Well, you did it; you graduated from college and landed a job! If you were anything like me in college, you were constantly on the go. Now, life has slowed down – and you’ve noticed your active lifestyle has too. Maybe you’ve found an office position and realized after the first few months it’s hard to stay active when eight hours of your day are spent sitting at a computer. Fortunately, there are several small steps you can take to start the New Year out right!
Stand Up – Studies have shown that sitting for long periods of time can negatively affect your health. By simply getting up and moving around, your body has a chance to stretch and improve circulation. You can get up and ask your coworker a question as opposed to e-mailing them, or you could just stand and continue working. I tend to start pacing and doing leg swings, or even squats, while standing.
Eat Healthy – This sounds obvious, but it is very easy to start snacking on the cookies your coworker brought in. Instead, pack a healthy lunch and several small snacks for the day. Pick items that are high in protein and low in calories; apples with peanut butter or pretzels and hummus are great options. And don’t bring the entire bag, but rather pack a handful in a portion-sized bag. You’re more likely to eat less this way. Also, part of eating healthy is keeping your body hydrated. Studies have shown that you should drink 8 full glasses of water a day; that’s one glass for every hour you’re at work!
*Check with your employer to see if they approve you bringing in the following items and storing them at your desk:
Dumbbells / Free Weights – Yes, those colorful rubber weights that you once used in gym class can be an inconspicuous tool to help you stay active while sitting. Take some time to lift weights while reading the details of your upcoming project. Strap-on weights are another great option that can be less cumbersome, especially if you want to give your legs a workout too.
Resistance Wraps – These can be used while sitting in your chair. If you need your hands free to type, you can do leg exercises by placing the band around your legs and tying the two ends together. Then just stretch the band with your legs and feel the burn! If you are reading and have an opportunity to work out your arms, loop one end of the wrap around your feet to secure it and hold on to both ends. Pull the wrap towards you and hold, release, and repeat. It’s that easy!
Staying active and healthy for the New Year can be challenging when your job required you to sit behind a desk, but I have found that these helpful tips are a great way to squeeze exercise into your daily life at the office. Many companies offer additional options for their employees to stay fit, so check to see if your company offers any. For example, my company encourages us to get up and walk for 15 minutes twice a day during the workday. They took it up a level by creating a “Fun with Fitness” program that challenges us to work out a minimum of 40 minutes four times a week!
If your company does not offer any sort of fitness program, take the opportunity to start something new.