Exercising two to three times a week is great. But if you’re one of the millions of people who spend eight hours a day sitting at a desk from Monday to Friday, then proportionally you’re more sedentary than active, and this may have an impact on the results you are looking for.

The good news is that there are a number of easy steps you can take to get the most out of your fitness efforts.

1. Make small incremental changes to your daily routine

If you spend a lot of your time at work sitting down, you’re not alone. It’s important to incorporate small changes where you can. Walking up the stairs rather than taking the lift or going for a walk at lunchtime are just a couple of simple ways to help keep your metabolism and fitness levels up and maximise results. It’s important to note that being sedentary for too long day-to-day can lead to health problems such as increased blood pressure, heightened stress and even type 2 diabetes.

2. Eat right to fuel your body

Nutrition is an essential part of training and eating the right foods will fuel your body. As well as building and repairing muscle, foods rich in protein will also increase your concentration levels – great for a long day at the office! If your day is spent mostly on your feet, opt for more carbohydrates to keep your energy levels up. Lean foods such as chicken or turkey, essential amino acids and the right carbs and vitamins will help you make the most of your training and provide the best results.

3. Treat your day-to-day as you would a fitness session

If you have your set routine before and after a workout, apply it to your daily life too. Whether it’s eating a banana or shake before, or protein and complex carbs after, follow a similar format on your rest days to keep your body focused and your results on track.

4. Have a rest day

Most of us are unaware of the importance that having a rest day has in obtaining maximum performance and results from hours spent in the gym, running or playing sport. Rest can make you stronger as it allows the muscles that you’ve broken down to heal and recover. The body needs time to regenerate, so opt for at least one rest day each week as a minimum.

5. Try to get enough sleep

Ensuring you get enough sleep each night is essential – data from Vitality’s Britain’s Healthiest Workplace study found that the optimal level of sleep is between seven and eight hours a night. People who sleep less than this lose nearly four additional days of productive time each year, which can be traced directly back to their lack of sleep. Aiming for seven to eight hours each night will leave you feeling refreshed, less stressed and ready for the day ahead.

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