As promised, I’m bringing you guys some great posts from some amazing friends and bloggers while I’m away on vacation.  This post is brought to you by Katie, a fellow blogger and fitness enthusiast. Thanks, Katie, for writing a guest blog in my absence!

Fitness Tips for the 9-5er

Hi everyone!  I’m Katie from K.E.P.T. You Fit and I’m excited to be a guest on a fellow fitness lover’s blog!  Athena has graciously allowed me to share my love of fitness with her readers and I’m honored!

As we are all getting older (I prefer wiser), at some point we’ll be sitting for extended periods of time.  Instead of succumbing to the aches and pains that develop from hunched over shoulders, scooped-back, tight hip flexors, and week hamstrings, why not combat those injuries right at your OWN desk?

Ever heard of NEAT?  No, it’s not what your desk should be.  Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenisis, or the calories that are burned while fidgeting, typing, even gum chewing, throughout the day.  Any activity that isn’t structured exercise is classified as NEAT and can really add to your overall calorie burn.  Obviously it’s not enough to lose weight, but any extra movement throughout your 8 hour day can help you in your fitness goals!

Here are some tips to fit in exercise in a 9-5 workday:

1.  At every hour (even better, every 30 minutes!), stand!  Walk to get a drink, say hi to your boss or coworker, or simply stretch.  Did you know that sitting for extended periods of time can lead to metabolic syndrome, obesity, and cardiovascular disease?  According to ACE, standing often can decrease your chances of getting these chronic diseases.  Play a game:  When your phone rings, that’s your cue to stand up for the duration of the call.  When you receive an email, count how many times the word “like, the, and, etc.” are in it and complete however many reps in squats, triceps dips, jumping jacks, etc.  

2.  Instead of a swivel chair, trade it in for an ergo friendly stability ball!  You can either sit on the ball without support or purchase a base (if you’re a newbie and/or are balance-challenged).  This will perfect your posture since it forces your abs and lower back to stabilize your entire body and help with proper alignment of the ankle, kne, hip, and shoulder joints.

3.  A classic!  Take the stairs instead of the elevator and park your car farther away from your work.  These ideas have been around forever and for good reason — they work!  (It will probably take you less time taking the stairs than the elevator anyway).  Take notes on how you’re breathing when you’re finished; overtime taking the stairs and walking farther to your destination will seem easy-peasy thanks to an increase in stroke volume (the amount of blood your heart pumps per beat); the more blood pumped per beat, the less your heart needs to beat each minute, thus, increasing the efficiency of your heart and how it utilizes oxygen.

4.  Do you have a group of coworkers who eat lunch together?  Why not propose a lunchtime walk or workout class instead?  If your company has a gym on site, take a workout from either my or Athena’s library and complete it during the hour.  Don’t have a gym on site?  Keep a set of light dumbbells under your desk for toning sessions; complete a mix of body weight and dumbbell exercises in a circuit style format.  The best things in life are meant to be shared!

5.  Forget the all or nothing approach.  A walk here, squats there, and a set of jumping jacks at the end of the day all count towards exercise!  Yes, you’ll want to make sure you squeeze in at least 30 minutes most days of the week, but sometimes life gets in the way and it just doesn’t happen.  Plan ahead, write it in your calendar, and tell someone to hold you accountable but if it gets bumped — shake it off, squeeze in what you can, and plan again for tomorrow!

Fitness doesn’t have an agenda; any way you can move a little extra will benefit you more than throwing in the towel and saying your workout is ruined.  With that attitude it will be unless you think of the glass as being half full rather than half empty!

Here’s a sample circuit workout for you to complete with minimal equipment and space.  6 exercises, 45 seconds each, 3x through.

Do you guys have any fitness tips for the 9-5 worker that you’d like to share? 

Thank you, Athena, for letting me be a guest on your blog!  Stop by and say hi at K.E.P.T. You Fit!