Your blood needs to flow freely and at times quickly. Fast moving blood will help clean out the plaque that's been building up inside your arteries. Sometimes our jobs just don't provide that excitement that gets the blood flowing. So we need to create it for ourselves.
I don't want you to strip down to your underwear and streak through the office. Well I think that would be cool, but not very good for your career.
Exercise is a vital component to feeling good while we are working throughout the day. People who exercise at least 20 minutes a day see a significant increase in energy compared to people who don't exercise at all.
"Exercise can relax you. One exercise session generates 90 to 120 minutes of relaxation response. Some people call this post-exercise euphoria or endorphin response. We now know that many neurotransmitters, not just endorphins, are involved. The important thing though is not what they're called, but what they do: They improve your mood and leave you relaxed."
I want you to put small segments of exercise in at work. What? I can't exercise at work. Yes you can. There are plenty of ways to take a few minutes to get a little exercise in.
1. Squats in the Bathroom - Exercise in the bathroom? Gross. It may be, but it's my favorite in-office exercise. The bathrooms at my work are single person bathrooms and I can lock the door behind me. Squats can be done in an office or anywhere else, but just find a place where you won't be disturbed.
Results: I do squats for one minute and my heart is pounding. The thighs are the largest muscle in your body and when you work them out you are getting the most bang for your time.
2. Go for a Walk - Take a walk around your office. This is the most obvious and popular way to exercise at work. I always like to take a quick fifteen minute walk around the block. I try to do this at a fast pace to get the heart pumping. If I do this in the summer I make sure to keep a stick of deodorant in my desk so I don't stink.
Results: Going for a walk is my favorite stress reliever. It helps me clear out the worry and brings me back into a happier state.
3. Stretching in Your Chair - Carpal tunnel and other ailments are developed because of repetitive movements. Taking a few minutes to stretch your wrists, back and shoulders will break up your day and keep your joints healthier.
Results: I've abused my right wrist because of my overuse of the mouse. I try to stretch for a few minutes every hour. This habit has helped me gain a fresh perspective on my work as well as keep my wrists healthy.
4. One Minute Relaxation - Just like your muscles and joints need exercise, so does your brain. You should be taking the time to process your activity throughout the day. Exercising does this, but an active relaxation will help you clear out you mind to help you transition to that next task. Productivity is a key component to happiness at work and when we combat stress throughout the day we get more done and are much happier.
Results: I used to just race through the day, making myself frantic and by the end of the day I was ready for a beer. I relied on that beer to calm me down. Because of my one minute relaxations throughout the day I'm more relaxed when I get home and I no longer need a beer to transition to home life.
5. Push-ups - I love push-ups. They are probably my favorite muscle strengthening exercise. I try to do these on my lunch break. I'm no longer a bashful person so I'll do them on the sidewalk or in a field.
Results: Strength based exercises are vital to strong bones - our support system. We make our lives easier when we have a strong foundation. I've noticed that my confidence increases after push-ups. Just five push-ups makes a big difference. I feel like I can tackle any problem.
6. ??? - Number 6 is up to you my dear reader. What could you do on a break that would help keep your energy level up and productivity high?
- Active Relaxation
- Slowly Ease Back Into Your Work Before You Really Freak Out
- Give It Your All, Not for Your Boss, But for Your Own Work Happiness
Image courtesy of Teecycle Tim
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