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"We are all busy with our choc-a-block schedules - running between going to work, being a parent, social commitments."

Who isn't busy nowadays? We all are, yet we find the time to leave all our chores and slouch in front of the TV to catch the latest episode of the Boald and the Beautiful or the Lakers game. If you're not doing either then you're probably still punching in longer hours at work.

In some way or the other, it boils down to being busy which leads to erratic sleep timings and lack of physical exercise.

We are all too busy to exercise

As we all know that a good regular workout helps one stay fit and avoids the dangers of chronic diseases. There are thousands of studies that point out the benefits of exercising regularly. But what we know little of is that a good workout, and by this I mean just a mere 30 minutes or so can do wonders to boost your career graph.

Every individual has ones own career as top priority and today's work culture takes a toll on ones health. Health complaints due to stress from being overworked or jobs that require a lot of physical stamina or long hours standing cause a series of health problems that one is normally unaware of until it reaches the final stages.

Even work that requires long hours of sitting in front of the computer may cause problems with regards to the neck and back, not to forget fatigue and stress. Fatigue and stress, how? Yes, these little nuances creep into our systems slowly and the symptoms are only shown when the damage is done.

Exercise provides the multidimensional benefits of physical and mental well-being. It helps keep your body fit, hence fighting away sickness and increases your energy levels throughout the day. Studies also show that those who don't exercise regularly and work for more that 45 hours a week are twice more prone to die from heart disease than unfit men who work shorter periods.

So how do you devise a good workout plan depending upon your career?

The first thing you need to keep in mind is the timing. Most often people tend to choose the option of the evening. This may not seem like a very wise choice. On some days you may not be able to leave the office by 6pm, on others you may find yourself juggling between logging in an extra hour and a dinner invitation, and on some other days you may just be too exhausted that you may just want to take a nice shower before hitting the sack.

So the best time to workout is the morning. Recent study shows that a 20 minute workout in the morning can boost your mood for hours afterward. That should give you a head start. But not everyone is a morning person, I for one am not.

So for people like me the other best time would be during lunch hours. How difficult is it to swap you lunch hour gossiping in the cafeteria with engaging in a mere cardio or light weight training? Where there is a will there is a way they say, and if your will is to be fitter mentally and physically this is your last resort.
 
Now that we've figured out when is the right time, let's address the "what" of this exercise dilemma.

There are many different exercises one can carry out during office hours. It is not necessary that you only need to hit the gym to workout. Whether you constantly sit in front of the computer or stand for long hours, simple adjustments to your daily work culture can provide a good workout for one who claims to not have time to workout at the gym or go for a jog in the nearby park.

Types of Workout you can do at your office

The exercise ball

Swap your executive chair for the exercise ball. Though it doesn't seem like a feasible idea, off late it is being recommended by physiotherapists to treat knee, hip and back pain which occurs due to long hours of sitting. It also works wonders for attaining good posture and stability. At first you might experience difficulty in balancing it but over time the use of the stabilizer in keeping it from rolling too much will strengthen your thigh and calf muscles. Giving you a good leg workout without making you sweat too much. They will never stop mocking you for falling off it.

The treadputer

Most of us spend hours sitting in front of the computer causing us to become sluggish and increasing inches around the waist. With no time to hit the treadmill the risk of obesity, osteoporosis and heart disease is a cause of concern for the employer and employee. So how can one combine working with a 30 minute jog? The answer is simple, the treadputer. It is a hybrid of the computer workstation and a treadmill. With this latest technology you can work on your computer while burning calories... It also helps in blood circulation and increasing the metabolic activity. With this you are sure to bid goodbye to obesity, heart disease and osteoporosis.

The under-the-desk exerciser

While the treadputer is useful while standing, under-the-desk step machines and pedal exercisers help you tone your legs and hips while working at your desk. They even come with features that will stop your mouse or keyboard from functioning if you stop pushing the pedal. 

Walk a little

Instead of communicating with colleagues through SMS and intercom, take a walk to their desk. Give that print command at the end of the floor rather than to the printer in your department. Use a mug or glass for water so that you can make frequent visits to the cooler. It is not going to significantly raise your heart rate but it will break you from the monotony of sitting for long hours.

Use the stairs

Simply by opting the stairs over the elevator everyday or taking the stairs up and down for coffee breaks or lunch will give you an appropriate workout that is sufficient for the entire week. Researchers have shown improvement in bone density and reduction is cholesterol due to climbing flights of stairs everyday.

Make the most of your commute

Instead of sitting in the metro or taking your car to work, walk it out or cycle your way to work. With so many subways and cycle tracks in the city it seems to be a shorter route than taking your car. And even if you do end up taking you car, make sure you park it at the end of the parking lot and if you take the bus or metro, stop a few blocks away so you can walk the rest of the blocks.

Burn more calories standing

It is true that you burn more calories standing than sitting, when you're on the phone or having lunch stand.

  • Flett, Maureen (2003). Swiss Ball: For Strength, Tone and Posture. Sterling Publishing Company, Inc.
  • McGill SM, Kavcic NS, Harvey E (May 2006). "Sitting on a chair or an exercise ball: various perspectives to guide decision making". Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon) 21 (4): 353