If you think the 30 minutes you go to the gym a couple times a week is enough to keep you fit and healthy, it’s not.
Does it help? Sure, but if you want overall good health, you need to make other changes that can add up to big results.
You need to eat well and find windows of exercising every day. These windows of opportunity take careful and sometimes savvy planning on your part. Think of it as “stealing Peter to pay Paul.” Myself, I call this “stealth exercising,” which is working in exercise without really working out. So, how can you squeeze in a little extra exercise when most of your hours are spent sitting at a desk, meeting in the conference room and preparing for big presentations?
It’s not as hard as you think.
Here are some ways you can burn as much as one to 200 extra calories a day. Doesn’t sound like much, huh? Extrapolate those numbers over the course of a year, young accountant, and that equates to 10 to 20 pounds at year end.
On Your Way to Work. Start your day with a little bit of extra calorie-burning “exercise.” Yes, you may need to wake up a few minutes earlier than usual but it’s not for what you think. No need to get in a workout before tossing on your power suit. Instead, incorporate these into your “commute.”
You can bike or walk to work, perform seated calf raises on the bus or train, or park your car at the far end of the parking lot so you get to walk farther to reach your office. And of course, once you get to your building, take the stairs. All of these will help you to shed some calories before clocking in. And, you may even save you money.
When Doing Mindless Tasks. Let’s face it. Not everything we do at work requires an amazing amount of brainpower. Why not take advantage of the easy tasks by multitasking with some exercise. One trick I do is flex and squeeze the muscles within my body. Squeeze your glutes, suck in your abs slowly then let them out. Contract your pects and thighs, and you can get rid of a few calories by simply flexing them as you work. One thing I found is doing that during those long boring time wasters aka meetings at work can help you keep you from falling asleep.
Every Time You Finish a Task. If you’re like me, one of the first things you do when you get to work is make a task or to-do list. Turn this into an opportunity to burn some calories. Each time you cross a task off your list, give yourself an exercise reward. Get up and take a couple laps around the office, stand and do a few stretches, close your office door and knock out a few squats or pushups. I do this a lot and you’ll be surprised how good it will make you feel. Additional benefit you’ll actually be more productive and think of exercise as more of a reward instead of a punishment.
When You Need to Communicate. Helpful as email may be, there is a way to communicate with your colleagues that actually keeps your body moving, and which has shown to help you get more done. Getting out of your seat and walking to your coworker’s office to talk things through. Often it takes less time to do that than to write and email. You can actually save time and add some steps to your day by just going and talkgin to them. Have to make a few phone calls to deal with or the dreaded hour long conference call? Stand up as you talk or better yet, pace back and forth during the conversation.
At the Top of the Hour. This is one I do regularly. And it’s a great way to sneak a little calorie burning into your routine. Simply get up every hour and do some movement. Whether it’s a few stretches, marching in place, or anything that involves movement. And it doesn’t need to be super intense. Heck, you can benefit just by standing up. Do this for five minutes, eight times a day, and you will drop 100 calories a day. That’s right—all you have to do to stand up for your health is stand up!
All of these are great ways to add “stealth” exercise to your day and help you burn more calories. When done in conjunction with a consistent, challenging exercise program you’ll see even more results.
Dan Romand is co-owner and operator of Full Circle Fitness-NY in Colonie, where he is a certified personal trainer. Have questions or want to learn more, call or message Romand at 518-955-6924.