Imagine if you could run for a living? Some amazing sports angel out there would pay you money for hitting shoe to a road. Alas, for all us mere mortals we must have to have a day job. Something to make us the money to buy our Nikes and our foam rollers so we can get out there and run again. Paradoxically, that day job is probably doing your running regime some serious damage. Here are some practical tips and tricks for combating the damage that sitting all day at your job is doing to your run.
Get up! There are many benefits to getting up from your desk, not just to improve your run.
For most of us, (well, 86% of Americans) sit for a living. On a chair and behind a desk, our posture contorting to enable us to type as much as we can for 8 hours a day. This tightens our running muscles, reduces our heart rates and this bad posture can easily slip into your running routine. So do what we do best and get up! By standing up at least once every hour, you are reducing the damage all that sitting is doing to your body. Walk to the kitchen and hydrate yourself. Walk to the window and refocus your eyes to a far off point. Better yet, do a few butt kicks or B-skips (and ignore your co-workers rolling eyes). And for all those dedicated employees too engrossed in their work to remember to move around, we love the apps Focus Booster or Snap Timer to remind us to move your butt.
Stand up! Standing desks may be the solution.
Standing desks are used by some of the most innovative and employee loyal companies on the planet. If they use it at Google’s and Facebook’s head offices it has to be cool right? Standing desks are not only better for your running regime, they make you more productive at work. Studies have shown that employees who use a standing desk, compared to the regular sitting, swivel chair variety were 10% more productive, took less sick days and were generally happier about coming in to work. Not to mention, for us runners, being vertical perpetuates the good habits we cultivate in our running practice.
Roll it! An exercise ball instead of a chair may add years to your life.
Although many of us associate exercise balls with late 90’s spandex filled aerobics videos, the benefits of them in your office are real. Having to stabilize your core, balance your weight evenly and maintain correct posture counteracts the health problems associated with sitting for more than 6 hours per day. A recent study has revealed that sitting for 8 hours a day over a period longer than 2 decades can shave seven quality years off your life. You have been warned.
Hide it! Hidden exercises can make very visible differences.
If you are working in a highly professional, conservative corporate office may mean butt-kicking your way around the office is not an option. So small, gentle exercises under your desk will ensure you protect yourself against the long lasting effects of sitting whilst not being labeled the office nut job. Focusing on foot stretching, calf raises or toe exercises will mean you can get the benefits without the stigma. First time marathon runner? Get off on the right foot by learning how to train for a marathon.
Get moving! Your lunch break isn’t intended for stalking exes on Facebook.
42% of American’s don’t take their lunch breaks. If you are amongst that statistic, this next section will be revolutionary to your health. Even if you are among the 32% that take their lunch breaks but have it at their desk you need to make some serious changes. Using those precious 30, 40 or 60 minutes every day will improve your overall health and your running game as well. Chances are you aren’t working on a desert island and there is either a gym, a yoga studio or even simpler yet a patch of grass near your building. A quick work out, yoga session or completing your warm-up or down running stretches increase blood flow, muscle tone and flexibility.
Engaging in exercises that allow you to stay in your office attire is a super-efficient use of your lunch break. Creating a ballistic stretching routine or AIS regime means the only clothing change you need to do is into your running gear after work and not during.