5 tips to get more movement into your everyday routine
It can be challenging staying in shape and keeping fit when you have a busy work and social schedule. Thankfully, Louisa Drake has shared with us her top tips on maintaining a good work-life balance and how to get more movement into your everyday routine/improve your physical activity for 2017:
Change up your daily commute and get moving before you even reach the office or hit the streets on your way home. Walk, bike or get off a stop or two early. You should be reaching at least 4,000 steps per day but be aiming for 10,000 steps. Exercise boosts your mood and wellbeing and is a great way to find some headspace. Its take two weeks to make a new habit and fitness trackers and apps are a helpful way to track your activity and a gentle reminder to stay active everyday and reach your targets.
Build more activity into your day and make every moment count. There are lots of phone and computer apps on the market that help you schedule breaks, remind you to step away from the computer and guide you through work friendly exercises. Try adding some easy desk exercises to release neck and shoulder tension. Add gentle neck stretches by lowering your chin to your chest, tilting your head to one side and rolling the shoulders back and front. To avoid pins and needles and to get your circulation going introduce leg stretches, heel and toe movements or ankle circles. Stand more and move your spine, even if its for a short period of time, its an effective way to counteract the ill effects of sitting. Standing burns more calories plus walking to a coworker instead of sending an email or taking the stairs in place of the lift all add to your total daily steps.
Get outside, fresh air and time away from your desk will increase energy levels, focus and getting your body moving maximises your health and fitness step by step. You’ll get more done with more energy, a brisk walk is one of the best natural energisers around. It boosts circulation and increases oxygen supply to every cell in your body, helping you to feel more alert. Try walking on your lunch break to achieve more in the afternoon. If the sun is shining get outside for a vitamin D hit.
If you have an uncomfortable office chair or suffer from lower back pain or tension in the hips consider investing in a Pilates foam block or Posture brick to sit on to help aid better posture. It does this by levelling the pelvis, raising the hips for a straighter spine and changing your posture by a few degrees. Alternatively switch your office chair for a large exercise ball. Unlike a chair, sitting on an exercise ball engages your core muscles and helps to improve your stability.
Squeeze in a workout before, during your lunch break or after office hours. If you are lucky enough to have access to a gym in your building use it or source out a studio nearby and encourage any work colleagues to also sign up. There is a big shift towards health, fitness and wellbeing in the workplace and I have visited many different companies offering a range of classes and workshops. Try suggesting a weekly or monthly fitness class or event to your boss, it’s a great team building activity.
Louisa Drake is a fitness expert and founder & creator of The Louisa Drake Method, a unique fitness-fusion approach to working out. Louisa teaches her LDM classes at the Detox Kitchen fitness studio on Tuesday evenings and Friday mornings. Visit the studio page of our website to check out the full timetable.
Image credit Oly Barnsley.