We are all too familiar with the excuses we give ourselves.
"Maybe I will do some exercise after work later on"
And when you reach home...
"Maybe tomorrow morning before work"
And when the next morning comes
"Oh my, I am going to be late for work"
And the cycle continues. After work, we would probably want to wind down, or take on some personal challenges and explore new technologies. We tend to have little to no time for taking care of our bodies. However, we need to remember that when we take our bodies for granted, it may affect our minds - the very tool we use every day.
This isn't a post on why you should do it. I am in no way a fitness expert. But I would like to share what has worked for me and how you might also be able to achieve little bits of exercise throughout the day, considering the hectic lifestyle you might have.
Let me share with you a couple of tricks I have been able to come up with just to make myself walk more. You might think that walking doesn't do much, but if you do it on a collective and daily basis, it works wonders.
You take the public/personal transport and arrive at your office building. Say your cubicle is on the 2nd/3rd/4th floor of the building. Why not take the stairs? Imagine heading up to the 4th floor by stairs everyday. Assuming you have to take the stairs 2 times daily (one just before work, and one after lunch), you would have scaled the total height equivalent to that of Mount Everest in just a year! Who needs to climb the real mountain when you can climb it everyday in your own city :P
If the stairs at work are too cumbersome to access, you would probably have access to some stairs on the way to work. At the train station, up that grand staircase at the park near your home. After work, take the stairs back up to your apartment. Whenever you get the chance, just go for it!
At first it might seem a bit overwhelming and extremely tiring. The first few times are probably the hardest, both physically and mentally. After a while, it will naturally become a habit and you will want to climb every staircase that you find! (might be exaggerating here a little) You just need to get over that initial bump, and the rest will follow suit :D
We all have to go for toilet breaks every now and then (pardon me if you do not). Instead of heading down to the nearest toilet, you could instead head on to the one further away. If there is only one on your floor, head up to the one on the upper or lower floor. This ties closely to the previous point about taking the stairs.
Adding more steps to and fro not only helps burn extra calories, but allows for you to give your body a good stretch - something it needs after a long day seated at your desk. Personally, during these walks, I tend to have little sparks ideas as well. Be it finding a new angle to tackle the issue I am currently facing or thinking of new features to add to my work.
Firstly, because the walk takes away my current form of thinking which is embedded on my screen. Secondly, because it allows a good stretch on my strained back and neck and relaxes my mind a little when I return to my desk. A freshened mind always helps. Perhaps these walks will help you too!
(Pro tip: Keep yourself hydrated as much as you can. The more water you drink, the more walking you will do)
10 minutes does not sound like much but if you can focus this time to get your heart pumping, you will break out in a sweat in no time. I usually put 5-10 minutes of my busy days to working out. This usually comes in the form static exercises so that 10 minutes of my time is purely focused on sweating, nothing less. Mobile apps such as Home Workout (not affiliated to them whatsoever) provide short exercise routines which usually take less than 10 minutes.
You can even do these during your lunch breaks or any other breaks you might have. The shortest routine on the app consists of just a 3 minute routine (minus the break intervals between each exercise). However, if you manage to get more time, why not attempt a chain of exercise routines after work? Sweat it all out and have a good night's sleep after.
- Conquer Mount Everest in your own backyard by climbing all the stairs you can find
- Find the further toilet, cover more distance by walking to it
- Do static exercises in 10 minutes or less -> Home Workout