Like most women, I work full time but I also want to work towards improving my health by increasing physical activity. Getting in the recommended 10,000 steps a day or 30 minutes of physical activity is incredibly difficult when you work full time and have a sedentary job. For some, the only option left is to carve out time to head to a gym. While I loathe the gym, I am able to reach my physical activity goals by incorporating little bits of activity throughout the day. Read on to see my top 5 ways to increase your activity at work and hit those goals.
Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to weight loss. By making small changes and sticking with them, you create habits that last a lifetime.
Tip 1: Get moving!
I take 500 steps every 30 minutes while at work. This means every 30 minutes, I set an alarm on my computer at work to pop up on my screen and tell me to take 500 steps. Walking 500 steps every 30 minutes may seem like a lot of time but its really not. It’s one trip to the bathroom and two or three laps around the office. It takes less than 5 minutes and no one notices me away from my desk.
Tip 2: No parking wars
I park an extra 10 spots away from my usual parking spot. Not only do I have a spot just for me with no other cars around, but this also adds an extra 500 to 1000 steps depending on which floor I’m on in the parking deck. The further away I park, the more steps I add.
Tip 3: Pour up that Drank!
I drink 8-12 ounces water every 30 minutes. Not only does this help me reach my hydration goals (I drink about a gallon of water a day), but it also keeps my bladder full….which in turn keeps me running to the bathroom to pee lol. This step is actually very important for me, however, because I suffer from Edema (swelling of legs and ankles) and I have to drink more water to pull the excess water off of me. It sounds counterintuitive but it works.
Tip 4: The march of the hungry
I go for a quick 5 – 10 minute walk while waiting for the microwave. I have an hour lunch so I’m in no rush to use the microwave and we have a small office so I won’t be too inconvenienced by waiting. Once the food is in the microwave, I pace while it warms. Pacing alone adds an extra 300-500 steps.
Tip 5: Optimize commercial breaks
At the end of the day when I come home, I usually haven’t hit my full 10000 and just need another 1000 or so to go. Or maybe I’ve hit the 10k and I’m feeling cocky and just want to add more…so I do. Every commercial break I run or walk in place. This helps me get my steps and I get to watch my favorite programs. If you’re watching on a platform that doesn’t have commercials, set a timer for every 10 minutes and alternate walking 10 minutes and resting 10 minutes until the program is over.
At the end of the day, I’ve met my minimum 10,000 steps for my physical activity goal and I don’t feel overwhelmed at all!
Remember, you don’t have to pour sweat in a crowded gym to reach your physical activity goals. You just have to get moving. By taking the steps above, I am able to reach my step goal and I’m also becoming more active while still working at a sedentary job.