The following phrases are probably familiar — ‘sitting is the new smoking’, ‘making excuses burns zero calories per hour’, ‘create healthy habits not restrictions’ (you probably get the point). Fitness experts acknowledge the fact that regular exercise helps you stay in shape and increases productivity at work. Refusing to exercise could be putting not only your health but also your job at risk. Optimum physical health minimizes your chances of getting the common cold, type 2 diabetes, hypertension and heart disease- basically diseases that can inhibit your work performance.

Although scheduling regular work outs can improve your immunity, it can be quite challenging finding the time, energy or will power to exercise. This is usually the case when you have a time consuming full-time job, kids, or constantly have to sit in traffic while moving around town. While you might not be able to schedule work outs to give your that hot bikini body or six packs, it can help to practice desk-side fitness routines that give you a leg up over couch potatoes.

Set 90-minute timers

Our productivity might start to take a down turn when we stretch tasks past 90 minutes without taking short breaks. This theory is based on the Basic- Rest- Activity- Cycle (BRAC) theory, which highlights the fact that we sleep in 90-minute cycles (we go from light sleep to deep sleep in an average of 90 minutes). In other words, use your body’s natural rhythm to improve your fitness. Use your short breaks to walk around the office, take the stairs or walk to the restaurant around the corner.

Schedule a brisk walk during lunch breaks

Depending on the duration of your lunch break, it can be helpful to take a 10, 20 or 30-minute walk. While walks can help boost your productivity by refreshing your focus, they are also classified as Low Intensity Steady-State Cardio (LISS).  LISS (fancy term to share with your friends) is a cardio based activity performed at a low intensity for a prolonged period e.g. walking, swimming, cycling, and so on. This type of cardio speeds up your metabolism, encourages fat loss, improves blood flow and enhances respiratory health.

Take water breaks

Water helps us flush out toxins, boosts the immune system, increases energy and promotes weight loss. It is quite easy for us to turn to soda and other drinks with high sugar content for refreshment. Make it a habit to avoid these drinks by deliberately leaving your desk to refill your water bottle. You can also use water breaks to stretch your body. Stretching can help reduce tension in your muscles, increase blood circulation, and enhance muscular coordination.

Do you have fitness tips to share? We’d love to hear from you.