Workouts aren’t just for weekends and times of year when you have time to hit the gym or log some miles.
Workouts – even mini-ones – are something you should do throughout the week.
“A ‘daily defender’ is someone who engages in physical activity every day in order to defend against chronic health conditions and musculoskeletal injuries,” said Dr. Bruce Naughton, Univera Healthcare’s chief medical officer for Medicare. “With a little creativity and innovation, you can find ways to build movement into your day, especially if you make physical activity a priority.”
Here’s what Naughton recommended.
– Park in a spot farther way from the building in order to log more steps.
– Keep sneakers at your desk for a quick, brisk walk at lunchtime.
– Stand whenever you can, whether at your desk or in a meeting. And every 60 minutes, stretch for five minutes. Get a reminder app for your smartphone.
– Take the stairs. Challenge yourself to climb more flights, climb them faster, or take two steps at a time. But know your limits to prevent injury.
– Visit a co-worker at his/her desk instead of calling or emailing.
– Use a printer in a different area or floor to print your documents.
– Find a buddy so you can encourage each other to drink more water or take a quick break.
– Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier than usual and take this time to do a slow warm-up (e.g., walk in place) and whole body exercises (planks, push-ups, lunges).
– Wear workout clothes to bed so that when you get up, you’ll be ready to work out.
– Multi-task by holding light weights (2-5 pounds) as you walk outside or on a treadmill. You’ll get in a cardio workout while you strengthen your arms.
– Keep sneakers in your car so you can fit in a brisk walk at the grocery store or mall or while hanging out at your child’s game, dance class or other activity.
– While standing in the grocery line, tighten/flex your abs for 10 seconds, then release. Repeat several times. Do the same with your glutes. Or try toe/calf raises.
“You don’t need anything fancy for a good workout,” Naughton said. “A pair of good sneakers and a mat or towel will do the trick.”
Naughton recommended finding online apps, videos and DVDs that will guide you through safe and effective stretches, cardio and/or strength training exercises that you can do every day, and not just on the weekends. He also recommended talking with your primary care doctor about your fitness routine.