While a regular workout routine is an essential part of reaching your weight-loss goals, there will be times when your job or other obligations get in the way of exercising. Although Dr. Arthur Agatston, author of The South Beach Diet Supercharged, recommends a daily 20-minute exercise routine — alternating days of interval exercise with days of core-strengthening exercises — he suggests that even on those days when your schedule is too crammed for a full workout, you should try to get in a 5- or 10-minute walk or simply incorporate more movement throughout the day (studies have shown that getting up from your desk for a couple of minutes every 30 minutes can help prevent back pain and even improve insulin resistance).
If you can’t find time for fitness before or after work, here are 9 tips to help you squeeze fitness into your workday.
- Park farther away from the office, or get off public transportation at an earlier stop and walk the rest of the way to work.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator, especially if you have just a few flights to climb.
- Go for a walk during lunch. One way to do this is to pass by your usual salad spot on the corner and find one a little farther away. If you bring your lunch to work, use the time you save to take a walk around the block.
- Rather than using e-mail, instant messaging, or the phone, walk over to coworkers’ desks when you need to chat with them or deliver messages.
- Instead of meeting friends in the office or over lunch, meet to take a walk.
- Use your headset or cell phone and walk around while talking on the phone.
- Stretch occasionally while sitting at your desk or keep a light pair of weights at work and do some upper-body exercises.
- Do this simple core-strengthening exercise at your desk as often as possible during the work day: Sit up straight on your chair, keep your feet on the floor, and your knees over your toes. Tighten your abs and straighten your back while keeping your neck relaxed. Hold this position for 10 seconds or longer. Repeat a few times.
- If your office allows it, swap your chair for a stability ball that you can sit on throughout the day. This will help improve your balance and tighten your core.