Activity at the office
If your job includes lots of sitting, try adding these short bursts of activity to your day:
- Use your commute to do some extra walking. Park several blocks away, or get off the bus a few stops early.
- Use the stairs instead of the elevator, at least for a few floors.
- Suggest holding meetings with colleagues during a walk inside or outside the building.
- Go the extra distance when possible: Get your coffee on another floor (use the stairs) or use the restroom that's the farthest from your office.
- If you need to speak to a coworker, walk to that person's office or station rather than using e-mail or the phone.
- Use your morning and afternoon breaks to take quick 15-minute walks.
Coaching and teaching
If you are bored with a sport or activity that you once enjoyed, coaching or giving instruction can renew your interest.
- Youth leagues for organized sports are often seeking good coaches.
- Take classes to become a certified fitness leader.
- If you cycle, offer to lead a group of schoolchildren on a bike ride to teach bicycle safety.
- Offer to lead a walking group.
Competition can be a good motivator because:
- It gives you a specific and measurable goal to work toward, such as walking or running a 5 km or 10 km race.
- Learning the details of a new course or event and then preparing for it can restore the excitement and challenge that's gone from more familiar competitions.
Helping to plan or organize a competitive event instead of entering it can provide friendship and fun with others interested in the same activity.
Cross-training is the combination of various activities to spread the work among various muscle groups. Cross-training has some important advantages:
- It prevents boredom by providing variety. It can help you break out of a slump.
- It helps you maintain balance among your various muscle groups. For instance, runners who have developed powerful leg muscles might cross-train to strengthen the upper body, which does not get a good workout from running.
- It reduces the risk of injuries because the same muscles are not being stressed in the same way during every workout.
Some exercise machines, such as elliptical cross-trainers, can help you cross-train. Or you can use exercise machines that give variety to your program by working muscle groups that aren't heavily used in your primary activity.