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How to Add a Workout at the Workplace

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By Rene Lynch

30. Start a walking club. Three times a week, meet before or after work for a 30-minute walk. (Everyone starts together but proceeds at their own pace.) Do it indoors and you never have to worry about the weather.

31. Grab your GPS and map out simple walking routes outside the office. Come up with a variety of distances. Create maps. Distribute.

32. Create friendly challenges among co-workers or departments. Tally up step counts once a month: Losers buy the winners a healthful lunch.

33. Find a race that’s friendly to walkers. Twice a week, co-workers can gather for a walking session and then everyone trains on their own the rest of the time.

34. Unleash your inner “Top Chef.” Once a week, hold a healthful potluck. Everyone brings in a recipe. Vote. Crown a winner. Share the recipe.

35. Instead of Friday night happy hour, how about Friday night healthy hour? Bring in wholesome snacks to share before walking over to the local watering hole for a drink. (Think of all the money and junk-food calories you’ll save on bar food.)

36. Replace the office candy dish with a fruit jar.

37. Replace the office candy dish with a nut jar.

38. Throw out the office candy dish.

39. Scout out fast-and-healthful lunch options that are a brisk walk away. Share the menus.

40. Twice a week, brown bag a healthful lunch.

41. Leave the lunch in a cooler in your car and walk to your car at lunchtime to retrieve it.

42. After eating at your desk, walk the cooler back to the car. (That can all count as No. 5.

43. Bring your cooler in when you arrive for work, and then walk to a park to eat lunch.

44. Consider the businesses within walking distance of your job. Can you get in some walking while knocking out errands before or after work, or at lunch? Think about the dry cleaner, post office, pharmacy, farmers market.

45. Set an alarm to go off every hour on the hour. When it does, get up and take a short, brisk stroll or stand and stretch — and then get back to work.

46. Bring your coffee in a Thermos, and you can make your coffee break a walk break.

47. Start a private Facebook page and use it to share workouts, websites, recipes and anything else that will keep everyone encouraged.

48. Do you have a place that would be great for yoga, Pilates or guided meditation classes? Consider finding instructors to conduct classes before or after work.

49. Want to amp up the workday workout? Levine suggests a portable hydraulic stepper under your desk. Break it out during lengthy conference calls.

50. Instead of a traditional desk chair, consider a stability ball, Levine said.

51. Turn fitness into a game of tag. When you’re “it,” you must complete a walk of a certain distance or activity before passing the baton to a colleague. “The more creative, the better,” says Levine. “The idea is to make it dynamic, fun and playful.”

Levine encourages challenging employees to come up with their own no-cost exercise equipment that they can stow under their desks. One woman, he recalled, made hand weights out of jars filled with sand collected on a family vacation. She couldn’t help but smile when she reached for the weights and did light arm exercises while listening in to conference calls. Another office used fitness challenges to settle friendly arguments. And one created “steps” using reclaimed wood that employees stepped up and down on during no-sit meetings.

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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