How to Exercise when You’re Working 9–5

1. Start a Morning Exercise Routine

  • Morning exercise boosts metabolic rate. Ever heard of EPOC? That’s short for excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. Basically — a morning workout helps improve your metabolism which means that you’ll be able to burn more calories throughout the rest of the day.
  • Exercising in the morning helps cultivate consistency. Sticking with an exercise plan can be difficult if you have other urgent tasks on your plate. Doing some exercise in the morning leaves time for other priorities and makes it less likely that you’ll skip your workout entirely.
  • Improves physical and mental energy. Following a morning exercise routine will leave you feeling awake and replenish your energy levels. There’s even research that shows exercise does a better job at waking up the mind than coffee. So if you’re trying to drop those caffeine levels — this is the way to go.
  • Morning stretches. Experts emphasize that stretching in the morning improves posture, relieves pain and aches in your body, as well as increases body flow. Most stretches take a small amount of time and require barely any space. Even if you’re short on time, getting only a couple of stretching exercises into your morning routine will bring positives vibes for the rest of the day. Here are five stretches you should do every morning.
  • Short bodyweight workouts. Doing energizing movements like jumping jacks or bicycles works as a dynamic stretch for the body, as well as elevates the heart rate. Try this 7-minute workout or a more gentle movement routine that will still get the blood pumping. For more of a challenge, give interval training a chance.
  • Morning yoga. A great choice for those who need to find their Zen, as well as deal with stressful deadlines. Practicing yoga in the morning helps to maintain a calm mind and set a tone for the day. Do Sun Salutations to improve blood circulation and strengthen the body or try a morning routine for beginners.

2. Move More at Work

  • Take walking breaks. Switch riding the elevator to taking the stairs. Climb to the top of the building, then walk back. Instead of messaging your colleague, get over there for a chat. Talking on the phone? Ditch the chair and go for a walk, because every step counts.
  • Challenge your colleagues. Chances are you’re not the only one looking for an opportunity to add a little movement to the daily routine. Finding like-minded teammates can be quite motivational. Do a daily challenge of squats, lunges, push-ups, planks, or wall stands where you have to complete the exercise for a set number of repetitions or a specific length. Keeping fit together with your peeps will increase your chances of sticking to the commitment.
  • Sit on a fitness ball. When replacing your chair with a fitness ball, your body is constantly trying to balance itself, thus helping you practice better posture and forcing proper spine alignment. It also strengthens your abdominal muscles and helps fight procrastination.

3. Exercise at the End of the Workday

  • It relieves stress. Physical activity increases the production of endorphins, the “feel-good” hormones, creating a sense of well-being and euphoria. Also, the repetitive movements involved in exercise makes you focus on the body, rather than the mind, helping you forget the worries you might have had during the day.
  • Improves sleep quality. Some studies show exercising close to bedtime can make it more difficult to fall asleep. There is, however, proof that people who exercise in the evening had higher quality and duration of sleep than people who did the same workout in the morning.
  • Helps to socialize. If you’re trying to make new friends, exercising after work is the way to go. It’s true that evenings at the gym or group classes can be particularly busy. At the same time, many evening exercisers make the gym their only evening plan, so they’ve got the time to be social, making it easier to find workout buddies and spotters.



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