healthy adults should aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise five days a week, but some days– between work, doctor’s appointments, homework help, family dinners and errands– there just really isn’t time. Alas, don’t get discouraged, and keep in mind that some
physical activity is always better than none.
Start thinking outside the box: What are some small, unusual ways you could move more during the day? We’ll help you get started. Here are a few subtle ways you can move more during meetings.
Stretching is a very easy way to keep moving during a meeting. Start with a simple calf stretch. Lift your leg up (but don’t accidently hit your coworker!) and pull your toes toward your body until you feel a stretch in your calf. Hold that position for 30 seconds or so, and then rotate your ankle around in a circle– clockwise and then counter-clockwise– to loosen up the joint. Switch to the other leg when you’re ready.
Next, give your wrist muscles a little love. Straighten out your arm under the table, and with the opposite hand, grab the top of your fingers. Gently pull them back until you feel a stretch in your wrist and forearm. Hold for 30 seconds, and then switch arms. Next, rotate each wrist in a circle, clockwise and then counter-clockwise, to release any tension in the joint.
Another incognito way to move more during a meeting is by doing a series of calf raises. Make sure you have both feet on the ground to begin with, and starting with whichever foot you’d like, raise your heel up while keeping your toes on the ground. You should feel your calf muscle flex. Challenge yourself to do this motion continuously for a minute straight or longer if you feel so inclined. Then switch legs.
This is a great exercise to do if you’re in a virtual meeting (i.e. a webinar or a conference call) or if you’re in meeting with a lot of folks (because then it wouldn’t be so obvious). While seated, grab onto the arms of your chair and lift yourself up and down. Depending on your strength, repeat that movement 5 to 10 times, rest, then do another 5 to 10, and so on and so forth. This movement strengthens your triceps muscles, and all you need to do it is your chair and you!
If your colleagues are game, go on a walk during your meeting! As I’ve written about before on this blog
, walking meetings are a great way to kill two birds with one stone: get exercise and do work at the same time. And on top of keeping you active during the day, walking meetings can lead to out-of-the-box thinking and innovative problem solving. Give it a try!
Check out 5 MoveMore Apps to Keep You Healthy and True Life: 8 Hours on an Elliptical Trainer for additional resources to help you stay active at work.
How do you stay active at work? What easy exercises help you move more?