10 Healthy Habits to Stay Fit in the OfficeBrittany Dow
[content field=”callout1″ format=”true” class=”calloutwide”]As small business entrepreneurs, we invest most of our time and energy focusing on our business and very little, if any time at all, on our health. The combination of stresses, poor eating habits and lack of activity throughout the day not only puts us at greater risk of heart disease and weight gain but also increases fatigue and lack of motivation throughout the day. One of the most detrimental effects on our health is sitting all day long. Whether you work from home or in an office, the majority of the work day is spent sitting, whether in front of your computer, during your commute, in meetings, at lunch or even when you’re at home relaxing.
As a routine part of our day, sitting is hard habit to break. But here are 10 healthy tips to adopt into your workday to keep you healthy, fit and feeling fantastic.
1. Skip the elevator, take the stairs.
This simple gesture can make such a big difference in your day. If there are elevators or escalators in your building, avoid them like the plague! The stairs are your best friend. Choosing to take the stairs is a great way to get your blood flowing and energy levels going to jump-start your day!
2. Spread Out Your Office
Do you have a printer in your office? Put it away from your desk so that you need to get up and walk to retrieve any printed documents. Need a paper clip? Put your office supplies on the other side of your office. Even if it is only a few steps, it is so critical to take a break from sitting and increase circulation in your body. Plus, you’d be surprised how often you need to get up to get something!
One consequence of sitting all day is the occurrence of tight hip flexors. This can lead to back pain and knee problems if not stretched properly. To avoid this take at least 5 minutes everyday to stand up and stretch. Here are three easy stretches:
- Get in a forward lunge position and push your pelvis forward to stretch your hip flexors If you really want to feel it go ahead and squeeze your back leg’s glute muscles! Do this twice on each leg holding for 10 seconds each time.
- Next, stand up tall and exhale as you reach down to touch your toes. Hang for 30 seconds focusing on your breathing and repeat two more times.
- Finally, use your desk chair and lift your right leg and rest your heel on the seat of the chair. Lean forward trying to touch your toes to stretch your hamstring. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat. Do the same with your left leg.
4. Roll it out!
Deep tissue myofascial release is one of the best ways to relieve muscle tightness and increase blood flow to muscle tissues. You can do this by using a foam roller or by keeping a tennis or lacrosse ball in your office. If using a tennis or lacrosse ball roll out your back and shoulders by standing straight against a wall and putting the ball between you and the wall, moving around to hit the different areas of your body.
5. Take a Walk
Whether you go for a walk around the office, see how many flights of stairs you can climb or get some fresh air outside, take 15 minutes to get away from your desk and keep your legs moving.
6. Exercise with a resistance band
Keep an exercise band in your office and during your breaks perform 3-5 sets of exercises. This is a great way to resistance train without the gym and build muscle. For examples of resistance band exercises check out these “33 Resistance Band Exercise You Can Do Literally Anywhere”
7. Walk and Talk
Use a headset when you’re on the phone. Instead of answering the phone and staying seated at your desk, stand up and move around while you talk. Heck, you can even do some of your stretches, it’s not like they can see you anyway!
8. Drink Lots of Water!
The recommended amount of water per day is 2.2 liters and 3.0 liters for females and males, respectively. Keep a refillable water bottle at your desk and keep track of how much water you are in taking to ensure that you are staying properly hydrated. If you are not taking in adequate amounts of water it can lead to dehydration, muscle tightness and fatigue.
9. Cross Your Leg
While you are sitting at your desk try and keep one leg crossed for small periods of time, alternating each leg throughout the day. By crossing one leg it stretches the glutes and IT band and forces you to sit up straight.
10. Use a Medicine Ball
For one hour out of the day replace your desk chair with a medicine ball. Sitting on the medicine ball engages your core muscles and forces you to sit upright, helping you to adopt a healthy posture.
Remember, you don’t need to do all of these every single day. Start by doing one or two a day and then alternate which exercises you practice on different days. Eventually, these healthy habits will be a part of your everyday routine!