I think an issue that almost all of us face is how to find the time to exercise when there are so many other life obligations that have to be met first. We all have families to look after, errands to run, and, of course, we spend a good portion of our day at work.
I don’t have a typical desk job, which can be both a good and a bad thing. I work in lab and by work I mean performing experiments.
This means that most of the day I’m on my feet so I’m constantly keeping active. But this also means that I can’t go home until an experiment is completed so sometimes I have some very loooong days. What to do on those days when I’ve got experiments to run all night and leave work very late? I don’t wait until I get home because by then, I’m just exhausted and want to go to bed. So what do I do? I sneak in exercise while I’m at work.
I find that I can usually spare at least 10 min. Yes, if I have a large break, I do go outside and walk along the East River bike/walk path but sometimes that’s not feasible. Sometimes the weather is bad or sometimes, I don’t even have the 20 min it takes for me to walk out there and back. So what do I do? I walk indoors.
Now, I know this may not apply to everyone as I work in a unique environment: a very large medical center with multiple interconnected buildings. If I walked the length of the building I work in, it’s already the equivalent of 2 blocks. But if I walk through all the interconnected buildings, I can walk a much greater distance. (Don’t worry I don’t walk through the patient care areas and disturb the healthcare staff hard at work at helping sick people). Furthermore, I work on the 6th floor so I can do quite a bit of walking if I include the length of multiple floors. In fact, if I grab a cup of coffee late in the afternoon
, I’ll take the long way back by walking back and forth between the buildings as I make my way up from the 1st to the 6th floor. I can cover 0.75 mile in just 15 minutes and all of this walking takes place indoors.
For a larger cardio boost, I’ll use the stairs as my own personal stairmaster machine.
We have multiple stairwells in our building and one of them is hardly ever used. 1. I don’t want to disturb anyone and 2. I don’t want to get strange looks from people about my decision to exercise at work. If I walk from the ground floor to the roof, I can walk up 17 flights! I’ll walk up and down several times to get in a really intense cardio workout. When I’m walking back down the stairs, I usually stop every 2 flights to jog in place for about 20 seconds to keep my heart rate elevated.
I know that not everyone can use my tricks to help them stay more active at work but hopefully it can jumpstart you into finding your own way to stay active. I’m curious: if/what do all of you do to keep yourselves more active while at work?