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Fit exercise into work day to relieve stress

March 23, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Long commutes and long work hours often means a short amount of time to exercise. The solution at Milstein Adelman law offices in Santa Monica is to sneak fitness in at work.

"You just feel wonderful. You feel exhilarated. Your body is relaxed. You just feel good all over," said attorney Anneke Stewart.

Stewart recruited fitness expert Desiree Bartlett to teach yoga at the firm about five years ago, and they have been sweating in the conference room ever since.

"The biggest thing in terms of the feedback that they've given me is that there's a tremendous increase in strength and flexibility," said Bartlett.

It also builds team work.

"We get together on a more spiritual level rather than an intellectual level. We come together and we really try to take the stress out of the day and sort of focus on our bodies and ourselves," said Stewart.

In turn it's a company benefit as well. Bartlett said about 80 million work days are lost each year because of low back pain.

"My job is to come in and offer them different ways of training and getting strong so that that does not happen and also so that they feel more empowered and stronger in their daily lives," said Bartlett.

If your company won't pay, try taking your own baby steps.

"You can get gains in five to 10 minutes. Your lunch hour, if you actually have an entire hour, spend ten minutes with one of your friends from work and go out on a walk. Go get some fresh air. Get a little bit of a cardiovascular benefit," Bartlett said.

Having a fitness stash in your trunk allows you to take an exercise break when you have an extra ten to 15 minutes. Something as simple as tubing, heavy weights, jump ropes, even some cheap kicks you can get some great workouts in without barely breaking a sweat.

"You do not have to work out three days a week, 40 minutes at a time. If you do 10 minutes, 10 minutes, 10 minutes, you will get the same benefit. A calorie is a calorie," said Bartlett.

To motivate yourself, get a pedometer or Exerspy to track your progress, which is a great way to kick it up a notch and step up your game.

Tomorrow challenge yourself to take 1,000 more steps than you did today.