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How to get moving! Adding exercise to a sedentary job

There are many benefits of an active lifestyle: decreased risks of cardiovascular disease; decreased risk of many chronic illnesses; stronger immune system; less stress and anxiety and more energy. Exercise also helps our brains work better, making us more productive at work and at home.

But for those of us who mostly sit all day, even doing the recommended 30 minutes of vigorous exercise five times a week may not undo the health risks of our mostly sedentary life.

Here are some helpful suggestions to help increase your daily physical activity.

Use your breaks to exercise. Walk or run up and down several flights of stairs. Slowly increase the number of floors and your pace. Jog one or two laps around your building or house and Keep some light dumbbells and a resistance band in your desk and do some strength training exercises every time your eyes need a quick break from the computer screen.

Change up your workstation. Replace your chair with a stability ball, you’ll strengthen your abdominal muscles and improve your posture while working. If your employer offers standing desks, request one. Standing rather than sitting all day burns more calories, lowers blood sugar and for many people, helps reduce upper back and neck pain.

Get connected. If you use a smartphone or tablet, a huge variety of fitness apps are available for exercise reminders, guidance and tips. Apps like Spotify stream DJ music mixes with a consistent beat. There are many apps to help you track your habits and keep you motivated, like MyFitnessPal or Habitica. Try LIFT session fitness through LifeWorks for quick workouts you can incorporate into your day.

Join a virtual group. Some people like the competitive nature of fitness challenges. If you can’t find one already sponsored by your company or an online community, create your own and invite friends and family to participate virtually. Getting started is always the hardest part. Set realistic and achievable goals, track your progress and have fun!

Take time to figure out what motivates you and excites you  the best and most sustainable ways to get more exercise are the ones you look most forward to doing. And if you’re stuck or need some help getting the ball rolling, TELUS Health (formerly LifeWorks) can help!

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