Today is the day that many of you, dear readers, will return to work after two full days of bliss. I know, I know...you need not be reminded. But whether you're freshly energized and ready to start the week, or slightly sluggish from a weekend off the health wagon—I'm here today to tell you that being at work doesn't mean that all efforts to be fit are off the table until 5:00 pm.
In fact, there are a variety of things you can do in the office to supplement your existing fitness routine. For starters, skip the front row parking spot. Pick one that sits further away from the door so you can walk a few steps more than usual. Besides, it's practically summer. Enjoy that beautiful morning air before you're forced to consume recirculated oxygen for eight straight hours.
Once you get to your desk, situate yourself so that your posture is everything it should be. Sitting up straight will engage those core muscles, and you can even get some extra engagement by squeezing tight those very same muscles. Squeeze, hold, relax, repeat. Squeeze, hold, relax, repeat. Do this for a minute on and off throughout the day and you'll feel it, I'm sure.
I'd also recommend switching out your desk chair for an exercise ball, but some offices might not allow it. And depending on your individual space, tricep dips and inclined push-ups are entirely possible. I say "individual space" because these are better done in enclosed offices. (I doubt you want your coworkers to see you do such a thing in your nice work clothes.)
And speaking of your desk, I realize that some of you may need your computers all day long, but I encourage you to take breaks. Rest your eyes and wake your body up with a quick power walk around the office. Bonus points for working in some stairs—which brings me to another point. Never, ever take the elevator if you can swing the steps. Think of it as office step aerobics. And if you're on the steps by yourself, pause every few and do some calf raises.
But back to walking for one last point. If you must meet with someone, and if they're willing, make it a walking meeting. Step outside to discuss that budget, project or deadline. The fresh air will stimulate your brain, and you'll burn more calories than you would sitting in a conference room chair. Or if you can, eat lunch while you work so that you can block out an hour for a walking meeting with yourself. (Just stash some sneakers in your car so you don't have to power walk in dressy work shoes. That doesn't sound fun.) Also, physically get up and talk to someone instead of sending an email or making a phone call. Electronic communication is great, but it borderlines on lazy when the person you need is within walking distance.
My last point, and I'm sure many of you are already doing this, is that you should pack your own food. Buy a sweet lunchbox if you need to. Do whatever it takes to keep your diet rolling from day to day. And by all means, avoid the vending machines. Most offices are equipped with a refrigerator, so take advantage! And filing cabinets aren't just for papers you'll probably never reference again. Stock them with healthy snacks like almonds and fruit. That way, you have no excuse to dip into the community candy jar. And seriously, if you're filling the community candy jar, help everyone else out by switching to something healthy like mixed nuts (choose a covered candy jar and leave a spoon in it for sanitary's sake) or mints.
Trust me, it all adds up. If you can tweak your day according to the above, by all means do it and you'll hopefully notice a difference. And if you have a workday fit tip that I didn't mention, please be sure to leave a comment!