If you work a 9 to 5 desk job, keeping to a workout regimen can be extremely difficult. While there are many out there who have the discipline to be that after-work warrior, for us common folk, going to the gym is probably the last thing we want to do after a long and exhausting day at the office.
This disappointing yet understandable lack of discipline can easily result in what I like to call the “desk job pudge”, an unfortunate swelling of the abdomen and thighs that only expands the longer you stay strapped to your desk.
Before long, that svelte body you once knew grows rotund, and you’re left wondering when it all went wrong.
If you can’t tell, I have just a little bit of experience in this matter.
Fortunately, there is a way you can work 9 to 5, and stave off those rapidly gaining pounds, even if you can’t make it to the gym on a nightly basis.
While you won’t necessarily lose weight fast, it will at least keep you active throughout the day so you don’t start taking on the shape of your office chair.
Here are just a few layman’s tips to burning calories, even while you work a 9 to 5 job.
Take Mini-Breaks to Move Around
This might seem pretty obvious, but take a moment and think about it.
When you’re working, how much time do you actually spend out of your chair? Sure, you might take your required 15 minute breaks or go out and grab some lunch, but besides that, do you ever really move?
If you’re like most, probably not.
That’s why I like to set reminders for myself to get up, shake out my legs, and maybe take a small lap around the office (if you can get away with it). You’d be surprised how much of a difference just a quick break from sitting on your butt can make, especially if you do it consistently throughout the day.
To really get the exercise you need, make sure you’re up, moving, and doing something at least 2 minutes for every hour you work – you might look weird to your coworkers, but even just this can stave off desk job pudge.
Do some Low Intensity Stretches and Exercises
As much as we might like to, it’s probably not the best idea to get all worked up and sweaty while in full work attire. That in and of itself is enough to stop most people from actually doing the exercise they need to do.
However, there are some low-intensity and easy-to-do exercises that you can do right at your desk that WON’T ruin your nice shirt and tie. Mix these in with your mini-breaks that we mentioned above, and make sure you’re getting at least a little burn!
Bring your Lunch on a Daily Basis
I get it; it’s hard to get yourself up in the morning to make a meal and – depending on your strength of memory – it can be even harder to remember that meal in the morning.
BUT if you really want to turn that tire beneath your shirt into something a bit more appealing, you absolutely need to stop eating out for lunch.
Here’s the thing; even if you aren’t eating fast food, going out to eat often tricks our minds into thinking we want to eat mostly unhealthy things in larger quantities. Start bringing your lunch, however, and you can eat on your own terms. Just take a few minutes and make a sandwich in the morning, or even the night before if you want to avoid waking up earlier. Or, if you REALLY don’t like that extra meal prep, put a little extra into what you make for dinner and bring leftovers.
Whatever you do, it will be infinitely healthier than eating out, and it will give you the chance to work your way to a skinnier lifestyle (and a fuller wallet).
Do Make it to the Gym at Least Once in a While
As much as we all might hate it, physical activity during the non-work hours is a must if you really want to stay in shape.
And, while I’m not asking you to go every day, you really should do your best to get off the couch and get the heart pumping, even if that means just going for a jog. Balance your work life and your non-work life exercise as best you can – in addition to an at least somewhat healthy diet – and you should start finding how much easier it is to stay in somewhat decent shape than you once thought!
Just remember; these tips aren’t going to cause a dramatic loss of weight (so don’t complain to me if you haven’t dropped 10 sizes by the time your finished reading).
Instead, this is designed to help cut the negative effects your 9 to 5 job is having on your body. In other words, this is just a start towards a healthier lifestyle, rather than a guide to turn you into a fitness maniac, and that’s just fine. Sometimes, it’s easier to tackle the small battles first, and this article should help you do just that.
Tyler Fleck is a blogger and content writer who has been published throughout the web. For more information about 9 to 5 exercise, contact him today or visit http://rebuildingchampions.com/