Five tips to keep your energy up through mid-day

I can’t pretend that exercising in the workplace looks cool. To the average person, there is nothing about lunging around the office that looks normal. But, in the middle of the day when I’ve been sitting for 3-5 hours, I usually need a pick-me-up! If you can approach your workday with a sense of humor and a little creativity, you might find that a little physical movement can help you through those mid-day energy slumps.

Here are 5 ways that I use movement to keep my energy up!

  1. The mid-meeting fit break: If I am in a meeting any longer than one hour, I speak to the organizer about taking a 2-minute fit break at the one-hour point. I’ll offer to lead it, or we take turns, and the two minutes leave us feeling re-energized. Fit break ideas can be anything you like; 10 jumping jacks and 5 push-ups, or 20 waltz-style lunges with a partner. It’s a great way to have a giggle in a meeting and keeps the neighboring offices guessing, opposite our boardroom window.
  2. Taking the scenic route: At around 3pm or 4pm I almost always feel I need a hit of sugar, or something to keep me going. I feel guilty if I snack on something unhealthy, (especially after all those Halloween candies this weekend), so instead I opt to walk to the kitchen for a fresh glass of water, back to my desk to drop it off, and then once around the office hallways, to the bathroom and back. I make sure to walk the long way to the bathroom. I know it sounds silly, but the extra steps count and offer me a break from staring at my screen.
  3. Daily plank challenge: It’s very acceptable in this office to stop what you’re doing, stretch and sneak a little movement in. And, thanks to our brilliant intern, we have started a 30-day plank challenge. Every day we hold a plank for just a little bit longer. We started holding planks at 20 seconds, and are working up to 5 minutes. I never thought I could do this for longer than 30 seconds! It’s amazing how peer pressure can keep you motivated. Image removed.
  4. Power lunch: Some days I am good about bringing my lunch, but most days I need to run out and grab something. Instead of rushing back to my desk, I have scheduled my lunches into my calendar so that I have a full hour to take a long walk around the neighborhood. The weather isn’t always perfect, but I try to brave the elements anyway. When I schedule in the time for this walk, I manage my work time better, and I find myself more able to concentrate on my work when I return.
  5. The Silent Sitting Alert: I don’t always remember to get up when I’ve been sitting too long, so I set a silent alarm on my cell phone to vibrate at 10:30am and 3:30pm. These are usually times when I am sitting at my desk for long periods, and I use these alerts to remind me to get up, stretch my body and get the circulation moving again in my legs.

You don’t need to be a gym bunny to see benefits from more physical activity. You need only make some small changes each day to set better habits. I hope you find these ideas useful, even if they’re corny, so they can help you stay focused, happy and healthy at work.