We have to be creative with fitness and mindful with moments of opportunity. When you aren’t scheduled with a trainer or class, carve out a few minutes here and there in the day. It is the new alternative to a bathroom break! It can help you incorporate fitness into your busy life.
Here are some tips to add wellness into your day :
- Take the stairs whenever possible. Stair climbing helps strengthen the legs, hamstrings, and glutes in addition to getting your heartrate up for cardiovascular fitness. If you normally take the elevator at work, take the stairs. Use the fitness tracker on your phone or watch to count elevation and steps because vertical steps count too! Climbing stairs actually burns more calories than walking or running because we engage more muscles in climbing. Using more muscles and having the resistance of the climb adds metabolic growth. Also, muscles use more calories than fat to maintain strength and size.
- Park further away from the store or work when in parking lots. This helps to get in extra steps. No more fighting for the front row parking spot at stores or at work! The average person needs about the 2,000 steps to equal one mile of walking. Parking further away from the destination gives you the opportunity to get additional steps in without any extra effort.
- Keep ankle or wrist weights at work. Do you have a desk job that requires you to sit or stand most of the day? Keeping wrap-on style weights close by allows one to do leg extensions and also walk around as if you are a few pounds heavier, therefore the body burns more calories per step during your workday. You can even do weighted leg extensions from under the desk while working. It’s discreet, and easy to do without having to leave your desk. Seated leg extensions can be done by attaching the ankle weights to the legs, and lift up one leg at a time while keeping your knee parallel to your other knee. Be mindful not to hyperextend the leg. Leg extensions help build the muscle around the knee joint that help protect the joint from injury.
- Wall sits in your office are powerful. If you have a wall, you can do wall sits! Wall sits help work the lower body with emphasis on your quads and glutes. Tuck those abs in! Wall sits can also improve functional fitness and improve stability. Start at 3 sets of 10 seconds each, and work your way up to holding for longer periods of time. If you are new to these, gradually work your way up adding ten seconds each week. It doesn’t take a long time but provides big benefits.
- Standing desks are on the trend, and for good reasons. They allow us to hold our posture better, we can move around more in our space, and we may avoid shortening the front hip flexors. This is so important in preventing lower back pain.
- Treadmill desks are more expensive, but also a great option for those who can read, type, talk, and take meetings while walking.
- Breathe! Inhale for 6 seconds through the nose and exhale for 12 seconds with a forceful SSSHHHHHHH. This breathing style alone can enhance the core strength. I do my SH breathing at red lights, during tv commercials, and when cooking.
Remember, fitness is like brushing your teeth or using the restroom. We’ve got to fit it in, somehow, someway. Motion is the lotion. You can do this!
-Author and Creator of the Superior Self Series
-CPT, CFI, Life and Wellness Coach
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