We’ve been talking a lot about movement — exercise — in any form you can muster, in any amount you can muster, at any time of the day you have a few minutes — or even seconds — to spare. As I mentioned before, May is Exercise at Work Month, but as this week comes to a close in anticipation for a long holiday weekend, I’m remembering that May Movement won’t last forever. How can we sustain some of the fledgling habits we’ve created during this beautiful spring month? How can we build a routine of movement into our every day? And what can we do to get the most out of it?
In thinking about these questions for myself and doing a little research online, I found some great tips. One of which happens to be right in line with the classes we’ve brought to the AHS staff over the course of this month — interval training. In our Take-Home Workout classes this month, we talked about the time value of interval training and the fact that you can choose some great movements that you don’t need a lot of space to perform. We emphasized one small piece of equipment — the resistance band — which can replace a variety of weights and machines at the gym and can fold up into a small bag or hang on a doorknob out of your way when you’re not using it. Essentially, we eliminated the two most common excuse for not workout out: 1) I don’t have time and 2) I can’t afford a gym membership.
You can manage to get a lot done in a short amount of time with interval training, and if you download a HIIT or Tabata timer onto your smart phone, you can let the phone do all the brain work for you, freeing up your body to really get something done in as little as 20 minutes. Interval training can be done in a number of ways with a number of simple exercises that require little to no equipment. Helath Magazine offers ways to use objects in your home for a great workout here. Gym Junkies also lists a great interval workout for beginners here.
Another great tip for getting moving is to start early. There are a few reasons for that. First, studies have shown that a morning workout helps you sleep better at night. Secondly, it’s a great way to replace that morning cup of coffee — getting moving first thing revs up your body and wakes up your mind. Thirdly, if you get it done first thing, you don’t have to budget in time at the end of the day to make it happen. And Fourthly (but not finally), you can get more bang for your exercise buck by starting early. Revving up your metabolism first thing in the morning means more calories burned throughout the day, even if you’re just sitting at your desk.
However you choose to get active, there is a ton of resources online to help, all you have to do is try them out.
Consider using some time on your long weekend to try out some of these new moves. And don’t be afraid to bring them to work!
Happy Memorial Day!