Now that the New Year is here, we are all looking for ways to trim down the expenses and the waistlines. Here are a few ideas on how to do that before or after work or at lunch time.
Get some exercise on your lunch break. Walking is always available. Do interval walking by warming up, then walking faster, walking sideways, skipping and high stepping. Walk up hills, walk indoors, walk up the steps. Then do a bit of slow walking to cool down. During warm weather, bring a change of shirt or blouse.
If you work close to sports facilities, you may be able to use them for a reduced amount during the lunch hour. My first job was downtown, right next door to the outdoor ice skating rink. There was a lunch skate for a dollar plus skate rental. I burned a lot of calories and had a great time learning how to skate! Since it was winter, I didn’t get too sweaty.
A lot of companies participate in a competition called Corporate Challenge. Around here, the events take place in the spring but the team’s are selected in the winter. There are many different types of events including walking; horseshoes; tennis; basketball; baseball; fishing; bowling; darts; pool; track and field; trap shooting, tug of war and etc – just about anything you can imagine. Some of the events are are based on age – such as swimming and track events – so you may have more or less competition to get on a team based on how old you are. Sign up, try out, practice with the team. It will get you moving in the evenings and on weekends too! I started jogging (slowly) when I was 55. I was recruited for corporate challenge because the company had no other people my age willing to run in the track events. I ran the quarter, half, mile and 5 k. You better believe I did a lot of practicing the years I ran the Corporate Challenge!
Some companies sponsor volunteer activities involving their employees. My last employer sponsored a company garden. Employee volunteers planted the seeds and plants, watered and tended the garden through out the year and then harvested the vegetables. The harvest went to the local food kitchen to help feed the homeless. The company got cudos for donating and for sponsoring a healthy employee initiative; the employees got educated on gardening concepts, got out of the office into the fresh air and got some exercise; the local homeless got healthy home grown vegetables.
Join a league of your own
My company also used to sponsor an employee bowling league. They paid for all fees, including shoe rentals, the bowling fees and what ever other fees there were. If you can avoid drinking the soda and beer and eating the burger and fries, you can have fun, build networks and get some exercise in a bowling league, or a baseball league or whatever your company may have available. We went after work and bowled three games once a week. I discovered that I suck at bowling, but I did get a bit of a workout – using some muscles I hadn’t in a while. You might have to ask around a bit to find out about these sometimes hidden perks.
Do you know how to ride a bike? Do you have one? Why not ride it to and from work? Or at least ride it to and from a bus stop, then hop on the bus after putting your bike on the bus’s rack. This is built in exercise – if your exercise is a normal and necessary part of your day, you will be consistent in doing it. Of course, you probably will need a place to freshen up before heading up to your cubicle or office.
What do you do to save money while getting fit at work?