Fitting exercise into your working day couldn’t be easier, that is if you explore the possibilities. From start of your day to the end there are so many opportunities just waiting for you to stretch yourself – no pun intended!

Who can identify with these statements?

  • “Exercise! What, that is the last thing I want to cram into my day!”
  • “The weight is going on, the posture is dropping off, I sit in the office most of the day.”
  • “I feel tired at work. Oh and afternoons are the worst. After lunch it hits me and I struggle to be productive.”

Alright then, let’s turn this show around completely and address these feelings. As I said it couldn’t be easier to fit exercise in to your day. Let’s explore how!

6am: Alarm goes off and we are up. Our body is warm, a great time to do some stretches, chest, hamstrings, calves or other areas that feel tight. This will increase blood supply to these muscles making it easier to move.

6.30am: Breakfast time. While waiting for the toast to pop or jug to boil do a set of calf raises, squats or lunges. Great to increase leg strength and tone.

7.00am: Brushing your teeth, excellent opportunities here. It takes 30 seconds to brush your teeth. Okay, stand on one leg for 15 sec and then swap to the other for 15 sec. Absolutely fantastic to improve your balance and stability. Get into it.

Look in the mirror to check out what our posture is doing. Your shoulders should be in line with your ears. Put your hand on your hips, that’s the correct height of where your shoulders should sit. Have a look at your pelvis. Is it tipped to far back or too far forward. Midway between these points is spot on. Remember these cues during the day.

7.15am: Bolt out the door! But wait where are we going and how are we going to get there? Have we thought this through? This could be a prime opportunity to take in some exercise.

Could we run/jog/sprint/Walk to work today? Could we bike/scoot or skate to work today? Could we do this once, twice, three times a week or in fact every day. Thorough planning here could see you in top shape quickly.

7.30am: At work bright and early. Let’s straight away, set up some good postural habits for the day. Check out this link.

9am: Out of the office for a meeting. Quick stretch after sitting in static posture for 90 minutes.

Walk to the lift but then remember to USE THE STAIRS – excellent! Power walk to the next meeting and CLIMB THE STAIRS in that building too and you are there. You now feel refreshed, energized and on top performance for that meeting. Well done.

11.30am: Feeling a bit restless. Find a heavy book pop it on your lap and your are instantly set up for calf raises (10×2 sets). Top effort. Let’s do some foot circles, clockwise/anti clockwise.

Recheck the posture, what’s it up too? Posture is reset, a really good time to think about pelvic floor exercises, and yes Men too! This link describes exercises you can do when sitting at your computer.

fitting exercise into your working day

Midday: Lunchtime. Opportunities here include:

  • Pop in to a gym class.
  • Go for a run/brisk walk
  • Some cities offer free exercise classes outside at lunchtime
  • Find out about a city bootcamp. Enlist the company of another colleague to come with you to keep you motivated.

Exercise at this time can set you up for a great productive afternoon. This is because you have raised endorphins (feel good hormones). You will feel highly motivated, have clear, innovate thoughts, and increased energy levels.

2-3pm: Typically this is about the time when the fade or feeling tired may start to get you. If you have exercised at lunch you won’t feel this impacting as much. Top tip is to get out at this time if you can: 5 minutes fresh air, a quick power walk, do some stretches, or rip through a couple of flights of stairs. Guaranteed energy booster.

6pm: End of work, yes! Well done. Are we going to be walking, running or biking home? Can we fit in that gym class on the way home if we haven’t exercised today?

7-8pm: Relaxation time and planning your exercise for tomorrow.

Relaxing exercise could be in the form of Pilates or yoga. You could check out some local classes, or invest in a DVD or see what you can find on YouTube. You may already know some stretches you can do. Stretches after a bath or shower are even more effective.

Remember to plan your exercise for the next day. Think about the gear you will need and get it out and ready. Forward planning will make it easier to schedule exercise in.

Now you are armed with all the ways you can fit exercise into your day. It is up to you to choose the best time and exercise for you. Soon you will saying:

  • “My weight is coming off and my posture is looking great as I fit exercise into my day.”
  • “I feel energized at work. I am productive right through to knock off time.”
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Lynda Lovatt is a qualified fitness exercise consultant with a special interest in pregnancy, post-natal fitness and promoting fitness for mums of older children. She delivers menopausal fitness classes and personal training sessions in Wellington. See her website for more about Lynda.

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