Haven’t gotten to the gym today? Are you stuck at work, and it looks like you won’t be home until much later? Well, just because you can’t get to the gym doesn’t mean you can’t make the use of a quick break to get your blood pumping to give yourself an extra boost in your step. It isn’t easy being stuck in an office all day, not to mention possibly longer than just your average eight hours, so why not make the most of a quick fitness break? In my two part series, I will take the time to discuss what you can do at the office to increase your physical activity as well as how moving at a sedentary job can get you on the path to a healthier lifestyle. Taking the time to do a quick fitness activity for 5 or 10 minutes a couple of times during your day can greatly increase your attention, energy levels, and make you a much more productive employee. So let’s get moving
First, if you don’t have the time to do much of anything, at least take the time to stretch. Stretching allows you increased flexibility as well as increased range of motion in the joints. Overtime, as you flex your muscles, tasks such as moving boxes or bending over to pick up a pile of fallen papers become significantly easier, not to mention the fact that stretching improves circulation. Stretching sends blood flowing to the muscles, getting rid of waste products in the tissues of the muscles. Taking the time to stretch also allows for improved posture, a chance to decompress during your busy day as well as enhancing coordination. Also, the more you stretch, the more you decrease your likelihood of muscle injury, so if you can’t move too much, take five minutes to give your body a good stretch.
To ensure that you have a good stretch, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Although you are stretching, there is still the risk of injury, so to avoid any possible situations that may involve your co-workers finding you lying on the floor, follow these simple techniques:
- Take the time to warm up. Stretching cold muscles increases your risk of injury, so take some time to walk around the office while moving your arms and lifting your legs slightly higher than normal. This will get your heart pumping and the blood flowing.
- Hold your stretches. Holding your stretches for at least thirty seconds lets the muscle lengthen safely with increased pressure over time. Too much pressure too fast and you could find yourself in a tight spot.
- Be cognisant of pain. If you are feeling pain then you have gone too far, ease up before you give yourself an injury.
- Relax and breathe. Many people forget to breathe and hold their breath. Breathing during stretching increases oxygen in the blood.
- Stretch both sides.