Long Commute? 4 Tips to Get Moving, Improve Health
Several sources have determined that the average American spends around 26 minutes commuting to work. That’s 26 minutes each way. Almost an hour of sitting in one place each day. This doesn’t include the stresses of bad drivers and traffic.
What’s more, if you’re like most people, you drive to a workplace that involves MORE sitting down. Many times, you’ll be sitting down for close to 8 hours. All this sitting isn’t doing your body any good. In fact, it’s putting you at risk for cardiovascular illness and distorted length-tension relationships.
Let’s take a look at 4 easy things you can do to get moving and protect yourself.
- Strengthen Your Grip, Relieve Stress
While you’re in the car, you literally cannot move anywhere but that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. Grip strengtheners are a small fitness tool that you can use during the commute. You adjust the resistance setting then get to work. You squeeze as hard as you can, hold the contraction in your hand and forearm, and slowly release. Do this in several sets for both hands. In a couple weeks, you’ll be amazed at your grip strength, which will be beneficial in the gym.
- Park Far Away
Once you get to work, do your body a big favor and park at the end of the parking lot. It may not seem like much but your body will thank you for those extra steps. You’ll give your muscles a chance to stretch out, warm-up, and burn calories.
- Walk after Lunch
Once your lunch break arrives, try to plan a walk into it. If you have a shortened lunch break, try eating while you are walking. The idea is to get your body moving throughout the day so that you can maintain healthy length-tension relationships in your muscles and joints.
If you really want to do your body a service, bring a small pair of walking weights with you. Hold them and do an exaggerated arm movement while you are walking.
- Stretch During Your Shift (And at Home)
Yes, this may seem like an odd thing to do but you may just be the trend setter that your office needs. You should be standing and stretching out every hour. You don’t need to do a full yoga stretch or anything crazy. A few basics will be fine to get the job done. Here are the stretches you can focus on:
- Standing Quad Stretch
- Forearm Stretch (resting your hands backward on the desk)
- Backward Shoulder Shrugs
- Ear to Shoulder Neck Stretch
- Twisting Side to Side
- Open Chest Stretch (hands meet behind your back)
- Calf Stretch (use the edge of your desk) *side tip: pair these with calf raises*
Tell Us What You Think!
Do you have your own routine for keeping your body active at work?
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