Module 3: Lesson 4
Exercise (15 min)

SUMMARY POINTS

> Exercise does your body good - really good
> Make exercise easy by walking while you’re at work Mon-Fri
> Take two 15 min stress break walks each work day

Yeah, yeah, yeah...we know. It gets drilled into our heads.

For most of us cubicle dwellers, we spend nearly the entire day sitting on our asses in front of the computer. This is not a good thing and we know that.

And just like getting more sleep, meditating and eating well, physical exercise provides direct benefits to not only your overall health and well-being, but also your ability to handle stress.

Look at all the good stuff that it does:
🙂 Reduces your chance of heart attack and stroke
🙂 Helps control weight gain
🙂 Improves blood circulation
🙂 Strengthens muscles and bones
🙂 Helps sleep at night
🙂 Eases depression and anxiety
🙂 Uplifts mood and behavior
🙂 Fires up sex life
🙂 Lowers cholesterol and blood pressure levels
🙂 Improves self-esteem and confidence
🙂 Prevents and delays a host of chronic illnesses

Plus a whole lot more...that D-News explains below in less than 3 minutes.

VIDEO: How Exercise Rewires Your Brain
YOUTUBE CHANNEL: Seeker

LENGTH: 2:28

We all know that we should exercise but, the same usual excuse comes up.

After a crazy hectic work day, the last thing many of us want to do is go to the gym and workout. We just want to relax at home.

It’s soooo much easier to be lazy.

Other times, we just don’t have the time. We’ve got to get home and take care of other shit.

The good thing is that you don’t have to workout every day in the traditional sense. It can fit into your workday easily. You just have to think creatively about it.

The American Heart Association recommends that we all get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise a week.

Here's How To Exercise At Work

There’s a lot of numbers in the infographic above. So, let’s simplify this and start small.

Here’s an easy way to look at this.

You need a total of 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week. That's 30 minutes x 5 days a week. Or, think of it as 30 minutes of moderate exercise Monday to Friday - basically, the work week.

The easiest way to incorporate this into your work week is by walking while you’re at work.

No need to drive to a gym before or after work. Just bring a pair of running or walking shoes to work and slot it into your workday.

Don’t think of this as working out. Because it’s really not.

Think of this as mental stress breaks during work. You need to get out of your cubicle every now and then to clear your head. It'll knock out two things at once - stress relief and exercise.

Fit It Into Your Work Schedule

1) One 30 minute brisk walk during lunch
2) Two 15 minute stress break walks (one in the morning and one in the afternoon)
3) Three 10 minute walks (one in morning, one during lunch and one in afternoon)

We think option #2 is the best one.

For some of us, it’s fairly easy to slot in the time for a break. However, for others, the workday consistently gets filled up by endless meetings, calls and other priorities.

Sometimes on those days of putting out non-stop fires, there isn’t even a chance to take a piss. It gets that crazy sometimes. We know.

So, here's an idea below.

Schedule It Like A Meeting

Block out two 1 hour meetings with yourself and label it as ‘Project Review’. Block out one session in the morning and the other in the afternoon. Make them both daily recurring meetings Monday through Friday.

Break down the hour into these three segments:
> First 30 minutes - bang out simple quick emails
> Next 15 minutes - take a stress break walk
> Final 15 minutes - cool down and prepare for next task or meeting

At the start of the hour, set an alarm on your phone for 30 minutes. Knock out the simple fast emails. Don’t get trapped with long in-depth emails.

When the alarm goes off:
1. Take your hands off the keyboard and mouse
2. Take a deep breath
3. Give yourself a high five
4. Put on your walking shoes
5. Get outta the cube and walk

Walking At Work

This should not be a casual slow walk. You’ll get zero benefit from that.

Walk fast like you’re super late to an important meeting. You should be breaking a light sweat. This will get your heart rate up enough to moderate intensity levels.

Scheduling it as part of your daily work activity will ensure that you do it every day. You’ll always have an uninterrupted block of time every day for managing the constant inflow of emails and getting your stress relief walk in at the same time. 

Walk Indoors On The Treadmill

For those of you that are lucky enough to have a gym at work, take advantage of it and walk on the treadmill. It's a safe and convenient way to get some fast steps in.

No vehicle traffic to watch out for. No weather to deal with.

Bring your smartphone and listen to a favorite podcast, watch YouTube or NetFlix episode while your walking.

If you don’t have a pair of Bluetooth headphones, get a pair from Amazon. It’ll be super convenient in these instances.

Walk Outside The Office

For many of us that don’t have a gym at work, get outside and walk, as long as the weather is okay.

Don't be an idiot. Choose a safe place to walk, preferably where there is minimal vehicle traffic. This could be around the office campus, city block or if you’re really lucky, a nearby park.

Walk during daylight hours and if possible, bring along a co-worker who could use the stress release as well. The both of you will get the added benefits of social interaction.

Stairclimb At The Office

If the weather sucks outside, use the office building stairs and do stair climbing sessions to complete your 30 minute daily goal.

Here’s a great office stair climb routine:
1. Go up the stairs to the top floor
2. Walk across to the other set of stairs
3. Go down to the bottom floor
4. Walk across to the other set of stairs
5. Go back up to the top floor
6. Repeat until you’ve completed your time goal

You can mix it up too:
- Walk across every floor between the sets of stairs
- Take every other step to increase your effort
- Meditate while climbing by counting steps
- Listen to your fav music or podcast while walking/stepping

Make “stress break walks” part of your day. It’s not only a great way to improve your health and build up your stress immunities, but it’s also a fantastic way to clear your head.

Now, can you sneak out of the cubicle for 15 minutes right now and go for a walk? 

I don't think anyone's looking.

Go for it!