Working in Working Out: Exercise Tips for Your 9-to-5 Lifestyle
You probably already know that exercise is important for a healthy lifestyle, but it can be hard to fit in a quality workout during the week. Many Americans work a typical 9-to-5 job, which restricts opportunities to exercise during the day. In the fall and winter, the limited daylight hours can make it especially challenging to fit in a workout before or after work. We may feel like our only option is to abandon our exercise plans altogether, but in reality, exercising around our work schedules is possible with a little planning and know-how. Use these tips to help you start and maintain an exercise routine during the work week!
Maximize Your Time
- To make the most of your limited time, consider splitting your workout, scheduling short 15 to 20 minute bursts of running, walking, or interval training both before and after work. By the end of the day, you’ll have performed 30 to 40 minutes of exercise! You won’t have to compromise on sleep or be pressed for time even on your busiest days.
- Try exercising during the work day. Pack a lunch that you can eat on the move, and go for a 20 to 30 minute walk during your lunch break. You can also increase your steps during the day by taking the stairs or walking a lap around the workplace whenever you get a drink or use the restroom.
- Exercise around town or at a gym near your office before heading home. A 30 to 40 minute workout can help you decompress after work; plus, it’ll delay your commute home, helping you to miss rush hour traffic!
- Get work done while exercising. Use a headset for conference calls, and walk around the neighborhood or on a treadmill while you talk. Read memos and return emails while on a treadmill using your smartphone. Listen to seminars or educational podcasts while interval training or running at home.
Get the Most Out of Your Workout
- The most effective workouts are ones that elevate your heart rate periodically during the workout. This includes aerobic exercises like running, biking, and swimming and interval training exercises like push-ups, burpees, and jumping jacks. Experiment with different exercises to see what works the best for you and your routine. If you want help getting started, try a class at the gym, or follow along with videos or fitness apps.
- If you know you don’t have much time to exercise during the week, try to maximize your weekend workouts. Save your longest or most intense workouts for Saturday and Sunday, when you have more free time. This can help to increase your total hours of exercise per week without placing a strain on your schedule.