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Karen Ridings

Fight the winter office blues with exercise!

Winter and exercise do not seem compatible. Often it is difficult to get outside to walk when the weather is bad. In addition, most of us have sedentary desk jobs. It is time to think out of the box to get in the recommended 30 minutes of daily exercise!

What are the benefits of moving more? Exercise can relieve stress and fight the winter blues. It also helps to reduce the risk for heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and colon cancer. Exercise can help build and maintain strong bones, muscles, joints, help us concentrate better on tasks at hand, and actually give us more energy!

Here are some tips to build in movement into your workday:

1) Get a pedometer. Keep track of how many steps you take during the day. Work towards walking 2,000 steps or 1 mile. Once you achieve 1 mile, add steps daily.

2) Every 15 minutes, stand up in front of your desk and try to complete a few minutes of your work standing. Move back and forth on your feet. Move your arms, rotate your hips, and take deep breaths.

3) Every half hour stand up at your desk and move in place for 2-3 minutes, e.g., march in place, do several jumping jacks, jump rope without a rope or do hula-hoop movements.

4) During your lunch hour, dedicate 15 minutes to movement by walking inside your building, climbing stairs, or bundle up and walk outside. If you can spend 30 minutes walking, that is even better!

When you get home, think movement:

1) If you watch TV, stand up during the commercials and move! You will be surprised by how many steps in the house you can take during the commercials. Hula hoops are not out of style and can also give you a great workout.

2) After dinner, take out your favorite CDs and dance. You may be able to get everyone in your family moving with some good music!

3) Jazzercise can provide a terrific aerobic workout. Your local library may have a nice selection of jazzercise DVDs on hand.

4) There is nothing like a good stretch! Yoga books for children and adults are available in the library and bookstores.

5) Jump rope in the open spaces of your house.

Give your body the gift of movement and move throughout the day!




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