March 19, 2019

Ideas for working out at work: other professionals discuss

Ideas for working out at work: other professionals discuss
Between the daily agony of commuting, long hours spent at an uncomfortable desk, and an unrelenting schedule, having a demanding job can often interfere with your exercise habits — if not stop them dead in their tracks. And that’s a problem, because when you’re stressed out and sedentary, exercise is one of the best things you can do to manage anxiety and ensure that you stay physically active through all that sitting.
When it comes to fitness, it often seems like working people have two options: wake up early enough to go work out, or hope that you have enough energy to work out in the evening. While hopping over to the gym in the middle of the day sounds like a nice solution, most of us don’t have that luxury on a daily basis. And keeping a set of weights or foam roller stashed under your desk may not jam with your office culture.
Everyone’s work life is different, so what works for you and your schedule or job demands might not work for the next person. So, we asked people in the Refinery29 community to share their tips for squeezing fitness into their workday. Whether you sit all day or are on your feet, hopefully this creative advice will inspire you to squeeze in a sweat session of your own.
Madeline, 27 

Job: Graphic designer

‘It takes an extra effort to make time to work out. I have to treat it like an appointment almost, to make sure I fit it into my schedule and prioritise it. So, I’ll block off time on my personal calendar for the gym, so when work things or the occasional social thing comes up, I weigh more heavily whether it’s worth it to skip the workout (or reschedule).

‘I tend to work out in the mornings before work, but it’s more motivating for me to do a class than to just hit the gym, since I have to be at my office between 8:30 and 9. So, a 6:45 or 7 A.M. class is a lot easier for me to motivate myself to get up for, than getting myself up at 6 A.M. just to mentally walk myself through a workout, which seems like too much focus so early. I try and work out four times a week, usually three of those times are before work, and two are classes. When I’m more stressed at work and don’t have the mental energy to plan my workouts, I splurge on more classes a month to keep myself moving and active without having to give up more brain space to plan my workouts.’

Isabela, 23

Job: Investment assistant

‘I make time for it, just like I do for anything else that is important to me. I work out before work daily, as well as after often times as well.’

Erin, 36 

Job: Fashion designer

‘I will tighten and un-tighten my core and do glute squeezes at my desk. Also, toe exercises to help avoid plantar fasciitis. When I’m training for a race and I have to work long days, I dress to easily transition to run home from work.’

Lauren, 29

Job: Desk job.

‘I take the stairs. The smokers get smoke breaks so I try to take their same breaks (about a half hour a day total) to walk outside or climb some stairs. It’s possible, just hard!’

Shelby, 25 

Job: Quality control inspector

‘I work a regular 9-5 with an hour and a half long commute. It leaves me with few hours in the day! I drive from location to location for most of the day, so it leaves me with few opportunities for walking. Weather permitting, I utilize my long lunch break to go for walks at local parks. I also head to the gym immediately after work two to three days a week for a quick (30-45 minute) strength session. Every weekend, I hike! Whether short hikes in local parks or 10+ miles in the Catskills, it’s the activity I most look forward to each week.’

Rose, 26 

Job: Arts administrator

‘I always make myself walk a very long and out-of-the-way route to pick up lunch. I’m talking two avenues and 10 blocks or so, in a big circle, to make sure I’m getting some steps in midday.’

Lemon, 28

Job: Electronic banking support

‘I lift dumbbells and kettlebells at my desk, do static stretches, run in place, jump an imaginary jump rope, do squats, and desk pushups. I go walking and jogging during my hour lunch break as well, and sometimes walk to and from work, because I only live a little over a mile away.’

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