This article was originally published in Wave Magazine. For more health and wellness articles, please visit www.wavemag.ca
If you're reading this at work, take a moment and stretch your arms into the air. Or release that computer mouse and do a couple of wrist rotations. Your body will thank you for it.
Sitting at a desk is somewhat new for me. Until now, exercising has always been my job. My new situation has forced me to be creative and find ways to integrate exercise into my regular workday, by turning my coffee breaks or lunch hour into mini-workout sessions.
By combining three 10-minute activity breaks during my workday, every day, I can meet the weekly 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity recommended by the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology and the Public Health Agency of Canada.
A workday workout might involve taking a brisk walk with my colleagues or turning an empty office or boardroom into a temporary gym or yoga studio over my lunch hour.
These mini workplace workouts can make a difference to your health, too. Research shows that completing three brisk 10-minute walking sessions a day is effective in reducing blood pressure. Taking activity breaks also reduces stress, increases productivity and makes us more effective at our job.
Try this sample schedule of aerobic, strengthening and stretching exercises to get you started:
10 minutes of brisk walking followed by five minutes of stair walking.
15 minutes of body weight circuit training at lunch (Try wall push-ups, squats, jumping jacks, balancing on one leg, calf raises, lunges and chair crunches.)
10 minutes of stair walking, followed by five minutes of stretching on each coffee break. (Click here for some easy-to-follow how-to videos)
15 minutes for a walking meeting
15 minutes of brisk walking
15 minutes of body weight circuit training at lunch
10 minutes of circuit training
10 minutes of stair walking
10 minutes of chair yoga
40-minute brisk walk at lunch time.
Healthy Workplaces is a joint effort to share health best practices with Winnipeg's business community.