40 Hours a Week and Fit
A body as sharp as your mind
By: Jessica M. Love
When I accepted my first job out of college (almost a year ago), I didn’t envision great deals and exorbitant business lunches. I didn’t think about how great the benefits were or how good it felt to score a job before the rest of my peers.
In fact, one of the first things I thought about was, “How am I going to stay in shape sitting at a desk all day?” As a power-yoga-loving, spin-going, sport-seeking kind of girl, I’d always had time to stay active all week long with a college schedule. I waited tables at night, too-therefore I spent a majority of my time in active mode.
It took perhaps three hours into the first day of my sedentary, 40-hour-a-week job to realize that my muscles rejected this style of work. By the end of day one I was so anxious to stretch my legs that I nearly ran all the way to my apartment (five blocks away). When I walked in the door, however, I wanted to unwind. Relax. Have a glass of red wine.
It’s this seemingly inevitable pattern of human behavior that creates an obstacle to fitness for most women in the workplace. We use so much mental energy during the day that often we have little left over for after-work activities. But fitness is a must-do; not only to keep our Saturday- night bodies intact and can-do attitude strong, but to keep our energy up to thrive at work. Staying fit stimulates mental energy, releases endorphins (happy juice!) and relieves tension- vital components to maintaining accomplished, beautiful, “I have it all” confidence.
So kick aside those obstacles because you can absolutely work 40 hours and stay fit. Gyms cater to the working woman. Spin class takes 45 minutes; and trust me, you’ll huff and puff your way through. Yoga is often long, but oh-so-worth it when you leave with a strong body and a clear head.
What’s that you say? No gym membership? Not a gym fan? Fear not, there are plenty of other options to keep your sexy physique. Take a power walk or jog to the park. Play tennis with a colleague or join a networking group sports league. Go swimming. Salsa dance! Do somersaults in your living room; just do something. Ladies, fitness options are endless. The point is to make it fun and make it fit-you. Forty hours of work a week not only takes up activity time; it takes up fun time. Why not put the two together and make fit time something to which you look forward?
Another great approach to fitness: multi-task. Turn your walk home from work (commute time) into a 30-minute walk (fit time). Hop on a bike to pick up dry cleaning or play tag with your kids or nieces and nephews.
The most important piece to this puzzle is to make fitness a priority at least three times per week. We’re powerful, hardworking women, and we want our bodies to match our brains. Sure, sculpted calves make you look great in heels, but more importantly, fitness keeps our minds alert and our hearts functioning with strength for years to come.
Tell us: How do you stay in shape while working full time?