The Working Woman’s Workout

No more excuses not to workout!

Feel like your working more than working out this summer? It has long been thought that summer is the time to be free of worries and stress, allowing you to have the luxury to do what makes you feel best – and for a lot of us, that means getting back into shape after a long winter. Sadly, with growing up, comes less “summer vacation” and more “summer jobs.” If it seems like you have less free time in the summer to shape up, you are not alone.

A new study shows that women who work at sedentary jobs (this can be anything from a desk job to a retail job) get less physical activity than women who are job-less. That doesn’t seem fair, since in reality, if you have a job you are probably working harder than the unemployed, but working harder doesn’t leave you much time to work on yourself.

Motivation doesn’t come easy when you spend most of your hours diligently at work, but motivation is the key to having it all. There is no reason we should fall off the healthy band wagon once we hit that certain age where we have to grow up and stop taking the summers “off.” Here are a few ways to get the best of both worlds: work hard, while working out!

Wake-up call: Set your alarm for a half hour earlier than usual. It might feel impossible not to hit the snooze button the first few days, but after a week, you’ll get the hang of it. Take this thirty minutes and use it for everything it’s worth. Jump on the treadmill for a thirty minute jog – if you have workout gear at home, you don’t even have to take the time to change out of your p.j.’s! Don’t have any home gym equipment? Pop in a workout DVD in your living room and work up an a.m. sweat (a good one to try: Denise Austin: Boot Camp Total Body Blast!).

Listen to your mom and sit up straight: Never underestimate the power of good posture. Not only will sitting up straight make your back and neck feel better than hunching over a computer screen, it can also be a discreet workout. Try this at your desk, sit up straight as if your back is against the wall and engage your abs. For this workout you don’t even have to move, just tighten your ab muscles for thirty seconds intermittently throughout the day for a tummy-tightener right at your desk!

Secretly sculpt your glutes: You can just as easily work your butt muscles at your desk as you can your abs. Just contract your glutes, hold for about ten seconds, and release. Do this for ten reps, and for as many sets as you can fit in throughout your work day.

Retail training: If you work at a retail store or restaurant, it might be even easier for you to get a quickie (workout, we mean!) in. Always folding clothes at the mall? Make sure if you are working on a bottom shelf to never bend down at the waist to grab that pair of jeans, but squat your entire body down and back up. Sneak squats in all day by using your whole body to do your job – bonus: it’s better for your back too!

Just when you thought your work was done: When you get home from a long day, all you want to do is sit on the couch and veg. Unfortunately, this is not much different than sitting at a desk all day or behind a cash register. Even though your brain was working all day, your body probably wasn’t. Take this opportunity to engage all your motivation in one quick after-work exercise session. You can run on the treadmill or do the elliptical, strength train with free weights, or do an ab workout – all while catching up on your evening shows!

Growing up and entering the real world often means we have to sacrifice, but choosing work over your health is never a good path to follow. We are working women who have the world at our fingertips, but this also means we have to learn new routines to keep our bodies as sharp as our minds. Go ahead, take on the world, and a new workout!


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