Work It Out

Written by  Andrea Riggs, CPT & Fitness Author

Six tips for staying in shape when you lead a busy life. Plus, win a free workplace fitness starter kit!

When balancing a busy career and personal life, one of the biggest challenges is finding the time to stay in shape. I believe the best approach is to focus on making small daily changes in your lifestyle, diet and fitness regimen to improve your overall energy levels and health. The result of working across these three areas, like a three-legged stool, will allow you to balance your fitness and busy lifestyle with much less effort and more success.

Here are six simple steps to get you on your way:

Lifestyle Tips

1. Increase Parking Distance. Pick the furthest parking space anytime you park at work, for lunch, the store, and so on. You will automatically increase your physical activity and the calories burned each day will add up.

2. Create a Healthy Workplace Challenge. Rally your coworkers to join you for a six-week biggest loser weight-loss competition with a mandatory weigh-in and an after-work or lunchtime walk. The increased support and competition around you for 40 hours each week will keep you accountable. And after the six weeks are over, you may find you and your coworkers will be excited to keep the competition going.

Nutrition Tips

3. Eat Breakfast. It will instantly boost your metabolism, increase your alertness and raise your energy levels for your workday and workout. Good choices for a balanced breakfast might include turkey sausage, whole grain toast or oatmeal and fresh fruit. Also, it has been shown that breakfast eaters carry less fat in their midsection.

4. Lean & Green. Whenever you foresee a time crunch during dinner or lunch, plan on a salad; it’s quick and requires no cooking or reheating. It will help you trim calories and support lean body mass for staying in shape. Also, the antioxidants and fiber from three cups of leafy green lettuce will keep you healthy. When you’re on the go, my favorite salad is the premium grilled chicken salad at McDonald’s with less than 300 calories.

Fitness Tips

5. Walk Breaks. Take a 10-minute break to leave the office and walk away for some fresh air or change of scenery. It will give you the boost of energy you need to tackle the second half of your workday and confidence to increase your cardio activities at home.

6. Stretch or Exercise Breaks. Sitting or standing in a single position can create muscle fatigue and stress on your joints. Additionally, a recent study says that people who sat less than three hours a day had a greater life expectancy. So break up those long hours sitting at your desk by taking stretch breaks. A few deep breaths and simple stretches to elongate your muscles will improve your range of motion and mental sharpness. Or try the resistance band workouts that I demonstrated in upscale’s August 2012 issue, on stands now.


Win Andrea’s workplace fitness starter kit, which includes a coupon for a free McDonald’s salad, a Get Body Beautiful resistance band, Vitarol vitamins and her book, Get Body Beautiful with Andrea Riggs–A 30-Day Body Toning Plan.


Andrea Riggs is a celebrity fitness trainer, author and media personality.

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