Monday, 20 January 2014

How to get paid to exercise... kinda

How to incorporate fitness into your working life

Some of the main excuses for people not working out are that they are too busy with work or too tired when they get home.

Imagine if you could do your exercise while at work? Effectively means you’re getting paid to do it… well not exactly but it’s a nice thought!

I used to be super jealous when one of my friends told me she’d go running on her lunch break, while I’d use my hour reading trashy magazines, online shopping and going for that after lunch snack!

It got me thinking how I’d be able to incorporate exercise into my day, giving me energy and motivation to get through that afternoon slump and also free up the time I’d spend doing it after work anyway. This thought was too good not to give it a shot.

Monique de Dios, personal trainer and author of fitness e-book Dizzy’s Secrets to Sexy agrees.

I defiantly think that people complicate how easy it can be to get in some exercise during your work hours.” She says.

For me it comes down to being well organized and having a stash of exercise gear and also the essential touch up items.

Here are some tips to help you get motivated-

Even if your office doesn’t have showers you can still fake it by taking the essential after exercise hygiene products-
Face wipes, hair brush, deodorant, feminine wipes as well as a towel and make up bag. I tend to have a stash in my desk draw, just some tinted moisturizer and bronzer to reapply.  Leave yourself 5 or 10mins after your workout to change and freshen up… and Voila! Another handy tip is to not put mascara on in the morning, sweaty mascara streaks is NEVER a good look!

 Other key items- Workout gear, yoga mat, weights and the right apps –

If it’s a particularly hot day or I’m feeling stressed I’ll often just take my yoga mat to the nearest park, plonk it down under a shady tree and stretch out. Sometimes several girls from the office join in as well. Not only is it good exercise but the relaxation you feel when you get back into work is definitely worth all the weird looks from people who walk by!

Running on your lunch break is also very liberating, if you’re worried about being too sweaty when you get back then you can break it up with walking or have a longer cool down period at the end. Running apps such as Run Keeper are great as they track distance and allow you to keep an eye on how long you have been. I’m lucky enough to work near the beach so a cruisy jog along the water is a great way to shake off any tension from the morning.

Fitness apps that let you choose workout length are also great when you’re on a time limit. You can grab some hands weights and a mat, find a nice bit of grass outside on a good day or close your office door with a back in 15min sign and choose a 5, 8 or 10 minute workout to do.

Monique also shared some more tips for how to combine a work day with a work out.

Go up and down the stairs a few times on your breaks or do a quick workout using your body weight. Body weighted exercises are very effective I use them with my clients all the time.”

Her favourites are walking lunges, jump squats, burpees and push ups.

“Also try bringing a jump rope with you. Did you know that 10 mins of skipping can burn the same calories as 30 min of jogging? It's convenient and gets you burning calories in no time. Stop wasting those breaks being bored and lazy and get active!!”

Exercising at work not only gets you away from the desk and makes you feel great but you are more likely to choose healthier choices to eat as well. Your brain will crave a light salad or some fruit after a work out rather than a pie or fried food. 

I’ve also found that by keeping my stuff in the car or at the office means I’m prepared if I decide to head to yoga after work at the last minute or a girlfriend invites me to do an afternoon walk. And it’s even made my bosses think that I must be extra efficient and driven, they have mentioned on several occasions that they admire my motivation… Who’d have thought that exercise could put you in line for a promotion? Double tick ;)

For more helpful tips check out Dizzy’s Secrets to Sexy for inspiration and ideas to keep you energetic and fit!