YMCA: How to Exercise During the Work Week

Get moving at work to reach your health and fitness goals.

By Barb Cronin, YMCA of Greater Brandywine

It’s no secret that exercise and good nutrition are key factors in living a healthy life, fulfilled life. Exercise not only has physical benefits but also releases endorphins that make our mental state better too. However, with most people’s busy schedules and long work weeks, it sometimes seems impossible to fit in exercise.

For many, taking the time to exercise can either be a luxury or an added chore. But if you want to achieve optimal health and well-being, regular exercise is essential. Make it a priority and get motivated to do it. Follow these tips to help you in your quest for health and wellness.

8 Tips to Stay Active During the Work Week

1. Transportation
Depending on your current mode of transportation, consider switching it up a bit. If you take the train or bus, get off a few stops earlier and walk the rest of the way to the office. Driving to work? Park at a commuter lot and walk or run to work. If you live relatively close to work, consider biking, walking or running.

2. Utilize Breaks
Take your lunch breaks and go to the local Y or gym. If these are not accessible when you are at work, consider walking for lunch or going on a run. The YMCA of Greater Brandywine now has a reciprocity program. Current and new members now have access to Y’s across Pennsylvania and all of Delaware making it easier for members to get fit when they are at work or on the road.

Climbing the stairs to the office is a great way to stay fit–especially in the winter.–photo via gundersenenvision.wordpress.com.

3. Skip the elevator
Opt for the stairs whenever possible. In your office or in the parking garage, taking the steps instead of the elevator will help you reach your fitness goals.

4. Stop emailing
If you need to talk to someone in your office building, instead of using IM (instant messaging) or email, take a walk over to their office area.

5. Alternative desks
Consider using a stability ball instead of your chair, either full time or part of the time. You can also see if your company supports the use of ‘standing’ desks. Many people who sit for long hours or have back issues opt for these alternatives to the standard desk.

6. Stretch breaks
Take time every few hours to stretch at your desk, in the office or in the restroom. Get familiar with a few yoga poses or stretches you can do in your immediate area and do them daily. Studies show that taking a break and getting up from your desk increases productivity.

Stay healthy with these desk exercises.
Stay healthy with these desk exercises.

7. Discover desk ‘workouts’
There are a number of workouts you can do seated at or standing near your desk. Do a web search for “desk workouts” and a wealth of ideas will show. Pick four or five and do these daily.

8. Make it a team effort
Chances are you’re not the only one in the office craving work out time. Get together with others and shoot some hoops, take a walk, play racquetball, tennis, or any other activity.

Although, most of these tips aren’t the typical workout that many think they need to do, these are practical ways to incorporate physical activity into your day. Every little bit helps. Begin with these simple steps and you’ll start to notice an improvement in how you look and feel.

The YMCA of Greater Brandywine is a leading Chester County non-profit charity dedicated to strengthening community through programs that support youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. With more than 80,000 members at nine facilities, the YMCA of Greater Brandywine invites all people to participate in membership and programs, regardless of their ability to pay. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change.

Top photo credit: Pausa pranzo senza il capo!! via photopin (license)

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