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It's common knowledge that we should be doing about 25-30 minutes of exercise five days a week, but there is so much more to it than you first think. Exercise to you could mean a zumba session, hard-core spinning, lugging your Mansur Gavriel bucket bag around with you or jogging for the 18:21 train – none of which are comparable.
What’s equally important is the type of exercise as well as the frequency. What the recommended amount is referring to is aerobic exercise (also called cardio), which is when your heart rate and breathing are increased for a sustained period of time to deliver increased oxygen to muscles. This strengthens your lungs, increases circulation and reduces blood pressure and increased oxygen to the brain has been proven to lower depression.
You might be nodding along to all of the above but struggle to find time to drink fluids, let alone set aside a whole half an hour for an exercise sesh!
We feel your pain – here are the easiest ways to slot in exercise and still be productive.
- Rather than going for a natter at lunch or eating at your desk, put on a pair of trainers and go for a brisk walk. Incorporate it with errands you need to run like marching to the post room on your way out or dropping off some papers to a different department before powering it to pick up some lunch.
- Ban yourself from using the lift. Legging it up and down the stairs is great for the thighs, but climbing just eight flights a day decreases your risk of early death but a third. If that’s not motivation enough put a coffee on the top step and as you start to smell it watch those thighs go. It’s also a great time to practice presentations, have cue cards with you and recite as you climb.
- Alternatively, hire a personal trainer. Nothing will get you motivated like the thought of loosing money. A PT can do an intense 30-minute session in your lunch break, which, apart from anything else, is an excellent stress release.
Start on Monday (and if you can, try and persuade a colleague to do it with you – preferably one that doesn’t mind booting you off your swivel chair if you declare you’re too tired or busy).