I built an entire company around the idea that stronger people lead longer, happier, healthier lives. Science supports this, and it is common sense too.
Getting stronger, fitter, and healthier is easier than most people think. This is especially true for desk workers like digital marketers and e-commerce retailers.
Here are nine tips for desk staff to get stronger and healthier.
9 exercise tips
Morning routine. A morning routine can prepare you for a productive day – and a healthy life.
My morning routine includes cycling four miles there and back to Starbucks. The journey wakes me up and focuses my thoughts. In addition, cycling is a fun, low-impact sport.
But it doesn’t have to be cycling. Occasionally I walk in the morning as an alternative. Walking is a great exercise – 10,000 steps a day is a common benchmark.
Whether it’s a bike ride, a walk, a run, they are all productive ways to start your day.
Small exercise sets. This technique is made famous by Pavel Tsatsouline, a Russian trainer. He calls it “grilling the groove”.
Do a specific training routine in small sets throughout the day to improve and increase your endurance.
Pull-ups are a common exercise for greasing the groove. Install a door-mounted pull-up bar. Do a few pull-ups every time you pass it. If you can’t finish a pull-up, try a “negative” – jump and grab the bar with your chin over it and slowly lower yourself down. Soon you will be doing pull ups!
Another exercise for greasing the groove is push-ups. Do pushups every hour during the work day. The number should be manageable and well below your maximum. Soon you will be doing many more.
Work on a skill. A friend has an unusual ability to walk on their hands. Years ago he decided that this was a goal – to walk on his hands. He practiced every day until he was very good at it.
I’m working on the ability to ride a unicycle. I ride tens of kilometers a week, but unicycles are difficult for me.
Setting a goal for a new physical skill has many benefits, such as security in an uncertain time.
Leave your desk every hour. Set a timer to get off your desk and move around for at least a few minutes every hour.
Uninterrupted work increases productivity. But the health benefits of getting at least a few minutes of exercise every hour are just as compelling. I usually set a timer. Some days I run a little. Other days I use a rowing machine in my garage for two minutes. It’s a manageable rowing distance that doesn’t make me sweaty or out of breath. After that, I’ll be clear in my head and ready to work.
Go and talk. Hold corporate meetings during a walk or even a drive.
I attend a lot of Zoom meetings. But I don’t have to sit in front of a computer every time I meet. For this I have a 2 mile loop through my neighborhood where I can run and talk. I plug in my headphones, grab a pocket-sized notepad, and pick it up. Sometimes I wear a weight vest as an added challenge.
I even held meetings while cycling. But it’s not best for safety and general courtesy.
Consider a garage gym. Build a garage gym (or home gym) or just grab a kettlebell.
That’s what Fringe Sport is all about. We believe in garage gyms. We all tend to use fitness equipment more often when it’s comfortable. Building a full garage gym is easier and cheaper than you can imagine. But keep in mind with this article that it is easier to have exercise equipment close by.
Get a buddy. Accountability is a motivator in achieving your health goals. Consider teaming up with a family member or friend to see and keep track of each other’s progress. Make a buddy call on your Facebook or Instagram feed.
Get a trainer. A coach is like a buddy you can hire. Years ago, in the first few years of my power journey, I coached myself. Once I had a professional trainer, I made much faster progress and improved my form. Today there are more tools than ever for coaches and clients to interact with each other.
Do something! As we say at Fringe Sport, “We all fight the couch.” Something, anything in the strength and fitness area, is better than nothing.