If you are the breadwinner for your household and you have to spend several hours a day confined to a desk or office, the chances are you will be leading a low-exercise, sedentary lifestyle. You might even feel like you are piling on the pounds through carb loading and snacking in between meetings and assignments.
Changing that mindset and mending a sedentary lifestyle is a conscious decision and requires plenty of effort and dedication from the outset. Moving more and getting active is proven to prolong your life in many ways, given that studies have shown sitting still for at least four hours daily increases the potential for experiencing heart disease, diabetes and several more conditions accelerated by overweight bodies.
What to do during working hours
If you have a demanding desk job requiring you to be glued to your keyboard and computer screen from nine to five, the simplest way to transform your working lifestyle is to alter your workstation environment. Instead of a conventional desk, with a desk chair, invest in a standing desk. A standing desk positions your screens at standing height so that you can remain standing for large parts of your day, strengthening your posture and slowing the potential onset of back pain. These take up minimal floor space and can work particularly well if you work from home and have relatively little living area to use.
If you still prefer a conventional desk, you could always invest in an under-desk cross trainer which allows you to keep your feet and legs moving while you type. If you have a conventional desk chair that can be locked into place, there are dozens of exercises you can do with your chair to improve your muscle flexibility, ranging from tricep dips and chair squats to seated bike crunches.
What to do at home
It’s all too easy to crash and burn on the couch after a long day at work and once everyone else is asleep. But it’s important to keep yourself motivated and set mini-challenges and targets throughout the afternoon and evening.
Simply keeping on top of your housework can be a beneficial activity, with tasks like hoovering and sweeping floors keeping the blood pumping. Even if you are something of a couch potato in front of the television most evenings, there’s no excuse not to do some exercise. Why not use commercial breaks in between your favourite television shows for short, sharp bursts of physical activity? You could challenge yourself to try and do as many sit-ups or push-ups in the commercial break as possible and attempt to equal or beat your score every time.
Another huge tip for those who don’t exercise at home enough is to alter your diet to ensure your body receives enough vitamins and nutrients. Be sure to eat at least five servings of vegetables and fruits daily and steer clear of drinks high in sugar – if you need quick hydration water or milk should suffice. Try and find your motivation for creating a healthy, balanced diet.
Lunchtime walks are another way to squeeze in some daily exercise. Take a brisk walk during your lunch break. It’s a great way to get some fresh air and clear your mind. If you get foot pain there are ways to relieve the pressure with inserts for heels. These cushions stop the foot sliding forward causing burning pain, they are suitable for all shoe types including pumps and trainers.
Last but by no means least, consider a fitness tracker to help gamify and monitor your daily fitness activity. It’s said that you should be striving for a minimum of 10,000 steps per day, so consider investing in a pedometer to get an idea of how close you get to that magic figure. More technical fitness trackers will also help you monitor the calories you burn and those you take in too. Many of them can be hooked up to your smartphone or tablet. Ultimately, it’s all about convenience and making exercise and a healthy diet an easy way of life for you all.