Having a daily minimum of aerobic physical activity is imperative for good cardiovascular health and good overall circulation as it relates to blood pressure. Physical activity that stimulates heart rate and increases circulation is considered a form of aerobic activity. Aerobic activity increases your oxygen consumption for the production of energy. The American Heart Association recommends a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per day, at least five times a week, for good cardiovascular health.
This can be especially difficult to accomplish for those with physically restricting jobs. Office jobs, for example, require extensive sitting time and puts workers at risk of not getting enough exercise, predisposing them to a range of health conditions. To avoid health problems rooted by the lack of exercise, it is good to incorporate daily exercise into the workday. Here are a few tips to be used throughout the workday to get that body moving:
Drive to work? Purposely park further away from the destination to increase steps. This will force walking that extra distance and increase daily steps. Another good way to increase daily steps is to pick the stairs over the elevator whenever possible. This tactic will not only increase the number of steps logged, but it will have a greater effect on one’s daily exercise needs because the body will be forced to fight the pull of gravity when ascending, climbing up, providing increased intensity. Keeping track of steps taken in a day also can be a big motivator. There are apps that provide healthy competition between friends granting an individual with bragging rights for the most steps taken in a given, day, week, month. Also local gyms like Santa Cruz CORE Fitness provide quarterly challenges for steps and fitness with bigger purse prizes such as Giants Tickets, Disneyland trips, etc which may be the motivation one needs to get moving!
Purposely pick the more physically demanding tasks of your work place.
If your job is confined to sitting on a desk, then a good idea is to actively scan for an opportunity to do something physically demanding. This can be as simple as going to get a box of paper to refill the printer or as helping to clean your break room.
Take any opportunity you can during the day to stand up and move. Put your conference call on speaker phone and/or buy a headset that allows you to work but doesn’t confine you to your seat. Take hourly breaks to walk to the water cooler.
Remodel your work station.
Swap out your desk chair for a stability ball as a way to help increase core stability (added bonus: they’re fun too!) Invest in a stand-up desk that will better your circulation and prevent muscular imbalance and postural disfunction.
Use your surroundings to exercise! Kick it up a notch with desk pushups and chair dips, air squats and stair hand rail pull ups! Work pecs, shoulders and triceps with pushups and dips, glutes, quads erectors and core with squats, and lats, biceps and forearms with stairwell pull ups. Do wall sits while on the phone-back against the wall and get as low as you can as close to knees and hips at 90 degrees. Doing a single-leg balance while at your standing desk works on stabilizer muscles and better your balance.