Even while doing a 9-5 job and sitting on the desk, you can adopt measures to incorporate fitness in your life, says fitness trainer Riz Sunny.
Photograph: Rajesh Karkera/Rediff.com
Lack of exercise and adoption of sedentary lifestyle due to professional workload are two causes for stress, weight gain which cause a lot of health problems.
To address the issue, many workplaces have started including exercise rooms and gyms in the office itself.
Even one hour of exercise in a day can have innumerable benefits for health.
Fitness is as much a state of mind as it is a state of body.
Even while doing a 9 to 5 job and sitting on the desk, you can adopt measures to incorporate fitness in your life.
It is important to realise that when it comes to fitness, the mind to muscle connection is an integral part of the process.
Even before getting out of bed in the morning on time, you first have to convince your mind and then only can you lift your body.
Similarly, to stay active in an office setting, first work on the correct mindset and only then can you start working on your fitness.
Change your commute
Our workday doesn't start at 9 am when we enter the office.
It starts well before that, when we get out of the house to start our commute to the workplace.
This is the space which offers you maximum potential for including physical activeness in your routine every day by simply changing how you commute.
If feasible, consider walking or biking to work.
However, if your home is pretty far from your workplace, this option might not be entirely possible.
Travelling in public transport system is also an option if the subway, local train or buses do not add onto your overall commute time.
First, one has to create a habit of including physical activity in the commute routine.
It can be as simple as considering parking the car or bike further that your usual spot so that you can increase your steps by walking slightly more from the parking to your desk.
Choose stairs over elevator
In between, you might face another crucial choice- to take the elevator or the stairs.
It goes without saying that unless one is wounded or unwell, taking stairs instead of the elevator should be the standard practice.
However, it also depends on which floor your office is located.
A person, whose office is on 15th or 30th floor, will take as much time to climb the stairs as they will to commute to work.
By the time they will reach their desk, exhaustion would have set in. But if your office is on 4th or 5th floor, opt for the stair-struggle.
Set a goal and find time to achieve it
Keep a goal for yourself, such as, completing 10k steps every day.
Aim to find pockets of time from your everyday routine and utilise them to increase your physical activity.
Here, time management is an essential part of maximising the small work breaks and utilising them wisely to increase your everyday walking or 'steps'.
Instead of sitting continuously for hours, take five-ten minutes of break every one hour by walking around the work areas or going for small walks in-and-around the office building.
Drink more water, which will increase your bathroom breaks and thus add on to your overall steps. To do all this, one needs to have fitness goals on the forefront of their mind and as their priority.
Otherwise, there will always be some 'important' work which will keep you glued to you seat.
Stand, stretch but don't just sit
Another thing one can do to reduce one's sitting is that instead of being stuck to the chair all day.
You can buy a standing desk and use it regularly to increase one's overall standing time.
These little thoughtful efforts will help to build up the big picture of a healthier you.
Achieving fitness goals becomes easier if one has a partner or friend to compare their progress with and keep each other motivated.
If many of your colleagues have fitness trackers, then you can align your fitness challenges with them.
This will help to make your physical activeness goals more fun and of course, boost the motivation levels.
Human resource department tends to organise many team building exercises to boost office culture and encourage employee engagement.
A lot of workplaces these days have different sports teams and holds friendly sports matches.
If your office does not have one, then you can make a suggestion to the HR department.
Try to join any sports related activity at work which would be of your interest. It will help you to stay active and also foster deeper friendships at your workplace.
There are various types of exercises you can do while sitting on the chair at your desk.
First and foremost, sit with the correct posture.
Try mobilising your shoulders, work on ankle mobilisation, or try doing breaking exercises.
Since you are sitting on that chair, how about doing some chair squats?
Depending on how lenient and accommodating your HR is, you can consider replacing your office chair with an exercise ball.
This will help you in strengthening your abs and back, and it will also help in improving your posture.
Your professional commitments should not come in the way of your fitness goals.
However, first it is important to have set and defined goals in place.
The higher the goal, the higher the number of challenges you'll face and thus, high needs to be the amount of self-discipline and determination needed to achieve the goal.
Make fitness a priority with the correct mindset and that is step one done. Everything else comes after this.
Riz Sunny is founder of My Bollywood Body, a fitness channel.