For Christmas, I received a Fitbit and of course I was anxious to try it out. Forever the competitor in all things, I couldn’t wait to see how many steps I could get each day.

During the holiday break I was walking at every opportunity to hit my daily goal of 10,000 steps. I would even sneak in an extra run here and there so that I would ensure I beat my friends during our Fitbit challenges.

On Monday, it was time to return to work and as the phones started ringing and deadlines had to be met, I realized keeping active while at my desk wasn’t going to be as easy as I thought it would be.

I was shocked to discover during my 9 to 5 desk job, I only accumulated 2,250 steps and to add insult to injury, my friends were thousands of steps ahead of me. I knew that I couldn’t continue in this manner if I wanted to lose weight and continue to win walking challenges.

To also prevent potential health risks linked to a sedentary lifestyle such as obesity and heart disease, I thought of seven ways business professionals can keep a healthy routine while still continuing to effectively do our job.

1. Walk The Office Every Hour

If you can step away from your computer at the top of each hour, walk or do some stretches around your office for five minutes. This will be a much-needed break for your body and an opportunity to refocus your mind.

2. Relieve Stress With Cardio During Your Lunch Break

Whether you have a 15-minute or 60-minute lunch break this is your chance to get in a little cardio. Running is always a great stress reliever, but if you are worried about sweating too much, take a walk around the block. Invite your co-workers to walk or run with you. You might be surprised at how many will be willing to join you!

3. Stand At Your Desk

Some offices do not have the luxury of adjustable stand-up desks, so stand up when you answer the phone or read emails. Depending on your height and weight you can burn roughly 50 more calories per hour when you stand versus when you are sitting. Want to burn even more? Do some calf raises while you’re on the phone. Trust me, no one is going to be any wiser.

4. Use The Farthest Restroom In The Office

When you have to use the restroom, walk to the farthest option in the office. This is an easy way to sneak in more steps during the day.

5. Replace Your Chair With An Exercise Ball

If your human resources department approves this method, try sitting on a medicine ball instead of your desk chair. You will get an amazing abdominal workout as you stabilize your body, strengthen your core muscles, and align your spine.

6. Increase Your Walks To The Water Cooler

Now I don’t recommend gossiping all day near the water cooler with your co-workers, but increasing your water consumption can also increase your daily steps. Aim to drink more water through out the day and each time walk to refill your bottle at the water cooler instead of keeping bottled water at your desk. It’s more cost effective, environmentally friendly, and obviously incredibly beneficial for your overall health.

7. Walk Or Bike To Work

This option may not be convenient for commuters, but walking or biking to work is an excellent way to keep the weight off and start your day off right. You could also park in the farthest parking space from the office, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or park your car a couple blocks from your place of employment.

Whatever you can do to keep active and healthy, try it! Your body will certainly thank you.

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