If you work in an office, or sit at a desk, you probably already know that this isn’t exactly the way we were designed to be. Our bodies just don’t enjoy that feeling of immobility and the odd and sometimes repetative movements we are required to make.
If we’re honest, this isn’t ideal. Maybe we lean too far forward, perhaps we slouch, or even feel pains during the work day from our posture. This isn’t how we were desgined to spend our days.
So it’s no surprise that if you are one of those people who want to run after their work day is finished, then there are a few challenges already stcked against you just because of how you’ve spent your working day.
However, there are quite a few tactics you can employ to reduce the risk of damage to your body. These will limit the negative effects of sitting while whilst at work or home and may also assist in compensating prior and post your workout too.
Next we’ll take a look at the sort of tactics you can use to avoid developing those feelings of stiffness from work.
Keeping Flexible while at the Office
It might not be entirely practical to start a yoga routine in the office, but there are lots of other ways to think differently (and to help prioritise your bodys health whilst in the office.
#1: Stay hydrated. This packs a real positive punch. First you’ll find it helps flush your system, including any waste products from previous workouts. Next it prepares you for your run after work, and you’ll no doubt be forced to get up away from your desk to use the facilities. This makes you get up from your desk, walk, getting you out of that seat.
#2: Free lunch? No matter how much time you have available for lunch, you can use it effectively to move and get out of that slouched position. Some ideas which I recommend: Is there a gym near work or home? Consider joining, you’ll be more likely to use one that isn’t far away and as anyone who is coached by me will tell you, having a plan of action is a fantastic motivator to get you to commit. Can you get out for a short walk? I can’t tell you how much of a difference, both physically and mentally this will make.
#3: Go speak to them. Instead of emailing or calling your colleagues – why not walk to their desk to have that chat. Standing and walking are both things you can do that can be applied to the situation above, along with a host of others such as meetings, reading documents etc.
#4: Get creative. Trying to add mini ‘at your desk’ workouts, perhaps a type of strecthing, or a balance drill are perfect ways to enable benefits to your running, whilst being at work, and they can get you out of your chair too.
#5: What about your desk. If your employer offers it then ask for your desk or work station to be assessed. Health and Safety representatives shouuld be able to advise you on this, but it’s super important to get the furniture and equipment you work with every day set out in the correct way.
Get Flexible Before and After the Office
No matter what happens during your work day, you can be fairly sure there will be an impact on your evening run, or indeed if you even decide to go out for one at all. So let’s dig into how to get ready in the best possible way.
#6: The commute. Can you run to work, or walk? Perhaps adding in a walk instead of using the car to get to the station you commute from would be an alternative that would work for you?
#7: Early morning routine. Getting a mindfulness session or a yoga practise, or some time with the foam roller are all really great ways to start your day and will set you up with quick wins mentally too.
#8: After work, get dynamic again. The same type of workout that you do before work is equally a great idea after work. Prior to your run you could add in a 10 minute routine, maybe someting that you didn’t have time for in the morning.
#9: When you start running, go slow. Gradually working up to your normal pace is a good idea, don’t worry about hitting your target pace from the word go.
All of the tips above won’t just give you a great start to your day, they will also help keep you injury free too. Don’t forget that a warm up and a cool down before and after every run you do will be really beneficial too.
Run with passion, Geoff.