive function with increased oxygen to the brain. If we consistently develop and implement these habits the benefits are ultimately two-fold; Better Personal Health and well-being & a higher quality of work during the worker bee day.