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How can you fit exercise into your 9-5 routine?

Feb 6, 2023

Every year, during this time, you sit down to think about your New Year’s resolutions. You set clear goals that you believe would make you happier and healthier. The problem is, however, you find yourself often repeating last year’s resolutions. This is when you should take a step back and think about “how” you’re going to reach your goals. Let us make 2023 the year you achieve them. 

This year I am focusing on getting more exercise, one of the many good habits I should do more of. If you’re like me and your plans to wake up early to exercise before your 9-5 job never stick and neither do the plans to exercise after work, then let’s find ways to get physical AT the job. 

I am starting with this strategy because it means I won’t have to find any extra time throughout my day. As a working mother, my days are already full of tasks and obligations. If I can squeeze exercise into my already busy day, I will be more likely to stick to it.

Let’s get started by reminding ourselves of the reasons we want to exercise more in the first place. As we all know, regular exercise is good for both our physical and mental health. However, instead of reciting the health benefits of exercise, ask yourself what you are looking to gain. I know that exercising will make me healthier, give me more energy, and make me more productive at work and in my personal life. While all of this is wonderful, it’s not what is truly motivating for me.

I want to feel like I accomplished something significant. When I get regular workouts, I am uplifted because I have taken the time to do something for myself. I find myself checking out my arms and legs in the mirror and liking what I see. It’s like I found a way to show myself that I actually matter. I am not just here to produce for everyone else (family, work, friends). I am doing something that is purely for me. That’s my real “why”. 

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Table of Contents

What’s your “why”? 

Why do YOU want to exercise more? Don’t just say that it's because you know you should. What motivates you? What do you hope to gain? Are you searching for a feeling of accomplishment? Do you want to feel more present and productive in your day-to-day life? If you can answer those questions then you are on the right track to achieve your goal. 

Starting an exercise regime in your spare time would be a major change. And while it would prove worthwhile, it is not the only way to get more exercise into your day. If your goal is simply to move your body more, then putting more activity into your normal day is a far more realistic goal. I will list ways you can become more active in your 9 to 5 days. These are small changes that can make a real impact. Remember, we are looking for progress, not perfection.

Some tips for exercising at work

  1. Get your work bestie in on it. Whether they want to work off the Christmas cookies or are just along for the ride with you, having a friend on the journey will help keep you accountable and will increase the likelihood if you doing more activity throughout your day.

  1. Look for ways to add steps. Your steps-per-day statistic is a big metric in measuring how active you are throughout the day. According to the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 10,000-15,000 steps per day is an optimal target. Find ways to step it up and you can easily increase your target. Try parking further away from the entrance, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, printing your documents at a printer that is further away, getting up and going to someone’s office to speak with them instead of calling, and using a bathroom on another floor. 

  1. Use a program that suggests mini-workouts as productivity breaks. Doing regular exercise helps with managing ADHD and generally helps improve mental health. To use exercise to help manage ADHD, you can interchange between focused work and short exercises like push-ups or jumping jacks. Here is where Focus Bear, a habit tracker and alternative to habitica, comes in handy because it helps you plan your work time and give you workout ideas for intervals. 

It can also track your activity over time so you can see how you improve. 

  1. Use your lunch break. We all need a break in our day but do you need your entire lunch break to eat? Not likely. Use the first half of your break for a light workout (like an outdoor walk) and then finish up the break with a small meal. You will be invigorated,satiated and ready to get back to work. 

Use all 4 of these strategies or just one to get started. The important part is that you make a positive change. If you know that you don’t adapt to change quickly, then my advice would be to use an app or tool to help you with accountability. The Focus Bear app, referenced in tip #3, will play a role in providing you with the “how” and “what” you need to get more active. You can select your preferences for workouts and breaks right within the app. You can download it and try it today so that you are ready for Monday morning.

Remember, change doesn’t have to happen overnight. Take it one day and a few extra steps at a time. Enlist some help via an app and/or a friend for accountability and you will make strides toward your goal. Progress over perfection. May 2023 be the year you get more physical,do something for yourself, and reach your goals!

Feb 6, 2023

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