Being Active with an Office Job
by Alison Neumann

Being Active with an Office Job


Getting enough exercise daily can be challenging for anyone.  The recommended amount of exercise is at least 150 minutes a week at a moderate, aerobic level, or 75 minutes a week at a vigorous level according to the American Heart Association.  That breaks down to 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week of moderate exercise.  With hectic, busy lives filled with 8+ hours at a job, family life, house work and prepping meals, it’s hard to imagine that there’s even time to sleep!  But exercise is so important – not only for physical health, but also for mental health and overall well-being.

I work at VAST as an Account Manager, which means that I am often at my desk.  That equates to a lot of time spent being physically inactive.  Some steps I’ve incorporated in my life to balance this out are the following:

  • Getting up early to work out. I have to be at my desk at 8 AM on a normal work day.  I wake up at 5 am to have time to spend 30-45 minutes in a hard workout, eat breakfast, and shower before driving to work.
  • Biking to and from work on pleasant weather days. I live in Harvey and work in downtown Marquette, so that’s about a 30 minute bike ride for me.  I plan ahead the night before by packing my backpack and getting my bike (and helmet!) ready to ride.
  • Going for regular walks outside during work hours. I try to take short breaks during the day to get some sun, which can really brighten my mood.  I also spend my lunch hour walking at a good pace down by Lake Superior on the very convenient bike path, or I stroll downtown and visit the shops.
  • After dinner, I take my dog around the neighborhood for a 30 minute walk. He lures me into getting out for a walk even when I don’t feel like going!

The American Heart Association recommends getting at least 10,000 steps each day.  Step monitoring devices like Fitbits are typically factory set with a 10,000 step daily goal.  I’ve increased my Fitbit’s step goal to 12,000 and try to hit that daily to go a little above and beyond.

I don’t always reach my fitness goals, but I try my best.  And when I do, I can feel myself being healthier, happier, and more purposeful and confident in my daily life.  Being active gives me energy and stamina at my office job, and having a regular routine that incorporates exercise throughout my day has given me significant health benefits.  Even when I don’t have time to do everything I wanted to do with my fitness, I try to at least get some in because that is definitely better than doing nothing!

Sources:

American Heart Association Article:  http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/PhysicalActivity/FitnessBasics/American-Heart-Association-Recommendations-for-Physical-Activity-in-Adults_UCM_307976_Article.jsp#.WWekaJWGNNM

American Heart Association Article:  http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/CardiacRehab/Frequently-Asked-Questions-About-Physical-Activity_UCM_307388_Article.jsp#.WWfcCJWGNNM

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