work and exercise

Fitting Exercise Into A Busy Working Week

work and exercise

Alarm. Up. Dress. Breakfast. Drive. Work. Lunch. Work. Drive. Home. Dinner. Television. Bed. This is essentially the bones of my working day and for many more the schedule for it. Exercise doesn’t appear to have much room in this schedule but is that by choice? Routine? Excuses? Or indeed a choice to routinely make excuses?


It’s amusing how we prioritise. After exercise we feel great and promise ourselves will keep it up, but more often than not it becomes a neglected promise. In direct contrast how many of us, have one too many at the weekend and swear the following morning never again and, of course we invariable do. We are so focused on now that it’s easier to make excuses and do the easiest option. Perhaps, its time to exchange, excuses for exercise.


Sacrifice some sleep; exercise will make you more energetic, and it will help you sleep better, so you won’t miss the shut-eye. Walk, cycle or play sports with your friends instead of meeting them for coffee or lunch. Spend some of your lunch hour walking. For example when you go for you lunch I don’t go to the closest most convenient premises but to the one ten minutes away, this gives you a good twenty minutes walk, enough time to eat and time to get some fresh air. Being creative makes exercise happen.


When exercise is considered a chore, an additional workload to be completed everyday then it is doomed for failure, because unlike work you don’t have a manager to drive you on and ensure you meet your targets. Therefore, a great motivational tool is to exercise as part of a team. Letting myself down is often easier than letting a team down and this can be the crucial push into activity.


Even at work there are opportunities to exercise, simple things like using the stairs instead of the elevator, meeting colleagues and clients in person rather than phoning them and even just walking around the office to stretch your legs. These are not strenuous activities and can be easily incorporated into the working day with a little conscious effort.


Commuting to work for many is the biggest barrier to exercise but again a little creativity goes a long way. Just park a little further from work or take the longer route from the bus/train station. Not only is it good to stretch your legs after a commute but isn’t it more comfortable than the hectic rush for public transport and of course its free.


For perspective, remember that thirty to forty-five minutes represents just two to three per cent of your day. And considering exercise makes you more alert, energetic, and healthy you don’t have to be an Einstein to see that exercise matters – not relatively, but absolutely.


Posted by Paul McEnroe, Past Sigmar Galway Office on 28 November 2017

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