In the upper valley, we all know that fall means two things:
First, there are a lot of leaves. (Like, a lot)
And second, we are all busy. (Like, really busy)
Whether we have kids in school or are teaching kids in school; perhaps navigating the onslaught of leaf peepers or preparing for the winter season, there is a lot going on. Which feels like it leaves very little time for exercise, working out, or otherwise moving our bodies.
As a full time grad student, working part time, as well as interning as a student-teacher, I have
experienced a huge deficit in time. I’m here today to share with you five great tips to fit movement into your day, no matter how busy it may be.
1. Start your day with a walk
Not only is this a great way to help your body wake up and improve your sleep cycle for the (albeit far away) night to come; but it also provides important health benefits. Stretching, exercising, and moving your body prior to sitting down helps move muscles that you might not engage for the rest of the day. Reminding your muscles how to move is important to maintaining their strength and longevity. Plus, movement before you’re stationary for long periods of time can help you maintain good posture, and prevent you from feeling uncomfortable too quickly.
2. Do short, simple exercises in your office space
For some, this could be a home office, a cubicle, a classroom, a cashier stand, or heck, ethe dining room table. Whatever your station is, I challenge you to pick three exercises that are
adaptable to your space. And no, I don’t just mean a whole burpee, or finding a treadmill that fits
under your desk. Not all of us have the space for those! To help you out, here are some
examples that require nothing but your body and a wall or chair.
- Wall pushups
- Wall sits
- Tricep dips
- Air squats
3. Try the “Pomodoro” technique
This is my personal favorite secret weapon to being comfortable throughout the day. Technically, the Pomodoro Technique is a time management system; however, I recommend modifying it, especially if you spend a lot of time sitting.
First, when you sit down, set a 25 minute timer. Then, once the timer goes off, take a five minute break and move; you can choose one of the example exercises from #2 in this list, but you could also do something simple like getting the mail, refilling your coffee, or walking up and down the stairs a few times. This all constitutes one “Pomodoro”. Repeat these steps three additional times, then take a longer break for 25-30 minutes, if your job allows it. This could be a great time to take a walk or follow along with a YouTube video leading you through yoga. You can, of course, modify this however you’d like. In general, the idea is to take regular, short breaks to encourage movement in your body. Doing this can also help prevent blood clots, muscle spasms, and general stiffness or achey pains.
4. Schedule a UVAC class or reservation before or after work
I know, I know, it sounds like product placement. But, if you check out the UVAC class list, you’ll see there are a ton of options at various times throughout the day. A lot of people work 9 to 5 and a lot of people don’t – UVAC’s wide range of classes and times is accommodating to all of those situations. And, if none of those class times work for you, you could find that perfect time by reserving a swim lane, or trying out a personal training session! Sometimes it can be helpful to have one blocked off time in your calendar for a scheduled round of exercise; don’t forget you can even download the UVAC app to schedule if you get the urge in the middle of the work day.
5. Find a buddy
Remember, you’re not in this alone! Even if you work from home, talk to neighbors or local friends and see about scheduling a meetup. If you can’t do that, exchange phone numbers and try checking in with each other once per day. Ask how the other has moved their body that day, make sure they’ve had enough water to drink. They’ll ask you the same thing – and you can hold each other accountable, give each other encouragement, or bounce ideas off one another for how to fit in or adjust movement and exercise times.
Don’t forget about the leaves
Our last tip applies to the whole upper valley: don’t forget about the leaves! This beautiful fall foliage won’t be around for long, so make sure that you take a look outside, walk through the leaves, rake a pile and jump in – however you enjoy the weather, enjoy it while you can. And remember that even when the snow starts falling, UVAC will be here year round. But for now, enjoy the autumn colors on the driveway up to the UVAC building, and we’ll see you soon!
By OK Stevens
See their website here: www.theokstevens.com