Staying Fit On the (Not so Active) Job: 4 Tips for Maintaining the Office Worker’s Fitness and Health
As mentioned in a previous Stay-Fit Bug article, there are many reasons why we don’t work out, and one of the most pernicious ones is getting a new job. So many of my friends (myself included) found that once they graduated from school to work in an office, or they left a more active job for your general desk gig, they gained several pounds after their workout routine deteriorated. Even if you’ve managed to salvage your post- or pre-workout routine after finding steady, office-based employment, that may not be enough. Here are a few ways to stay fit despite being confined to an office chair for most of your day.
#1 Eat a wholesome breakfast and take healthy snacks with you to avoid gut-expanding office goodies.
Every office has them, whether it’s huge bagels for breakfast, or sugary baked goods and greasy snacks for those interminable meetings. While it’s great that your company is providing you with all these wonderful comfort foods, indulging too often can mean some bad news for your waistline. Avoid these temptations by eating a healthy, filling breakfast every morning and bring in your own healthy snacks like fruits whenever you need energy or something to distract you from everyone else’s munchies.
#2 Take a break every few hours for a walk around the block.
Every office worker needs a couple of breaks throughout the day. While some use break time to watch some stupid YouTube videos or smoke a cigarette, why not make your time-outs a little bit more productive? Taking a brisk walk around the block every two or three hours makes your office job not so sedentary and it does wonders for your energy levels.
#3 Implement a more active office commute
Getting some activity in before you even start you day on the job is a great way to walk into the office feeling energized. Many of us are not morning people, so waking up super early for a full workout may not be feasible. Instead, why not try making your commute more active? Even if you can’t walk all the way to work, ditch the car and explore public transportation options like the bus or rail, which forces you to walk a little bit to get to different stops or stations. Or, have your spouse or friend drive you to point on your work route in which can reasonably complete the walk. You’ll save a ton on gas this way, too!
#4 While working, mind your posture and be sure to get up and stretch every few minutes.
Even though working in an office doesn’t require much physical activity, when the day is done you’re still exhausted. This post-work exhaustion can compromise your workout plans. As such, you’ll want to stay as energized as possible throughout the day. One surefire workplace energy zapper is sitting in one spot for too long, engaging in the same repetitive movements. To combat this phenomenon, get up every few minutes for stretch. This is likewise helpful in getting your eyes off the computer screen, since eye strain is another energy-zapping culprit. Also, make sure you are sitting straight in your chair, feet firmly planted on the ground, since poor posture can also make you feel inordinately tired at the end of the day.
As much as your office job kills you, it’s a necessary evil in paying those bills. As long as you are vigilant, you won’t have to experience the office version of the “freshman fifteen”. Good luck, and if you’re reading this in the office, get back to work!
Before I begin my rant, I just want to get one thing clear.
Bodybuilding is not complicated!
- Train to stimulate muscle growth
- Eat the right foods at the right time to feed that muscle growth
- Supplement when necessary
You do the above and you will achieve. Simple!
But the mistake that many people make (Especially new lifters) is that they become addicted to the 1 hour muscle pump. Which is, that period where your muscles inflate briefly during the period that you workout. What then happens, is that thought then becomes fixated in their minds, that they have to train more to maintain that ‘look’. It’s not a completely silly way of thinking either, because it’s like, what you see is what you get. And looking fantastic for that brief moment in time does feel nice. But it’s a flawed way of thinking that needs to be corrected. Because as most of you may know. The real growth happens in your sleep, and most of you don’t get enough of that as it is.
Now, if you are a mature muscle mass lean machine, you’ve probably trained your body over the years to handle 5 workouts per week. But for those who…
- Are still working to get shred with bulk results.
- Hold down a separate professional career
5 workouts per week will often prove to be too much.
Think about it….
A young professional or higher education student will work say 10-12 hours per day. Add 2 hours of travel back and fourth. Add workout time (2 hours with travel). Add evening leisure time (3-4 hours). And you are left with only 4-5 hours to sleep.
You need at least 8-10 hours of rest if you intend on following a good program such as the upcoming shred with bulk program, if you are serious about seeing some serious results. Especially within the first 4 weeks.
You can get the full scoop on the upcoming Stay-fit Bug strength progression program that’s coming in a few weeks below.
The Stay-Fit Bug 31 Day Shred with Bulk program
You can eat well and train well, but skip that one crucial part of the cycle (sleep) and you will indeed break a very necessary link in the chain in order to build necessary gains. If you feel you have been doing everything right, but sometimes feel you are unusually deflated (Most will feel it in there arms first… this post does a good job of explaining that) it’s probably because you have been depriving your body of the necessary rest that it needs.
How much rest do you need?
Well, first things first. If you train insane the ‘In The Zone’ way, as described in the upcoming shred with bulk program (Enter your details above to learn more) then getting enough sleep will be an after thought. Because the way the program teaches you to train will indeed put you to sleep.
But the amount of sleep you should aim for is about 8 hours, to be realistic in this day and age. Which of course is something that we all struggle with. Some people may need even less. But if you find that your gains are lacking compared to the amount of dedication you are putting towards your nutrition and workouts, then sleep is the link in that chain that you need to fix. Yes, I know you may like those late nights. Sitting up on Facebook, PS3 or whatever. Just save 2 hours out of those few hours of leisure time that you have to get some proper rest. You’ll make your mirror very happy.
5 day workouts vs 3 day workouts
Like I said earlier. 5 workouts per week will often prove too much for a gym goer with a separate career. Yes, it’s fine for those pro bodybuilders who do nothing but lift all the time, or for those who have built stacks of mature muscle over the years. But for Mr. I have a career, Mr. I have a Family, or Mr. ”I have a damn life”. 5 workouts per week will prove to be too much. Your body simply will not get enough rest between the days in order to develop some real muscle growth.
A break down for your perspective.
168 hours in a week
- You work 50-60 hours of those (Young professional or busy Further education student – Masters degree)
- Travel 10 hours back and fourth
- Workout 10 hours of those (Assuming 5 day workouts)
- You need 56 hours of sleep per week
- Leisure time 20 hours per week (On week days)
- Weekend of doing nothing or leisure time of 24 hours
That is your entire week ‘overly’ maxed out. And this is without leaving room for actual ‘life’. Because as most of us know. Most weeks aren’t stream lined and perfect like that. You have things like…
- Spending time with your partner/love interest
- Seeing a friend on the odd day
- Evenings out with colleagues
- And other things
Training 5 days a week for someone with life demands other than bodybuilding is not a lifestyle. You become a prisoner to the gym, when you really don’t have to. Seriously, cut back. Change 5 days a week to 3 days a week.
”Most of what you achieve from going ‘to’ the gym, will be a direct result of what you do ‘outside’ of the gym”
Let that quote sink in. Because it’s the truth in all its simple glory.
Have ‘Jack all’ days. Focus on the other links in the bodybuilding chain other than working out. Live the lifestyle! Once you do, you’ll start getting quotes such as this…
‘Dude, what you been doing. You been juicing haven’t you?’
That is a compliment in all its glory right there. And your response will be something like…
”Dude, I haven’t even been training’
‘Yea… right dude, I really do believe you’ (I’ve experienced this first hand. It was a glorious day to say the least :))
Once that happens, you are succeeding with the formula of obtaining more sleep, a balanced bodybuilding chain, a balanced lifestyle. And a happier fit bugger.
”Less is more”
The only other thing you need to focus on is consistency. Which is in fact, arguably, the most important aspect of this lifestyle. Because if you don’t stick to it, you won’t grow and progress. And even worse, you won’t develop any mature muscle mass. Which is of course muscle mass that sticks. Which allows you to decide if you want to train more or less, without there being much effect on your gains.
So when it comes to getting your optimum hours of sleep per night, whether its 6, 8 or even 10 hours. Stick to it. Try not to miss 1 -2 hours of sleep every other night. That’s 30-60 hours of rest that your body would have missed out on. And you can bet a mighty dollar that the hours missed will have an affect on your shred with bulk results.
Training tired is the same as training drunk
Lack of sleep… worse than training drunk?
I didn’t realize this in my earlier years of training. When I got my first car, I would do crazy things like, drive in a tired state of mind (And body). All I can tell you about that now, is DON’T DO IT! You will crash and die. And for a while I argued that driving tired is actually worse than being drunk, or driving drunk (Which of course is illegal. Again… don’t do it). And it wasn’t until later on that I found out that being awake for 24 hours or more has the same physical affects as being over the legal driving alcohol limit. But again, from experience, I’d say driving tired is worse.
That then means, in regards to your training, that training while you are tired is the same or worse as training as if you were drunk. Obviously something you would never do… right? 😐
Of course not.
Therefore emphasizing the importance of getting enough sleep. Besides, lifting and dropping a 30kg dumbbell on your toe (Or on someone elses) is not a good look.
Don’t workout too late in the day
Working out too late in the evening may also be a factor in keeping you awake. Efficient sleep is directly connected to body temperature. Build up heat, you’ll stay awake. Get cold and you’ll go out for the count. Intense workouts will raise your body temperature high, therefore it’s a good idea to keep your workout periods up until the early evening hours only.
Don’t put sleep on the back burner just because you are ‘busy’. Set goals and structure into your life and getting enough sleep will become an after thought. Besides, what’s the point of being ripped and sexy only to look like a dead zombie half the time 😐
Get those hours in.
See you in the comments.
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In this fast-paced modern world of pre-packaged consumables, it can sometimes be difficult to justify buying, preparing, and serving fresh food items. We all know they’re better for us (or are they?), but fresh foods simply don’t offer the convenience of canned. Besides which, canned foods can be safely stored a lot longer than fresh, adding monetary benefits to their appeal. But when it comes down to nutritional value, it can be unclear to the casual shopper which is actually better for you. You want to believe that fresh produce and animal products (in short, “natural” items) provide more of the vitamins and nutrients needed to keep us healthy, but is that really true? Don’t canned goods still retain the many nutritional elements that are present when they go from being fresh to being freshness-sealed in vacuum-packed receptacles? Well, that is exactly what we’re going to examine in this nutritional smackdown where fresh foods are compared to their canned counterparts.
Here’s the lowdown on freshness. So-called “fresh” foods may not be quite as brand-spanking-new as you think. If you know anything about how supermarkets work, then you are likely aware that they receive food shipments once or twice a week. The items that make it to their shelves may be several days old by the time they get there, thanks to transportation, inspection, and arrangement time. Many items also undergo interesting procedures to make or keep them suitable for sale. Most fruits and vegetables are picked prematurely and then “flash” ripened with heat and moisture to prepare them for sale. And some are treated with chemicals or waxes to keep them fresh and presentable on store shelves for longer (since they will quickly spoil otherwise). So these supposedly fresh items might not look as appealing all of a sudden. Throw in the fact that they contain traces of chemical pesticides and fertilizers (or hormones and antibiotics, in the case of animal products) and you might not want to touch them with a ten-foot pole.
As for canned produce, there is an upside. Fruits and vegetables that are slated for canning often go straight from the field to a canning facility (sometimes on the farm premises), ensuring that they retain peak levels of freshness, including nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. The same is true of canned meats, which are often preserved shortly after slaughter. In fact, nutrient levels in canned foods have been found to be at the same (or even higher) levels when compared to fresh produce. Even the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and International Food Information Council (IFIC) have made statements confirming that nutrient levels in canned foods are at least equivalent to their fresh alternatives. Vitamin and mineral levels remain high (along with protein levels for meats) and apparently, the canning process has even been shown to increase calcium levels in fish. Hooray for canning! Unfortunately, that’s where the good news ends.
Not all of the health effects of canned foods are produced by the nutrient levels of their natural contents. Most canned foods have a number of detrimental additives to contend with. First and foremost, the majority of canned goods require preservatives. How do you think they retain a shelf-life of several years while their fresh relatives spoil within days? Of course, vacuum packing doesn’t hurt, but it generally won’t stop spoilage on its own, especially not until the expiration date listed on most canned products. So you can expect high levels of chemical preservatives with unintelligible names (found on the ingredient list beneath the nutrition label) or even natural ones like sodium (also detrimental, especially if you suffer from high blood pressure or weight-related diseases). Of course, canned items are also subject to additives for flavor. Sugars, in particular, are a common additive.
Consider that when fruits and vegetables are picked, they may not be entirely ripe (leaving them tasting a bit off). When fresh items are shipped to stores, they have time to ripen fully so that they are ready to eat by the time they reach store shelves. Foods that are canned can’t wait for that. So flavor and color additives (often chemically based) are thrown in the mix, adding no nutritional value and often detracting from the benefits that may have been otherwise gained from canning. It’s also a little-known fact that our first and longest-lasting taste sensation is sweet, meaning that we are susceptible to sweetness (a fact that most food manufacturers have not failed to account for and will use to ensure you keep buying their products, despite the fact that processed sugars are terrible for your health).
For all of these reasons, your best option is probably to select fresh produce and meat that is not only organic, but also locally grown. Of course, the only way to ensure that the items you’re getting are authentic is to visit a local co-op of organic farms in your area and buy directly. Often, such organizations will offer a delivery service so that you can pay a monthly fee to receive regular deliveries. You may also want to frequent your local farmers market whenever possible to purchase truly fresh produce and meats. However, in many areas these options are not feasible. If you must purchase from a market, try to find one that guarantees locally grown, or at least organic products. They may even be willing to volunteer information about the sources of their food so that you can verify their claims of organic and local goods. And of course, you could always try your hand at growing your own vegetable garden (although you will be limited to items that can reasonably grow in your region).
Of course, if you can’t get your hands on fresh, organic produce and meats, or you simply can’t afford the cost, you shouldn’t entirely avoid these sections of the food pyramid. You can still get the nutrients you need from canned foods (even if you have to suffer through the additional additives and preservatives that seem to be par for the course). It is imperative that you make every effort to sustain a balanced diet that provides you with the many vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that will ensure a long and healthy life, even if that means resorting to canned versions of the foods you need. While fresh, local, and organic products are ideal, it is better to opt for canned items than opting out completely.
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How the Fitness Industry is Training Women to Look Like Smaller Versions of Men & … What You Can Do About It!
I’m going to keep this short and sweet, because there is a video to watch after my little ramble here.
Now… that headline goes hand in hand with most of the video interviews I conducted with last year, with the likes of Miryah Jade Scott, Natalia Muntean, Kelly Rennie and others. Stay-Fit Bug does focus on the male reader first and foremost. However, the site also began to attract some female readers too. Most probably because of the related fitness ‘lifestyle’ topics that I have previously covered.
But over time I have come to learn that women want to look a certain way, and quite frankly screw their face up when they look at images of certain lady fitness pros.
These women who I have shown the images to don’t want the masculine 6 pacs and the overly ripped arms. They want to look like women ‘in shape’, and look like… well… women.
I haven’t really had the time to look into creating a product that solves that problem. But Rusty Moore has (Rusty is the author of the website fitnessbackbook.com and who I work with closely regarding web businesses and other aspects surrounding that).
Like I said, there’s a video to watch. So click the link below to get started to see what I’m talking about
Click here >>> http://tinyurl.com/The-Body-MostWomen-REALLY-want
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