When I started to work full time for Weight Watchers, I gained weight.
It was shocking. I’d been maintaining my weight for 3 years and my eating habits did not change. I didn’t start eating bigger breakfasts, lunches or dinners when I went to work full time. I didn’t start eating mid morning snacks when I took a coffee break. The only difference was I was working full time in an office for the first time in my life since I was 17.
When I stepped on the scale and discovered I was 5 pounds over my goal – the first time getting to goal in 1991 – I became alarmed. How could this happen?
I carefully tracked everything I was eating. It didn’t help. I adhered to my food plan as closely, if not closer, than I ever had. It wasn’t a matter of increased calorie consumption. It was 8 hours of inactivity that was responsible for the gain.
I figured out the problem was sitting at a desk 5 days a week for 8 hours a day. Before taking that full time job I was up and moving most of the day. I needed to replace the activity I lost when I took the full time office job. I created a simple workplace workout that was effective but didn’t leave me breathing hard and sweaty.
Just brief intervals of 5 or 10 minutes of exercise at a time make a difference. Get up and move whenever possible. It all adds up.
- Take the “long way” back from the restroom every time you make a visit. Better yet, if possible, use the restroom on a different floor. Run up/down the stairs to get there and back.
- Walk to a colleague’s desk rather than e-mailing or calling.
- Always take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Make exercise appointments. Enter them in your smart phone or computer calendar. When the alert goes of for you to take a walk (in place or around the perimeter of your building) treat it just as you would any other appointment. It’s important and you must keep it!
- Use the printer/copier farthest from your desk to get some extra steps.
- Wear a pedometer on the job. Challenge yourself to get a minimum of 3, 000 steps and shoot for 10,000 steps every day.
- Take calls standing up or better yet, while you walk in place
- If you have a private office, put your phone on speakerphone mode and listen while you lunge.
- Stand up as much as you can. Consider asking for a standup desk or buying your own. You can get a good one for as little as $175.00
- Do wall pushups during conference calls. While others are doing the talking you can listen and build muscle mass.
Getting into a habit of fitting bursts of activity into your day, every day, make a bigger difference than you may expect. In fact, it can be more beneficial to weight and health than working out at a gym for a few hours a week. In fact, an hour of working out cannot effectively counteract the effects of sitting for 10 hours a day.
These small, unobtrusive ways to increase activity got me back to goal and feeling fit. See for yourself what they can do for you.