It doesn’t matter whether you work in an office or out of your car … the chances are good you spend a lot of time there. Time spent working is often not our healthiest time, but it doesn’t have to be that way! With a few small changes and a little effort you can turn your workplace into a Well Place!
Let’s first look at the typical office scenario with a desk, desk chair, and long periods of sitting. Our bodies crave movement. There is no question why we leave work fatigued because our body was not designed to sit for extended periods of time. So how do we fix this without changing jobs?
- Purchase a balance disc that you can place on your desk chair. I’ve found these at Target, on Groupon, and also at Amazon. They function much like a large exercise ball but take up less room. Sitting on the balance disk will improve your posture. You cannot slouch while on the balance disc. Sitting upright will work the muscles of your core and spine to keep you sitting tall. Just by sitting – you’ll be adding some exercise to your day and working your core!
- Find ways to add extra movement into your day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Take the long way to the copier. Add in a 10-minute walk at lunchtime. All of this extra movement will do wonders for your energy level and body. Make it your goal to move every hour.
- Bring an exercise band or small hand weights to work. There are lots of 5-minute arm exercise videos on you-tube including on Shine Pilates Studio’s youtube channel. Commit to doing an arm series midday. This will get your blood pumping and just may replace the need for that afternoon caffeine!
- Get a large bottle or reusable cup and fill it with water. Drink water throughout the day and keep refilling that cup. Steps to the faucet or bathroom count as extra movement and your body will thank you for the extra hydration.
- Schedule your workout just like an appointment. Whether you prefer morning, lunch, or afternoon make a commitment to you and your workout and put it on your schedule. Treat it like any other important meeting … because you are important after all!
Now let’s take a look at those of you who spend your days in a car.
- Make sure your car seat is comfortable for you with proper lumbar support. If you need to purchase a small cushion to help your back that is money well spent. Some car seats have very ‘bucketed’ seats, which can become stressful on our spines after long periods of sitting time.
- When you are driving, draw your shoulder blades back and try to connect with the seat behind you. Where is your head? It should be over your shoulders not jutting forward. Use your car time as time to practice good posture.
- Do a little car dancing. Safety first, of course, but moving your body will keep your blood flowing, keep you alert, and alleviate the stiffness that comes from being sedentary.
- Keep a bottle of water in your car so you stay hydrated while you travel. This may mean more stops …but that extra movement and getting up from sitting will do your body good. Take the far parking spot when you park encouraging a few extra steps.
- When you arrive at your destination take a moment to stand tall reaching for the sky, side bend to each side, reach for your toes. Taking a stretch break will feel amazing after being in one position for an extended period.
- Finally, keep a gym bag in your car or at your office with a set of workout clothes. When your plans change and you find unplanned time … you be all set to pop into a class or take a run at the park. Often times when we have to go home first to change, we have a hard time getting back out. Planning ahead and having the right attire with you will increase your chances of getting to that Pilates class or whatever you choose!
Small changes can really add up to make our days healthier and our bodies happier!
About the author:
Lucie Bécus, is the owner and an instructor at Shine Pilates Studio in Chevy Chase. She is a PMA certified Pilates Instructor, TRX instructor, Spinning instructor, and ACE Certified Personal Trainer. She previously owned a successful Pilates studio for seven years in Nashville, TN – 12South Pilates. She was thrilled to bring her enthusiasm, training, and track record for success with her students to Lexington and Shine Pilates in 2018! Shine Pilates is a welcoming space for all with an emphasis on form and hands-on guidance. Shine Pilates offers privates, duets, and small group equipment classes always taught with a personalized approach and emphasis on meeting your goals. Bring out your inner brilliance with Pilates at Shine Pilates.
Are you a professional woman looking for connections and opportunities in Central Kentucky? Women Leading Kentucky is the premiere organization for professional women’s networking in Lexington and the surrounding area. We host events online and in-person that will help you extend your network and reach new business partners and opportunities. Join us at our next event!