“This concept is effective,” she says, and “if you get into the habit, it will be easily built into your routine.”
Walton also says it’s easy to find ways to stand and move during the workday as part of your plan to stay in shape. If your company offers an on-site gym or you have access to one nearby, Walton says a midday workout allows the chance for a change of scenery, rejuvenation, and stress release.
No time for a full workout, or have a lunch-hour meeting scheduled? Stand during conference calls or choose the stairs instead of the elevator. “That really adds up” and has a positive impact on heart rate and circulation, allowing energy to go back into your brain, Walton says. Another easy component—stretching—doesn’t even require you to leave your desk.
Stay in shape with moderate exercise
The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity exercise. Walton says walking is helpful, while cycling builds lower-body strength. Using an elliptical or rowing machine for 30 to 60 minutes, two to three times a week, provides a sufficient cardiovascular workout. In addition, it’s ideal to get 20 to 60 minutes of strength training—anything involving resistance, such as lifting weights—and flexibility exercises like yoga or stretching, Walton says.
If you’re getting back into exercise or have never done it, Walton says it’s best to stay away from motions involving higher impact, such as jumping, because that can be hard on your joints. Those who have already been engaging in vigorous exercise, including marathons, can continue to do so, but Walton says it’s important to cross-train—work different muscles on different days, and use a stretching and flexibility component, as repetitive motions take a toll on your body.
Whatever method you choose, try to stay motivated. The more you develop a routine, the longer you’ll stick with it and the easier it will be to find the time to accomplish your goal every day. Walton says you may be more motivated to stick with exercise and stay in shape if you’re investing your money into regular sessions with a trainer. She says whatever your methods, the goal should be to design an exercise regimen that works for you, “so you end up enjoying and looking forward to it, instead of constantly dreading it.”