Exercising at work
Make fitness a part of your day It’s a fact. Our bodies were made to move.
And when you aren’t moving, everything in your body slows down–a lot.
Did you know? Did you know that when you sit, the electrical
activity in your leg muscles almost immediately shuts off? After less than one minute, calorie
burning plunges to 1 calorie per minute just 1/3 of what you’d burn while walking. And
those “fat-burning” enzymes that remove fat from your bloodstream fall—causing your
good cholesterol or (HDL) to decrease. So it’s really important to keep moving. By taking time to add exercise to your day,
you can help prevent long-term impacts on your health.
Here’s what you can do.
Rise and Shine! Get up 30 minutes earlier and exercise before
you go to work. Starting your day with exercise:
• Jumpstarts your metabolism • Increases calorie burning throughout the
day • Releases endorphins that elevate your
mood • And Increases mental activity putting
you at your mental best If you can, consider walking or biking to
your workplace. Did you know?
This is really important. Did you know that being “sedentary” and not moving for more
than 6 hours per day increases your risk of death? And, women are especially at risk with
a 40% increased risk of death.
Take a fitness break! So don’t stop moving after your morning
cup of Joe. It’s important to take a few minutes throughout the day to get moving.
If you can take 15 minutes for a mid-morning break, make it a fitness break!
Let’s break it down. First, take 5 minutes to stretch. Stretching increases circulation
and your range of motion. Next, if your company has stairs, take to the stairs and stair climb
for 5 minutes. Now, your heart rate should be up supplying a surge of oxygen to your
entire body. Next, take 5 minutes to cool down and walk for 5 minutes at a comfortable
pace. Did you know?
Now you’re back at work and you’ve been sitting for a while, did you know that while
you were sitting your risk for heart disease went up? Excessive sitting has been linked
to high blood pressure and increased cholesterol. Diabetes risk also increases because muscles
that aren’t moving don’t respond well to insulin, so your pancreas goes on overtime
making more and more insulin. Cancer risk increases too because regular movement boosts
the natural antioxidants that help kill potentially cancer causing “free radicals”. And finally,
your circulation has slowed down and that causes fluids to pool in your legs which can
cause swollen ankles, varicose veins and potentially dangerous blood clots. So set your watch for
your next fitness break. You gotta get movin’!
Ready, set, walk! Finally, it’s lunch time. You could go grab
a double cheeseburger and a soda and then take a nap. Or, you could choose a healthy
lite lunch and get a little exercise! Let’s do that instead. Making exercise part of your
lunch routine will help your body and your mind and put you on the road to better health.
To make sure your lunch time routine is a success,
• Get a walking partner. Find a friend or coworker who also wants to get fit. You’ll
keep each other inspired! • Determine your target heart rate. You
can find out your target heart by accessing the Health Calculators in the Health Center
section of your member online services. • Then, just walk. Even as little as 20
minutes per day of aerobic activity can have positive health benefits.
Want to track your progress, create fitness challenges for you and your friends? Try apps
like OptumizeMe from UnitedHealthcare or other “wearable” fitness tracking devices. By
setting reasonable goals and tracking your progress, you’ll be able to see real improvements
in your activity and fitness level.
Now you’re in the home stretch! By late afternoon at work, it can get hard
to stay focused and you may even feel tired. So, don’t forget to take time for another
15 minute fitness break. If you can’t get away from your desk, you can try doing some
of these stretching exercises. 1. Begin by stretching your neck. Move slowly,
taking deep relaxing breaths. 2. First stand.
3. Then turn your head to the right slowly and hold, and then to the left.
4. Stretch one arm behind your head and hold, then the other.
5. Slowly roll your head all the way around. Repeat in the other direction.
6. Now bend your head down and hold. 7. Then bend your head back and hold.
8. Don’t forget to breathe! 9. Now let’s stretch out those arms!
10. Raise both hands up and rotate. 11. Now stretch one arm out straight to the
left and hold. Then, the other. 12. Bend one arm behind your head and hold.
Repeat with the other. 13. Stretch both arms as high as you can and
hold. 14. Now reach up and to the side with your
left and hold. Repeat with the right. 15. Let’s stretch your legs and back!
16. Stretch your arms out in front of you and arch your back and hold.
17. Next, stretch your arms behind you and arch forward and hold.
18. Now, lift one leg behind you and hold. Repeat with the other.
19. Lunge forward with your left and hold. Then lunge forward with your right.
20. Finally, stand on one leg and rotate the other. Switch legs and rotate the other.
Now just take a moment for some more deep breaths. You should feel better now. Your
circulation has increased and fresh oxygen is providing your brain with a mental kick
start to help you maintain productivity throughout your day.
Remember, moving is really important for your health. And at UMR, we want to support you
on your journey to wellness. Taking just a few minutes throughout the work day to exercise
can help you feel better, help prevent chronic conditions and increase your productivity
too! We hope you enjoyed this presentation. If
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