Power Up to Move More
Do you have trouble staying energised for your post-workday workout? Try these tips to keep your energy going strong so you can Move More.
- Hydrate: Drink water throughout the day and especially before, during and after physical activity.
- Fuel Up: When your energy is starting to lag, snack on healthy carbs, like vegetables, fruits and whole grains.
- Fight Fatigue: Alternate sitting and standing during the day. Wear comfy shoes you can easily walk in, or use insoles to keep your legs and feet feeling fine.
- Refresh: Try stress-relieving activity breaks, like lunchtime walks, meditation and yoga to rejuvenate and refresh anytime.
- Breathe: Practice breathing deeply by inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth slowly to deliberately send more oxygen to your brain and body.
- Eat for Energy: Avoid eating too much saturated fats throughout the day. They digest more slowly and can take away oxygen and energy-delivering blood from your muscles.
- Don’t Wait: Make it a habit to go right from work or school to your workout or activity. If you stop at home, you may be tempted to skip it.
- Refuel: Refuel after your sweat session with lean protein, healthy carbs and plenty of water so your body can recover more quickly.
Breaking Down Barriers to Fitness
Most of us are familiar with the most common barrier to a regular physical activity routine – the lack of time. Work, family obligations and other realities of daily life often get in the way of our best intentions to be more active. There are many additional barriers that vary by the person and life circumstance. If you’re committed to a physical activity program and setting goals for yourself, it’s helpful to first identify your personal barriers. By troubleshooting and developing tactics in advance, you’ll have better success overcoming them.
Common barriers and solutions for overcoming them:
- Barrier: Lack of time
Solutions: Monitor your activities for one week and identify at least three, 30-minute slots you could use for physical activity. Select activities that you can fit into your home or work routine so you’re not wasting time on transportation to another venue to accomplish them. Climbing stairs at your office or exercising while you watch TV are all good options.
- Barrier: Friends and family don’t share your interest in physical activity
- Solutions: Explain your fitness and/or health improvement goals to friends and family and ask for their support. Invite friends to participate in physical activity with you.
- Barrier: Lack of motivation and/or energy
- Solutions: Plan ahead. Schedule physical activity for specific times/days and ‘check’ it off your list or calendar each time you complete it. Determine what time of day you feel more energetic and try to fit activity into that time frame. Join an exercise group or class and seek others in the group to help motivate you and keep you accountable to attending.
- Barrier: Lack of resources/equipment
- Solutions: Select activities that require minimal facilities or equipment, such as walking, jogging or jumping rope. Identify inexpensive, convenient resources in your community, such as parks and recreation programs, worksite wellness groups, walking clubs. Become part of a community by joining Australia’s largest free walking network, Heart Foundation Walking: https://walking.heartfoundation.org.au/
- Barrier: Family obligations
- Solutions: Exercise with your kids – go for a walk together, play tag or other running games. You can spend time together, occupy the kids and ensure they’re getting the daily physical activity they need to stay healthy. If you have a specific class you’d like to attend, try alternating babysitting times with a neighbour.
Work Out at Work
What if you could work out while you work, without having to carve out a big chunk of time? You can – by taking all those little opportunities to move more throughout your day. Just because you have a desk doesn’t mean you have to sit at it for eight hours straight.
Try Some of These Ways to Move More
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever you can, for at least a floor or two. Once that gets easier, add another floor.
- If you sit at a desk, make it a habit to stand up every time you make or answer a phone call. Explore your options for using a standing desk, treadmill desk or sit-stand desk riser.
- Need an energizing break? Stand up and do some basic strength and balance exercises, like squats, desk push-ups, wall sits, calf raises, tree pose and chair pose.
- Keep small hand weights or a resistance band at your desk for bicep curls, lateral raises, rows, and overhead presses. Watch demos online or work with a fitness trainer to make sure you’re doing exercises correctly to avoid injury.
- Walk to a co-worker’s desk or office to talk instead of using email or the phone. The personal interaction is an added bonus.
- Travelling for work? Take along a jump rope or resistance band to use in your hotel room. Bring workout clothes, shoes and a swimsuit to take advantage of the hotel fitness centre or swimming pool.
- Join or start a recreational sports league at your workplace.
- Form a walking club or team to walk together at work and raise money for charity events.
- Schedule walking meetings for informal discussions and brainstorming. Use a voice memo app on your phone to capture notes. You may find you’re more creative on your feet!
- Get off the bus or train a few blocks early and walk the rest of the way to work or home. If you drive to work, park as far away from the entrance as you can.
- Walk to a nearby restaurant for lunch instead of driving or ordering in.
- Ask a co-worker to be your “work out at work” partner. Remind and support each other to move more throughout the day. You’ll help keep each other accountable and motivated!
- Schedule physical activity time on your work calendar and treat it like an important appointment.
- American Heart Association. Staying Motivated. Retrieved from: https://www.heart.org.
- SA Health. Sit less move more. Retrieved from: https://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/Public+Content/SA+Health+Internet/Healthy+living/Be+active/Ways+to+be+active/Sit+less+move+more.