July 1, 2013
4 tips to squeeze more exercise into your workday
I grew up in the Puget Sound region, and the joke in my family has always been that summer doesn't really start until after the Fourth of July.
Not surprising since, according to KOMO weather anchor Steve Pool, Seattle ranks No. 5 nationally of the cities with the highest number of cloudy days (behind Anchorage, Forks, Astoria and Olympia). In case you're wondering, we have 226 cloudy days per year, with 140 days of measurable rain.
With the sunny Seattle summer finally here (I hope), it's a great time to get more exercise. You're probably wondering how to add one more thing to an already packed life. It's actually pretty easy. Try these simple tips for squeezing more exercise into your workday:
Skip the elevator and take the stairs. As one friend said, "I'll climb up the stairs, walk across the building and then back down the stairs on the other side just to go to a meeting on the same floor I'm on. It gives me a few extra minutes of exercise and allows me to clear my mind before heading into my next meeting."
Park farther away. Forget circling the parking lot like a vulture for a space up front. Try purposely increasing the distance you'll walk to and from your vehicle each day. Bonus: With all this summer sunshine, you'll be able to skip bringing an umbrella (hopefully).
Go for a walk during lunch. Before eating, take a walk. Go alone to unwind or ask a co-worker to join you. A colleague shared this health tip: "I always drink a glass of water before I go for my lunchtime walk. It not only keeps me hydrated, it also seems to lower my appetite because I'm never as hungry after my walk."
She's right. According to research by Brenda Davy, associate professor of human nutrition, foods and exercise at Virginia Tech, drinking two 8-ounce glasses of water before meals helps reduce appetite because it fills up the stomach with a zero-calorie liquid.
Exercise or stretch while on conference calls. When you're on a conference call, try a few exercises by your desk, such as leg lifts, arm stretches, squats, etc. Just be sure to put your phone on mute so no one hears any heavy breathing on the line.
Sure, people laugh a little when they see me doing this, but it's amazing how it decreases my stress and makes me feel more energized in the middle of the day (or any time when I'm feeling sluggish).
Karen Burns is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl, a career guide based on her 59 jobs over 40 years in 22 cities.
Kristen Fife is a senior recruiter, career mentor, blogger and resume consultant based in the Seattle area.
Lisa Quast is a certified career coach, mentor, business consultant, former corporate executive and author based in the Seattle area.
Randy Woods writes about job-search tools, networking techniques and other tips to help you land your dream job.
Matt Youngquist is the president of Career Horizons, a career counseling firm.
Natalie Singer is a Seattle writer, editor and small-business owner.
Michelle Goodman is the author of "My So-Called Freelance Life" and "The Anti 9-to-5 Guide."
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