How to Build Exercise into Your Work Day

Can’t seem to find time to make it to the gym? Don’t worry – there are plenty of ways you can add exercise into your work day.

Invest in a fitness tracker

It’s important to understand how much you exercise you are actually doing. There are lots of inexpensive fitness trackers available now that can help you get an idea of how active you actually are. Lots of people are surprised when they see how little exercise they are getting throughout their day. When used properly fitness trackers can be a great way to get you motivated to move more and feel more accountable to reaching your daily activity goal.

Turn your commute into a workout

If you live within walking or cycling distance use your body to get you to work. Also, taking public transport that requires you to walk to and from the train station (or bus stop) is another great way to get some exercise while getting to work. If you drive to work park as far as you can from the entrance to get extra steps into your day.

Take the stairs

It might seem a small thing, but you can really add up extra calories burned by taking the stairs instead of the lift. Just a few flights a day several times a day can really help in reaching your daily goal. And if you’re using the underground or subway to get to work take the stairs at the station as well. Plus, stairs have the added bonus of firing up the gluteal compound of muscles, which have the potential to be some of the stronger muscles in your body but are often the laziest, transferring their workload to your back or thighs. The result is a stronger, firmer ass and reduced back strain: win-win!

Use a timer to remember to take short active breaks

Sitting for too long of periods of time can lead to musculoskeletal and other health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, even cancer. If you find that you’re sitting for too long user a timer to break up your work day. Work in short bursts of 25-minutes then take a 3 – 5 minute break during which you stretch or get other exercise. Check out these 10 exercises you can do at your desk. After the fourth 25-minute session take a longer break – this will give you the chance to take a walk around the block or do some stairs.

Replace your desk chair with a stability ball

Sitting on a stability ball helps to improve your core muscle strength, prevent stiffness and burn extra calories. Unlike sitting in a chair, which leads us to slump, an activity ball keeps you actively balancing, encouraging correct posture and therefore fewer back problems.

Consider investing in a standing desk

If you work from home, or have a forward-thinking employer, why not get a standing desk? A well set-up standing desk will encourage better posture and burn 50 more calories an hour.

Work out during your lunch break

If you don’t have time to squeeze in a workout before or after work, use part of your lunch break. This is easiest in workplaces with gyms so you don’t have to use precious time getting to and from the gym, but if your office doesn’t have this feature there is usually a gym close by. Many employers also offer lunchtime yoga or other exercise sessions free or for a small fee. Workouts don’t have to be an hour or more to be effective; research has proven that a short blast of intense activity is just as effective as a longer, less intense session. Download the Nike+ Training Club app and hit play on a 15-minute HIIT session. Just don’t forget to eat after your workout – you need to refuel after your workout session.

Natasha Staples is a certified personal trainer available for private sessions via Skype. She can be reached at

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