Many of my clients don’t think I can relate to their workplace woes—they think I’m always up and walking around while they’re glued sitting to their desks. But actually, my job requires me to sit in a car a majority of the day, as I drive from client to client in Los Angeles traffic, and to sit in front of my computer writing articles. Like most of you, I can understand the frustrations that come with inactivity.
When I was in college, I gained a lot of weight from the countless hours of sitting and studying (and possibly a few extra late night pizzas). A few months ago, I started working on my first fitness book, and because of the shift in my schedule, noticed that I had a gained a little extra weight around my stomach. Ironic, right? Becoming less fit as you write a book about fitness. But the fact is, if you don’t burn the calories, you store them—even if you are an expert.
I’m not going to lie—I panicked a little, at first. How was I going to manage this new lifestyle and stay in shape?
But after I got over my initial trepidation, I devised a plan and put it into action. It required some getting used to—including some public staring at my mini workouts, and total disregard for what others thought of me. But in the end, I was back to my old self and well on my way with my book. Now that’s what I call productive.
Here are the elements of my plan:
On a small piece of paper or Post It note, write down “I deserve it,” and put it up on your computer where you can see it all day as you’re working. This mantra for me means that I deserve to feel good, be fit and healthy, and achieve my goals. If that mantra doesn’t work for you, write something else that resonates and use it instead. But keep it simple. Only one sentence, so it’s easy to read, and something you can repeat to yourself quickly. Seeing this in your face all day long might remind you not to grab that doughnut your co-worker brought in, as tempting as it may be.
Sip green tea in small amounts throughout the day. It helps curb your appetite, and boosts your metabolism! Also, keep water at your desk and sip at least three ounces of water every 20 minutes.
Sometimes when you sit at a desk all day, you either munch mindlessly or you don’t eat enough. Either way, you are either slowing down your metabolism or over-consuming on calories. Allowing yourself two healthy snacks (such as a half a cup of freshly cut fruit and one cup of raw veggies) a day will improve your energy levels, prevent overeating at lunch time, and help boost your metabolism.
On a conference call? Get up and starting walking, even if it means pacing back and forth three steps. If you’re in flat shoes, try doing standing calf raises while listening on the phone. You would be amazed how many reps you might get in and how sore your calves will be the next day. While walking, you can also shift your weight from your toes to your heels for a little extra leg workout.
If you have the opportunity to change your work chair, buy an exercise ball. It will help strengthen your core and improve your posture while at work. When sitting on the ball, make sure you are sitting upright, with both feet firmly planted on the floor at hip-width apart.
When I started writing my book, it was unrealistic for me to get up and work out every 30 minutes because I was so absorbed in what I was doing. However, the brain can only concentrate for roughly 45 minutes at a time, so I fit in two-minute exercise sessions every 45 minutes. By the end of the day, I had accomplished around 10 to 15 minutes of physical activity, and it truly made a difference in my energy levels, concentration at work, and body toning.
Kit Rich is Los Angeles-based fitness trainer with endless exercise and nutritional know-how. Hollywood's hottest stars are addicted to Kit's unique, multi-disciplined approach that combines cardio, yoga, Pilates, and weight training. Kit's clients are immediately taken by her funny and honest approach to health and fitness. She treats her clients as she treats herself, "with a hard challenge, sensibility, sensitively, and a good laugh." Follow Kit on Twitter @kitrichfitness.