Here at Continuwell we know that it can be hard to get motivated to exercise during the winter months. The weather and lack of sunlight keep many of us indoors. But having your employees stay active is important for the mind, body, and for the quality of work.
According to the National Health Service (NHS), studies have found that moderate levels of exercise can boost the immune system and improve defenses against winter coughs and colds. Exercise will also give you and your staff more energy to keep up with busy work schedules. Being active will not only boost your energy, but your mood as well. The NHS also states that exercise endorphins are key in helping those dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder, a seasonal depression that is linked to winter. Our Continuwell Nurses receive a lot more calls from people who are feeling sad or depressed during the winter months. Your employees are just as susceptible to the winter blues, which is why it is so important to find ways to counterbalance these blues while at work.
Taking the time to exercise while at work can be challenging. Most people find it difficult to focus on their personal health while in the middle of a busy work day, and lunch is much more enjoyable when it can be spent eating. The good news is that employees do not even have to leave their desk to receive the benefits of being active. Our Continuwell nurses have some great tips for sneaking in some exercises that can increase your blood flow and productivity!
Tap your toes: Wiggling your toes or tapping them frequently will increase circulation to and from your lower extremities and help prevent blood clots from developing. Aim for at least 5-6 minutes of “tapping or wiggling” every hour.
Walk or jog in place: Walking or jogging in place while talking on the phone will not only get your heart rate up and burn calories, but will also stretch out any kinks in your muscles. Aim for walking for 30 second bursts and increase as you get used to walking, talking, and typing at the same time.
Squats or lunges: Squats and lunges help build muscle and tone your buttock and thigh regions. They also get the blood circulating better to those areas. Aim for five squats or lunges every hour and increase as you can.
Wall sits: For those that have not mastered the art of walking, talking, and typing at the same time, there are wall sits! All that is needed is a wall close by your computer. Instead of sitting in a chair, lean against a wall in the sitting position. Sounds easier than it is so start slow with 15-30 seconds and add time as you become more toned.
Arm curls or circles: Using a dumbbell weight of your choice, do bicep curls as you are using the phone. Aim for two sets of 10 every few hours and add more as you can. You can hold your arms out to your sides and move them in a circular motion instead of using weights if preferred. The aim here is to get your muscles working and blood pumping!
Shoulder shrugs: Shoulders tend to become sore and tired after a few hours of computer work. It is important to keep these muscles relaxed and toned. As often as you can, simply shrug your shoulders up and down or move them in a circular motion front ways or backwards. Any motion will ease muscle tension and help relax your shoulders. Be careful to start slow and not make any sudden jerk-like motions, this could increase muscle tightness and pain.
Head tilts: This can be done as frequently as needed. Move your left ear towards your left shoulder in a slow, steady movement. Stop when you feel resistance. Gently stretch for 5-10 seconds. Repeat these steps with your right ear.
We know it is hard to stay motivated during the cold, dark winter months. But remember, all it takes is a little tapping, squeeze, or wiggle to help keep you more fit and active this winter. Continuwell nurses are here to help keep your employees happy and healthy, as well as active, to ensure less sick days throughout the winter season. If you feel the winter blues coming on, don’t hesitate to call one of our Continuwell nurses.