By Danielle Michels
VIDA Fitness Blogger
The workday versus workout dilemma goes a little something like this:
Would my 30 minutes in the morning be best for sleep when I‘m exhausted, or better used for exercise for prolonged energy through the day? I think I’ll snooze a couple minutes…
Or maybe you’re not a morning person, you’ve tried, but after work is much better for your schedule.
But wait, now I’m exhausted from a hectic day, hungry and friends I haven’t seen in awhile are meeting up after work. The margaritas and guacamole won’t count if I’m wearing lululemon will it?
Before you know it the last time you worked out was last week or the week before that, or last month. You catch my drift.
Instead of telling you how working out regularly will actually improve your workday productivity, mental and physical energy throughout the day and leave you happier overall…oops, guess we just told you.
Anyways, rather than waging war between workout versus workday, we want you to make working out a part of the workday.
Here’s how to make it happen:
Make Time Management your Workout Buddy
Instead of eating lunch in the break room or out, take two days a week to swap your lunch hour for a workout class or a quick strength or cardio session at the gym. This doesn’t mean nixing lunch (we definitely don’t want you doing that), but eating at your desk while you’re working a couple times a week will help with prioritizing your workout before your day is done and you’re ready to go home.
Make that mid-day time yours by blocking off your calendar from meetings or interruptions, keep your gym bag ready to go by your desk and utilize every minute. You don’t need the full hour to workout; just a solid thirty-minute no-lollygagging workout with the last 20 minutes of your break being used to rinse off and freshen up will make a colossal difference in your overall health. We dare you to try it.
To ensure even more success with this tip take the night before to prep your workout bag and lunch so that you don’t forget things in the morning that will slip you up and derail your plan.
Break up Your Day
We have all heard this tip before, but it’s amazing how much of a difference it can make in your activity level: take the stairs. Seriously, it does wonders when you spend most of your day sitting, which studies have shown is terrible for you.
Even if you work in a high rise building, get off the elevator a couple flights down from your floor and add one more floor to your climb every couple of weeks. Also going to the restroom a couple flights up or down from yours is a good way to fit in more stairs and leg movement, especially during the cold or extremely hot months.
However, now that the weather is comfortable again, taking five to ten minutes to walk around the block that your office is on is a good way to get fresh air and sunshine, and fit in more steps.
Making your department or your office suite mates get active together is a great way to stay accountable. Have plank competitions and start at 30 seconds adding 10 seconds each day for a few weeks until you reach a one and a half to a two-minute planks. Or see how many push ups you can do in a minute versus a coworker.
Making it a group effort is something that will make mini-workouts fun instead of a chore and keep morale up during a long day. Even if all the people in your office don’t participate, just a couple people getting involved will make you feel less silly to get moving for a few minutes in your work clothes.
Get your boss on board: You may be thinking, “yeah, yeah, thanks for the tips, but good luck with getting my bosses approval with mid-day workouts and office challenges.”
But here’s our challenge to you: how do you know it’s okay until you ask? Being forthright with your boss and letting them know you’re looking to make some real change in your health and asking for their assistance with a little office leeway may go a lot further than you think.
Many companies are looking for ways to keep their employees healthier, but with budget always being a part of the conversation, managers face a lot of roadblocks with being able to provide real assistance with getting their employees active. Something they might not have thought of is allowing employees time during the day for workouts, and it’s a roadblock easily overcome, someone just needs to start the conversation.
If you’re curious on how to get your company or manager on board with workforce wellness talk to a VIDA membership consultant on how we can help. We here to be your healthy workplace resource, you just have to ask!