In my last article, I covered a few facts relating to the benefits of including movement and exercise throughout your working day. In case you missed that, <you can read Part 1 here>
In this article I will be covering three activities that you can incorporate into your day to include more movement while in the office.
Many philosophers all throughout time have been noted wanderers. Those such as Aristotle noted the benefits of walking and often taught while walking. Walking provides opportunity to be in a different environment for new ideas, time outdoors getting fresh air and vitamin D (which in itself helps with a variety of health conditions), relationship building and improvement of team spirit.
Including several walking meetings through the day can easily increase daily movement and get you to the government minimum standards.
Nilofer Merchant has a great TED talk on the subject.
<iframe src="https://embed-ssl.ted.com/talks/nilofer_merchant_got_a_meeting_take_a_walk.html" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe>
While I personally don’t have meetings, I usually make sure I get in at least one 10 minute walk through the day. I come back to my desk clear headed, refreshed and ready to go for the rest of the day... at least until lunch.
Mobility in the Office
If I could go back in time to when I first started training and teach myself about something I should do every day, to not only improve the form and weight of my lifts but to also reduce pain and injury. It would have to be mobility.
In the last year, I’ve really learnt the benefits of mobility and the array of tools that can be used in conjunction with the practice. Things like foam rollers, floss bands, lacrosse balls, broom sticks and tiger tails. All very useful tools.
Mobility in itself can simply be stretching. For practicality in the office you may be limited to floss bands, lacrosse balls and tiger tails if you’re to include equipment but the concept is simple.
A mild 30 minute stretching session can use approximately 178 kcals and studies have shown that this can even impact insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease risk in a similar way to walking does (Innes, Bourguignon, & Taylor, 2005)
<maybe include an image list of stretches, ive got one in the folder. But if you can find something better, use that>
Doing a few simple stretches for 3 minutes 10 times a day will fill the quota for your 150 minutes a week. Combining this with the tools mentioned above will surely help to further improve your time in the gym too.
The Evil Russian and Greasing the groove
Pavel Tsatsouline is one of the world’s best well known strength training experts, authoring many books and is the Chairman of strength and conditioning company, StrongFirst. He is the man responsible for introducing the kettlebell to the West and in his book, “The Naked Warrior” he explains possibly the most useful tool that we can use to incorporate more movement patterns into our day.
Pavel refers to it as “grease the groove” technique. To summarise Pavel, take the movement that you wish to improve and the maximum reps you can do of it. Halve this number. Do this amount of reps for a set. Only when you are fully recovered, do this again. It can be done on the hour, half an hour, or even fifteen minutes. Whenever suits you best, so long as you are fully recovered and you’re not going to failure. Body weight exercises are the easiest to incorporate into this so squats and push ups for the purpose of the office environment are most likely the easiest. However, if you’re lucky enough to be in an office (or have your own office) where you can put a door frame pull up bar, or even keep a kettlebell by your desk with no issue, you will increase the variety of what you can do vastly.
The best thing about this, is that you won’t work up a sweat at work doing this and you’ll find that it will have great impact on your time in the gym.
Try to stick to no more than two exercises at a time.
Doing these activities or a combination of the three, you can easily increase the amount of movement and exercise in your day. Not only improving your health and longevity, but you will positively affect those around you when they see how much healthier and happier you are.