Fitness

Exercise in Your Working Day

Small changes to your workday routine could yield big results

By making a few minor adjustments to your day you can easily fit in exercise to your daily routine.

Up with the sun... 
Setting your alarm clock a half hour earlier is something that may not seem appealing when you're trying to squeeze in every nanosecond of sleep you can get. But with the days getting ever longer as we move deeper into spring, you will feel so proud of yourself that your efforts will be worthwhile.

An easy form of exercise that won't wake the house up is to get out for a walk or a jog. A great tip is to have your kit ready and laid out along with your gym shoes. That way you save time, and are more likely to go ahead with your session. Have a glass of water and a quick stretch before you head off, and take time to warm up thoroughly by starting out slowly and then gradually building the pace up.

If getting outside is not possible, you could do some home exercise. Yoga is great first thing in the morning, as the yoga moves called 'Sun Salutations' were intended to be performed with the rising sun. A half hour yoga session will not only benefit your body, but also prepare your mind for the day ahead.

If you are a gym member, mornings are often quieter, and you can have your shower there to save on time. If this is your best option, prepare your gym bag and outfit for work the night before so that you can get up and get out! Save breakfast for after your workout - not only will you have a good appetite, but you'll also be more likely to make healthy choices after all your good efforts!

Make the most of midday
If you work during the day, you should be taking a proper break at lunch time. This is a wonderful time to get your body moving, and will refresh you for your afternoon ahead.

A good idea is to take socks and sneakers to work, and go for a speedy power walk around your place of work. You can divide your lunch into two, so that you can have a small snack half an hour before you go and another snack when you return. Most supermarkets or pharmacies now sell deodorant body wipes, so you can even have a mini-wash before you get back to work!

If time is short, any movement is better than none. Take ten minutes to run up and down the stairs and perform two sets of ten press ups against the wall, or take a flex band to work and sneak in a few repetitions here and there throughout the day.

De-stress after work
An exercise session straight after work is a great way to switch off from your day. Try to draw a line under your day and direct your thoughts towards your exercise session.

Many gyms offer fun classes to fit in with work hours, and can be very uplifting. Try arranging to meet a friend at a class, and you'll be more likely to make it on those evenings where you'd rather sneak home instead!

If you are going to work out from home by running, walking, cycling or otherwise, then try and get going the minute you get in the door. If you sit down and have a drink first, you will start to relax and feel less like working out. So have your kit ready by the door and, if you have a partner, ask them to encourage you rather than sidetrack you with food or chats! Maybe this would be a good time to work out together and discuss your day as you go. You may find it easier to have a pre-prepared meal ready for these evenings to save you more time.

If you feel too hungry to exercise after work, then try taking a light snack with you. Eat it just before you leave work, to allow yourself time to digest.

Remember that any exercise you do is a step in the right direction - and little and often is better than one long session a week. Even if you walk ten minutes to the office in the morning and evening (try parking further away from work) and then perform ten minutes of resistance exercises after work, your body will thank you for it!