5 Ethically Sneaky Ways to Burn Calories at Work

Today we have something for those who work – which is everybody, unless you never do the dishes.

You may think the 30 minutes you spend every other day working out is enough to keep you trim and healthy, but it’s not. If you want overall good health, you need to eat well (hence, the dishes) and find windows of exercising opportunity every day—not just during your scheduled workouts.

How can you squeeze in a little exercise when most of your hours are spent sitting at a desk, meeting in the conference room, and preparing for big presentations? Read on to find out when and how!

(All this assumes, of course, that your work situation allows you a bit of latitude for the following activities. This begs the question – is fitness worth getting fired for? To quote my math professor, “The answer is left to the student as an exercise.”)

1. On the Way to Work. To start your day with a smidgen of calorie-burning exercise, you may need to wake up a few minutes earlier than usual. Not to get in a workout before tossing on your power suit, but rather so you’ll have time to torch a few calories on the way to work. To shed some calories before clocking in, you have a number of options depending on your situation. You can bike or walk to work, perform seated calf raises on the bus or train, or park your car at the far end of the parking lot so you get to walk farther to reach your office. And of course, once you get to your building, take the stairs – just don’t be late!

2. When Doing Mindless Tasks. Admit it (without being insulted, please!): not everything you do at work requires an amazing amount of brainpower. Take advantage of the easy tasks by multitasking with some exercise. The easiest option is to flex and squeeze your body. From your glutes and your abs to your pecs and thighs, you can get rid of a few calories by simply flexing them as you work. As you grow accustomed to the flexing, you may find it to be a great way to work your way through a long, difficult meeting.

Not to overdo the dishes theme, but you can do this whilst doing the dishes or most other household chores. If nothing else, try tightening your abs while doing the dishes. And hey, you haven’t worked out until you’ve done some lunges while pushing the vacuum! How about standing crunches while making the bed? Got the idea?

Fitness through housekeeping. Um, I think we’re wandering, here. Sorry.

Just be sure to relax your body afterwards to bleed off the tension, from either the exercises or the housework.

3. Every Time You Finish a Task. When you first get to work, make a to-do list. This will help keep you on track and will also set you up for exercise rewards. Each time you cross a task off your list, give yourself an exercise reward. This could be walking a couple laps around the office, standing up and doing a couple quick total body extensions, or closing your office door and knocking out a dozen push-ups. Know what your reward of the day will be and go for it.

4. When You Need to Communicate. Helpful as email may be, there is a way to communicate with your colleagues that actually keeps your body moving. Getting out of your seat and walking to your coworker’s office to talk things through. Have to make a few phone calls? Stand up as you talk or better yet, pace back and forth during the conversation.

For fun, try doing squats or walking lunges whilst on the phone. The person on the other end won’t mind, but do be sure to have a story ready for your watching co-workers.

5. At the Top of the Hour. A great way to sneak (an ethical sneak, please, not the immoral kind) a little calorie burning into your routine is to get up every hour. And your exercising doesn’t need to be super intense. All you need to do is stand up. Do this for five minutes, eight times a day, and you will drop 100 calories a day.

OK, then!

All of these bonus calorie burning tips are great – when done in conjunction with a consistent, challenging exercise program. If you aren’t yet one of my valued clients then now is the time to join in – call or email today to get started! It will help you get the dishes done faster, too.

About Tom Schweickert

Tom Schweickert, EA, CPC, CPT brings a unique combination as a Life Coach, Personal Trainer and Money Coach to help folks negotiate these interesting times.
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