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Ask Slashdot: How Do You Stay Fit At Work? 635

Posted by timothy
from the hop-all-the-way-to-the-fridge dept.
Dishwasha writes "What do you do to stay fit? Probably like many of you, this code monkey has lead a fairly sedentary life consisting most on fritos, tab, and mountain dew. Every time I attempt to incorporate exercise in even the most modest amount it never really seems to work out. 'Just do it' or joining and going to a gym just doesn't seem to work and with time being my most precious resource at this point, I would like to incorporate exercise in to my daily work process. Our office recently switched to standing desks, which is great, and I would like to possibly bring in a flat treadmill that fits under the standing desk, but my bosses have balked unless the equipment is whisper silent. We are a small business in a traditional office park with no exercise facility. Do any other geeks out there have a similar set up and would like to share what they use to stay heart healthy and improve circulation during their work day? What other ways do you incorporate exercise in to your geeky or nerdy lifestyle?"
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Ask Slashdot: How Do You Stay Fit At Work?

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  • Lazy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Russ1642 (1087959) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @01:24PM (#43173099)
    What the poster meant was that he's just too lazy to go to the gym when he could be at home watching TV. Any significant workout is going to make you sweat a lot, which is why you don't do it at your desk. If you just want a physical job then sign up to be a mail carrier or bicycle courier.
    • by hedwards (940851)

      Not true. Unless you're in a place where the heat is turned up to high. Which it probably is, because even outside of server rooms, people turn the thermostat up way too high in the winter.

      Doing some basic calisthenics isn't going to make you break a sweat. Now, if you're wanting to burn a lot of calories or tune up the heart, that's likely going to require sweat equity.

      If you want to get strong and you're spending more than about 10 or 20 minutes a work out, you're wasting time.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        You can burn fat and get some decent exercise in 10-20 minutes, but "get strong" is such a nebulously stated goal that you're doing him a disservice implying it'll only take 10-20 minutes. If you're being honest with yourself it's more like 1 hour, three times a week. Ten minutes is probably just enough time to get through a warmup set. And yes, you will sweat. What a ridiculous contention. If you're an out of shape worker in a sedentary job, getting in an out of your chair probably makes you break a sweat.

        • Re:Lazy (Score:4, Informative)

          by hedwards (940851) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @01:55PM (#43173731)

          That's bullshit right there. Strength training is done for short periods of time and large amounts of weight. If it takes you that much time, then you're doing it wrong.

          I realize that the fitness industry has everybody conditioned to think that they need to do a dozen different workouts and you've got to hit puny muscle Y, but if you're moving your body as a unit, you'll hit all of those spots. And the fact of the matter is, that there's no reason to be hitting most of those small muscles anyways as they're already getting a work out whenever you're working their antagonizing muscles.

          You do 6 exercises across the week and yeah, I guess 10-20 is a bit on the low side, but an hour 3 times a week is way more than what it takes. I work out about an hour a week, tops, and I'm definitely growing strong.

          You look at the way people spend their work out time, the penny ante crap that does nothing for them. The stretching and the cool downs, and the multiple exercises that work the same basic groups of muscles, and yeah, if you do cut out all that crap that you don't need in the first place, you can easily cut out half or a third of your time. Not to mention the fact that if you're going into a gym to work out, there's a ton of down time in the middle of your work out when you're switching equipment or waiting on gear.

          • Re:Lazy (Score:4, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 14, 2013 @02:46PM (#43174531)

            Doing some basic calisthenics isn't going to make you break a sweat.

            It won't get you in shape, either.

            You do 6 exercises across the week and yeah, I guess 10-20 is a bit on the low side, but an hour 3 times a week is way more than what it takes. I work out about an hour a week, tops, and I'm definitely growing strong.

            If you work out an hour a week, tops, you're not in shape. You're probably getting stronger, but you're not in shape.

            If you want to find out what kind of shape you're in, get a heart rate monitor and GPS tracker (there are cell phone apps for this) and run for an hour outdoors with your heart rate around 150-165. "Good shape" will get you 7.5 miles. Good weekend triathletes will get 10 miles. Professional triathletes will get 12. Oh, and do this two or three days consecutively, because if you're at least in "good shape" you won't have much, if any, soreness or fatigue on the second or third day.

            Having said that, you can get into decent shape with minimal time investment for a particular sport. Running three times per week for about an hour each time in Zone 1 will get you nicely in shape for running, and you'll be in ok shape for other sports, to boot.

        • by Immerman (2627577)

          Bull. It takes very little effort to significantly increase/maintain strength if you don't normally engage in significant exertion on a regular basis. My own strategy was keeping a pair of 10lb weights lying around and incorporating 10-20 reps of some random exercises (push-ups, sit-ups, butterflies, etc) whenever I have a random moment - less than a minute of exercise at a time, and using time that would otherwise be wasted waiting for a quick compile or heating a cup of coffee or something. I averaged l

    • Re:Lazy (Score:5, Funny)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @01:40PM (#43173441) Journal

      What the poster meant was that he's just too lazy to go to the gym when he could be at home watching TV. Any significant workout is going to make you sweat a lot, which is why you don't do it at your desk. If you just want a physical job then sign up to be a mail carrier or bicycle courier.

      You aren't going to do jack in terms of serious cardio or muscular exertion unless your white-collar-knowledge-worker environment tolerates people who look like they think that 'data mining' is something you do with a pickaxe.

      However, in terms of destroying your fitness less slowly while at work you have options that are worth considering: If you need caffeine, go with (unsweetened/not-full-of-milkfat) coffee or tea, or a pill. Not a soda. Also, try to distinguish between loss of energy caused by boredom or need for sleep(not a good thing; but temporarily treatable with mild stimulants) from loss of energy caused by hunger(eat something lean and proteinacious). Assorted caffeine+sugar snacks are seductive because the combination of stimulants and a quick energy burst allows you to do a mediocre job of fighting off either kind of slump; but they tend to bite you because if you just need some caffeine you end up consuming hundreds of calories in corn syrup, or if you really need some food, you end up letting hunger drive you into using more stimulants than you need, and crashing once the sugar spike wears off.

      None of that will actually make you 'fit' worth a damn, nor will it save you from 'research suggests that people who get less than X exercise die early'; but it is a comparatively painless way to cut down the amount of 'fit-as-in-not-fat' effort you'll need to put in at the gym later. Ideally, you'll even be forced to find a more stable, less spike/crash prone hunger and stimulant cycle, which won't exactly hurt your efforts to get some exercise either before or after work.

    • Re:Lazy (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Murdoch5 (1563847) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @01:42PM (#43173481)
      I completely agree. Everyone one tells me they don't have the time to go and they have to much work but somehow yet manage to fit 5 hours of TV into the evening. To stay fit, burn fat and keep energized you really only need to work out twice a week, I usually aim for 3 - 4 times. Either go to a gym or stop complaining, you have the time, just go and do it.
      • by Chirs (87576) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @02:15PM (#43174079)

        I get maybe 1-2 hrs of time in the evening, and I'm usually doing household chores during much of that time. Can't go to the gym because I need to be around if a kid wakes up.

        I make do with an elliptical and doing body-weight exercises, but it's hard to find time.

        • by Fallingcow (213461) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @02:51PM (#43174589) Homepage

          1) Place kids on shoulders.
          2) Do squats

        • It sucks if you are single parent but if not take turns. Nothing wrong with you taking care of the kids every other day for 2hrs while your significant other gets in their exercise and then you getting your workout in on the other day. Or find a gym that has daycare (most big chains do). I think a lot of them even include it with the membership. So pick the kids up and instead of heading right home go to the gym and fire off a workout your still home by 5 and they can eat by 6. There are ways around almost

    • Re:Lazy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ShanghaiBill (739463) * on Thursday March 14, 2013 @01:50PM (#43173619)

      What the poster meant was that he's just too lazy to go to the gym when he could be at home watching TV.

      It is not a matter of laziness. A gym membership is expensive, and going there is time consuming. The closest gym to me costs $80/month and is a 20 minute commute each way. I work till 6pm, then after an hour of meal prep, eating, and cleanup, I have about two hours with my kids before they go to bed. I am not going to cut that in half so I can go to the gym.

      I stay in shape with a stand-up workstation, and we have a treadmill in front of a internet connected TV in the break room. I usually put about three miles on the treadmill while I watch the PBS Newshour. A treadmill at my desk does not work, because I cannot walk and type at the same time. I have seen salespeople do it successfully, but they spend their time talking into a phone headset rather than typing. I don't see that working for a coder.

      • Re:Lazy (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Dexter Herbivore (1322345) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @02:07PM (#43173935) Journal
        Not to mention that gyms are mostly pointless rip offs. You DO NOT need to go into a special environment to exercise. For some people it helps, sure, but it's not absolutely necessary. You don't need a special machine to exercise your legs, jog on the spot, put a crate down and do step aerobics, do squats. Specialised equipment isn't a necessity and usually is there simply to make you feel like you've got your money's worth.
        • Re:Lazy (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Joce640k (829181) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @02:44PM (#43174493) Homepage

          Yep. Gyms exist for one reason - to take your money.

          For cardio, try, um walking. Go a place with trees and hills once a week and walk instead of pounding a treadmill in a filthy flu/fungus-ridden gym.

          For strength, you can equip yourself for about $20, eg.: http://www.shovelglove.com/ [shovelglove.com]

          • Re:Lazy (Score:4, Insightful)

            by cusco (717999) <brian.bixby@gmai l . c om> on Thursday March 14, 2013 @04:35PM (#43175725)
            A routine that will only take a week or so to get into, and which you absolutely will do for the next ten years is actually fun and rewarding. Go to the animal shelter and bring home a beagle. Walk him every morning before you go to work, and every evening before you go to bed. After a week of this the beagle will **NOT** let you skip either walk, he's taking you for a walk come rain, snow, heat, or zombie apocalypse.

            Beagles have a bad rep for howling and digging, but those are bored dogs who don't get out. A walk twice a day will keep them from getting bored and keep you both in shape.
      • by Albanach (527650)

        Can you cycle to/from work one or two days a week?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by dmatos (232892)

        You have kids and you want to increase your fitness level?

        Go play with them.

        Because of the crazy power-to-weight ratio that kids have, no adult can even hope to keep up with them. You'll burn 10 times the energy that they do, just trying to keep pace.

        Climb trees. Play soccer. Chase them around the park. Throw a frisbee or a football back and forth. Ride bikes.

        Your kids will love it, you'll love it, and you'll be more fit than you've ever been!

  • Elliptical (Score:5, Informative)

    by Eowaennor (527108) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @01:25PM (#43173101)
    I use a portable elliptical trainer that can be used standing or sitting down in a kind of peddling motion. It's non motorized and pretty quiet.
  • I get up .. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Idimmu Xul (204345) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @01:25PM (#43173107) Homepage Journal

    3 hours before I need to be at work and go to the gym, and try my damned hardest not to eat the free biscuits or cakes when I get in to the office.

  • by erroneus (253617) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @01:25PM (#43173109) Homepage

    C'mon!!

  • by peter303 (12292) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @01:26PM (#43173135)
    Other than hall walking breaks to relieve muscle tension, I do vigorous exercise outside of work.

    Its a lot like advice for insurance: combing investing and insurance in one product usually shorts both.
  • No Magic Bullets (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tompatman (936656) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @01:27PM (#43173149)
    There's no magical way that's going to keep you in shape without a little effort to eat well and take some time to exercise. Lay off the fritos and mountain dew. Stick to water and coffee/tea and get some veggies in your meals. Make time to exercise over lunch or right after work, for at least 30 min. You're just making excuses if you think you can't carve 30 min. out of your day. I go to the gym at lunch and find it makes me more relaxed and more productive at work.
    • Re:No Magic Bullets (Score:5, Informative)

      by DragonIV (697809) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @01:56PM (#43173753)
      Exactly right. I'm 5'10", and was tipping the scales around 225lbs with a diet and lifestyle like the submitter. Here's what worked for me:

      1. Ditched high calorie drinks (soda/juices) and limited snacking. Mornings, I switched to eating a single bowl of cheerios or two shredded wheat biscuits or a banana. Lunch is simple, sandwich, less than 400 cal. Dinner--I rarely eat out, and eating at home I have stopped eating dessert and eat smaller portions at dinner, with no second helpings.
      2. Exercise. I run M/W/F for 60 minutes in the morning before work. Tu/Th, I do weigh training (pull ups, push ups, sit ups, other simple stuff), which takes me about 45 minutes. Google Evil Cyber's beginner workout if you want details.

      In three months, I've dropped to 207lbs. I'd probably be lighter if I could break myself of *#!*$"&!! cookies, but one needs to be reasonable. My hope is to be below 200 by the end of May, and down to 190 by the end of the summer. You pretty much just have to build on your success, and if you fall off the horse by missing a few days in a row, get back on as soon as you can...but don't beat yourself up about it.
      • by PRMan (959735)
        Carbs are addictive. Stop eating Cheerios and Shredded Wheat for breakfast and eat bacon and eggs or sausage instead with tea or coffee (unsweetened). You'll have energy all day and will stop craving the cookies. If you start the day with carbs, you'll crave them all day long. And if you can keep your carbs under 125 or so (or as close as you can get), you'll drop the weight really quickly. Your blood pressure and cholesterol should improve greatly as well (yes, even with eating bacon and eggs).
    • As others have observed, it's not just about exercise; it's about diet too. The particular form that each takes doesn't matter as long as you do the math to make things balance out.

      A typical adult male will burn ~2000 calories a day just sitting there staring into space (give or take a few hundred depending on age and weight). Now look at the calories of your favorite fast food and snacks and drinks -- a few hundred here, a few hundred there, and suddenly you're eating 4000 calories a day while still only

  • by eth1 (94901) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @01:27PM (#43173155)

    And switch to water, for a start.

    • I normally have a shot of espresso (straight back) and orange juice for breakfast, sip on water throughout the day, and have one cup of green tea and one of black coffee for lunch and in the afternoon.

      The way that programming culture treats stimulants, narcotics and relaxants is nothing short of physical self abuse. One guy I read a while back was talking about sucking down strong coffee all day then drinking himself to sleep. That is a) a classic addictive cycle and b) ruinous for your body, not to mention

    • that works too.

  • by crankyspice (63953) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @01:28PM (#43173163)

    I knew I'd never reliably hit a gym, etc. (BTDT, repeatedly), and working out *at* work wasn't really feasible, so I worked out by going to / from work by bicycle. At first it was 5 miles each way, then I changed jobs and it was a 35 mile round trip, daily. Lost ~100 lbs in about 8 months. Have kept ~80 of those off since 2008...

    • That's a great idea, unless your commute is 60+ miles one way like mine...

      • by Zumbs (1241138) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @02:02PM (#43173869) Homepage
        Then drive the first 50 miles and ride a bike for the last 10. Hopefully it is possible to find a parking lot somewhere in a reasonable distance where you can also stash a bike. Another alternative would be to consider moving closer to work or changing job to something closer to home.
        • by swillden (191260)

          Then drive the first 50 miles and ride a bike for the last 10. Hopefully it is possible to find a parking lot somewhere in a reasonable distance where you can also stash a bike. Another alternative would be to consider moving closer to work or changing job to something closer to home.

          No need to stash the bike at the parking lot, just get a bike rack for the car.

    • by zuvembi (30889) <I_charge_100USD_ ... e@unixbigots.org> on Thursday March 14, 2013 @02:00PM (#43173813) Homepage

      Yup - I have a similar story. Was at 277 - dropped down to 177. Now I'm a little above 200 - but I've been reasonably stable for years.

      Before you can say "I can't do it!", keep in mind you probably can if you wan't to. Here are some common objections I

      • Do it every day - start at one day a week - maybe go up to three - or even five if you can manage it
      • I'll be sweaty and stinky! I personally have a shower at work - but even without, if you are clean in the morning and change from biking clothes to work clothes while dabbing on some deoderant, a little clean sweat is not very fragrant.
      • It's too far! So don't do it all the way. I know plenty of people who will drive part of the way, then hop on their bike and do the rest. That way you can tailor the ride to your time, fitness, etc. I even know some people who drive to work one way - bike back, then bike to work the next morning - then drive home.

      If you don't want to do it, just say so - there's no sin in that. But don't come up with bogus reasons why it's a terrible thing you can't do and noone else should.

  • Take the stairs. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 14, 2013 @01:28PM (#43173167)

    Even when I'm not going anywhere.

  • by gatzke (2977) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @01:29PM (#43173191) Homepage Journal

    I have tried various things over the years. The best I ever found was to make myself run every day. Get in the habit of roll out of bed, go run, shower, go to work.

    One day I went to work, then after eight hours I realized that I never even stood up. I was busy all day long, with all of my meetings coming to my office. I never got thirsty or had the call of nature. I realized that I had been sitting on my rear for a full eight hours. I try to at least go get coffee now...

  • by ohnocitizen (1951674) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @01:30PM (#43173211)
    For myself, I work remotely. This let's me take a break to exercise during the day (which in turn helps me stay alert and focused throughout the work day). If you don't have this kind of flexibility at your job, it comes down to what exercises can you do that won't leave you a sweaty mess. For that, I'd recommend yoga you can do at your desk [yogajournal.com], or standing practice [acuafshin.com]. The latter is great for building lower body strength.

    If you don't mind getting sweaty, exercise bands, push ups and fifer scissors/situps, can be great for your upper body, and easy to use/do quietly in a relatively small space.

    Whatever you do, don't stand all day. Standing desks just switch out the health problems you get from sitting. Varying what you do is the best tact - if you stand most of the day, find time to sit and rest your legs (and vice versa).
  • by hawguy (1600213) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @01:31PM (#43173217)

    I bike to work 2 - 3 times/week (In the winter months when it's dark at night, I tend to bike in once direction only and take transit home. It's a 19 mile ride so even a one way trip is pretty good exercise).

    The dog makes sure I got out for at least one 30 minute walk or jog (the wife usually takes her for the afternoon walk).

    I spend my lunch hour walking with a few coworkers.

    I can't imagine that a treadmill would work well in the office -- I'd either be focused on the treadmill and not working, or be focused on working and not the treadmill and would end up tripping myself.

  • by fleeped (1945926) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @01:31PM (#43173219)
    First of all reduce the crap that you're consuming, that's quite important as you can understand. That said, whatever applies to you:
    - Walk/Cycle to work
    - Use stairs whenever you find the chance (ascending only, be kind to your knees)
    - Take breaks to go for a walk
    - Go running after work (run to home perhaps?)
  • Run do not walk away from such a hipster organization that has standing desks or can you bike to work? if you can only bike part way consider a folding bike like a brompton.
  • I walk to work. 40 minutes both ways. It's 6.6km round trip. Decent exercise for the day and I get some reflection time and fresh air as a bonus.

  • by Hartree (191324) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @01:31PM (#43173237)

    I exercise by lifting coffee cups.

  • by hsmith (818216) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @01:32PM (#43173253)
    I go to the gym during lunch and swim. 15min away, exercise for 1/2hr and back at work within the hour. The nice thing is, it splits the day in half.
  • Please figure out a way that doesn't make you stinky at work. Just because *you* can't smell you doesn't mean others can't.

  • Being fit = going to the gym and actively working on your body to stay in shape.
    Losing weight, staying in a healthy weight range is not fit.
    Saying you don't want to put any effort into getting/staying fit is a sure fire way to make sure you're never fit. You do need to exercise, you do need to make time for it, you do need to make it a priority. There is no quick easy way out of it.

  • by djh101010 (656795) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @01:35PM (#43173325) Homepage Journal
    See, it's a mat with conclusions on it. And then you jump to them.
  • Numerous studies have suggested that obesity is linked to not getting enough sleep. Aside from that, try bicycling to work if it's feasible.

  • by dmatos (232892) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @01:36PM (#43173359)

    Unless you've got a truly ridiculous commute, you can probably bike to work without taking much more time than driving. I've got a 7km commute that takes 15 mintues in rush-hour traffic. I can ride it in 20 (17 minutes is my personal best).

    It takes an additional 15 minutes at work to shower and change, but that's 15 minutes that I'm not spending showering at home. All told, I get 40 minutes of exercise in a day with a net time loss of only 10 minutes. AND! I use the hot water at work (free!), where they don't have those horrible low-flow showerheads.

  • To work if you can. Otherwise just ride a bike. Once you start, you will get so hooked that it will become your priority. Trust me on this one.

  • by ssam (2723487)

    cycle to work.

    for my commute it saves time compared to any other 'reasonable' mode of transport. (not including jetpack, helicopter, pneumatic tubes) (ok maybe a motorbike might win).

  • TL;DR: Pick something - anything - and commit to doing it 5x/week for 30-60 minutes per session for 30 days. It will become habit after a month and you will be less likely to quit. Install MyFitnessPal on your smartphone and use it religiously as a companion for those 30 days, and beyond. Nutrition is 80-90% of fitness.
    ---

    Fitness and healthy living is a decision you arrive at following an inner monologue.

    Experts say it takes 30 days for any new habit to become a routine, to become "cemented" in your lif

  • by monk (1958) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @01:41PM (#43173447) Homepage

    I do the Power90 workout with my wife six mornings a week before going to work, then I have a treadmill desk at work where I walk all day as I code, read, surf, post on /. If we have a really early or hectic day ahead we move the workout to before dinner. If we're sick or injured in some way we modify the workout a bit. The big secret is not to push hard, just show up and keep moving. The workout is for cardio and strength, the treadmill desk wiped out any aches and pains and bad posture from hunching over and typing for 20 odd years.

    Give yourself three months of drill instructor attitude to get in the habit and aim at 3 years to measure your results, just to avoid any short-term thinking. That worked great for us, and now it's just natural to get up and do it.

    That's pretty much all you need.

  • I have a couple of exercise bands at my desk which I use when my hands are free. They don't take up much space, and you can get some with pretty decent resistance. You could also get a couple of ~8-10 pound exercise balls; tossing those from hand to hand can be a pretty decent light workout. Standard free weights are an option too. Honestly, you're just not going to get a lot of cardio in while at your desk. But you can do some light strength training and toning, which will help keep your metabolism up
  • What's consuming the rest of your time? I bet you have an hour or so to spend at the gym before or after work if you really want to. Or could you do it during your lunch break? Also, you'll want to change what you eat--the Mountain Dew isn't going to help you. (Not bragging, but I'm a full-time graduate student with two part-time jobs and still manage to work out for about an hour a day--and I still have time to make my own dinner, which lots of people also insist they don't have time for. You might try tha

  • I joined three gyms in 5-6 years and never stuck with it for more than 3 months, wasting the rest of the year's membership. Then, I decided to get into martial arts (partly as a family activity). A decent school with good master instructors will keep you motivated. There's always a new goal ahead of you: your next belt promotion, that new technique you saw the senior students practicing, new opportunities, etc. I've stuck with it for 6.5 years now, earning a 2nd dan in taekwondo and have been training in

  • Instead of taking a 60minute meal break. Eat your lunch in 30minutes and then go for a 30minute walk. It doesn't have to be right after you eat but insert the 30minute walk sometime in the day.

    Block that 30minute walk out in your calendar so people can't (or will try to avoid) scheduling a meeting/concall over that time.

    It's absurd if your boss expects you to sit at your desk for 9 hours a day (8hrs of working + 1 hr lunch).

  • A few things that have been helping me:

    -Snack, but on good things. Fruit, cottage cheese, yogurt, etc. Read the nutrition label on everything.
    -Drink water. A lot of water. I've been drinking 4L a day - that helps both reduce food cravings and avoid kidney stones. Fuck kidney stones, seriously.
    -Take up a sport. There's no more fun way to exercise than something fast-paced and competitive. If you play video games, stop doing that and use that time to do something out in the real world.
  • ...or am I experiencing deja vu?

    Take the stairs. Stretch in your office. Walk at lunch. Set your watch to beep on the hour, and when it beeps stop what you're doing, get up, stretch, and walk around the building. Get a dog, walk him when you get home. Try jogging with your dog on weekends. (Don't overdo it until youDo some sit-ups before getting in the shower in the morning. It's not a lot, but it's more than most do, and it'll help keep you alive.

    Speaking of which, cross the streets carefully when

    • by roc97007 (608802)

      Was supposed to have been:

      (Don't overdo it until you get used to it. Heart attacks while trying to get healthy are embarrassing.) When I started jogging, I went around the block, and I was done. Every few days I'd add another block until I was doing five miles a day. That seemed to be good enough and I didn't try to push it any further. Then my knees gave out, so I walk now.

  • by undeadbill (2490070) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @01:47PM (#43173575)

    Here is how I dealt with it:

    1. Cut back on my work hours. That includes oncall response times. I found I can still get my work done in 40 that I used to do in 60 by working smarter instead of harder.
    2. Ride a bicycle to work. If it is ten miles or less away from home, you can do it. If it is winter, consider zip ties on the tires for traction, or using cross country skis. Remember to use lights and have a loud horn.
              a. Use a skate board if you are able to, and if you are close enough. Better work out.
              b. Use public transit and walk to work if neither of the above work well.
    3. Go walk a little every hour. Standing is fine, but walking will help a lot. Don't go longer than 2 hours without moving around.
    4. Water, unsweetened coffee, or unsweetened tea. No more mountain dew, ever.
    5. Cut carbs. That is how type 1 diabetics keep their blood sugar under control. Excess blood sugar gets converted to fat. The recommended daily minimum is about 200 carbs.
              a. The easiest way is to completely fill up on green salad at every meal aside from breakfast. Eat anything you like after the salad.
              b. Fats and everything else have to go through extra stages until they are broken down to sugars which get turned into fat.
              c. Cut back on the salt. Cut it out entirely unless it is part of a recipe or already part of the meal.
    6. Get uninterrupted sleep. If someone or something is making it harder to sleep, fix it.
    7. Stretch a lot. People think exercise helps, but actually I found that a lot of stretching went a long way toward slimming me down and reducing my blood pressure. Stretching is also exercise.
    8. Buy and wear really good shoes if standing and walking a lot. Extra weight can really mess up your lower joints until the benefits of exercise kick in.

  • by arlo5724 (172574) <jacobw56@NospAm.gmail.com> on Thursday March 14, 2013 @01:48PM (#43173595)
    So I'm a nerd who works in a chair all day, but I also weight train at least 3 times a week and run competitive times in everything from 5Ks to half-marathons, AND I used to weight about 320lbs (I weigh around 160 now). The trick? I treat it like I do everything else I love to do: I think of my workouts as ways to fix, tinker, and improve (dare I say, hack?) my body. It's easy to think of our computers (or whatever we work with daily) as important extensions of our physical selves, but we seem to do this to the detriment of our actual bodies. I wouldn't let one of my systems limp along with broken hardware/software and have spent hours or days fixing problems, so why shouldn't I commit half an hour a day (to begin with) to my own physical upkeep? It turns out that although it was a seemingly IMPOSSIBLE struggle at the onset, after several weeks I began to really genuinely enjoy it! Running in particular got me hooked because it's the sort of thing you can keep working on, and continue improving, without ever feeling like you're stagnating if you do it right. It seems to me that anyone with the typical geek mentality could easily change their mindset to feel the same way. Of course, it's just my experience, and therefore anecdotal at best, but still my 2 cents.
  • My work does have a gym, but it requires a vehicle to drive there. I carpool, so I usually don't have a mode of transportation to get there. Even if I did, I'd have to do it during my 30 minute lunch break. No time to fit a round trip drive, plus a workout, in that time. Sometimes during nice weather I'll go for a jog outside, but most days, I just do a workout routine at home.

    I get home at 6 PM, eat dinner, get the kids to bed by 7. Work out until about 8, then go to sleep by around 8:30. Wake up at

  • Park your car not at the office park, but in some other office park 15 minutes' walk distant.

  • If you live too close : make a detour.
    If you live too far : do only part of it on the bike.

    You might not develop a gorgeous torso but your cardio health will be top-notch.

  • I have a standing desk. See this NYT article (which may or may not have been contradicted by a different pop-science NYT article): http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/23/stand-up-while-you-read-this/ [nytimes.com]

  • Just walk (Score:5, Informative)

    by Tomster (5075) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @01:54PM (#43173705) Homepage Journal

    First -- having a standing desk is awesome, and you're probably doing more for yourself just with that than you could with an exercise program while still sitting 8+ hours a day.

    Second -- take a break a few times a day and go for a brisk walk. Ten or fifteen minutes of walking will clear your head, helping your concentration for the next couple hours of work, and get your heart rate up a little.

    Third -- cut out the crap and start eating healthy.

    Fourth -- don't buy into the "you need to get motivated" crap. If getting motivated worked, there wouldn't be such a huge industry in motivational books/conferences/blogs. Motivation will last a week or two, but when that initial enthusiasm wears off willpower and discipline have to be there to take over long enough to establish new habits. For most people that takes about a month.

    Fifth -- lead a balanced, healthy life. That's not always possible, but when something is out of whack in your life there are going to be consequences, so take care of yourself -- not just physically, but also mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

    Thomas

  • Biking to work is a great way to turn a soul-deadening commute into a real workout. And stay out of the elevators, take the stairs.

    If you're in a low building with no stairs, follow the lead of your smoking co-workers. Take a "smoke break" every hour but walk around the building instead of smoking.

  • Seriously. The amount of sugar/corn syrup in EVERYTHING is amazing. Cut it all out and you'll notice a change in a few weeks. Now this is really difficult to do. Again. It's in everything. You can thank the corporate food engineers for that.

    Exercise? Get up and walk around. If want more? Pick short high intensity things for 10-20 min at home each day. Jump rope is excellent. Plain old pushups and sit-ups cover everything else for starters. Main thing for me was to not make a big deal about it, b

  • I can't neither get my weight down enough nor my condition high enough to bike to work. Somehow the 500m (1500 ft) difference in height has gotten too much for me. So I took up swimming. 3 to 4 times a week 40 minutes of exercising. Without killing myself and without ruining my ligaments. I feel good and I knew that I would! And nice. Try it.
  • I cycle to work, 6km round trip (I cycle to the train station then do the rest of the commute by train). Then I do indoor climbing twice a week for a 2 to 3 hours, and I play 5v5 or 8v8 football (soccer for the americans here) once or twice a week.
    During week days I hace orange juice and coffee for breakfast, maybe some buscuits (just a couple) then I get either a good salad and fruit or some vegetarian dish for lunch. I do eat meat, but moderately and at dinner or on weekends (usually on sundays, as it's s

  • And pretend to work.

    Great workout.

  • Get married.
    Buy a house
    She'll make you do DIY and landscaping until you're sore in places you didn't know you had.

  • Try a game! (Score:4, Informative)

    by 1001011010110101 (305349) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @02:08PM (#43173959)
    Ingress makes you move around, I lost quite a bit of weight since I started playing ( http://www.ingress.com/ [ingress.com] )
  • by Riddler Sensei (979333) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @02:20PM (#43174155)

    ...a fairly sedentary life consisting most on fritos, tab, and mountain dew.

    Most people in this thread are likely to focus on the highlighted part. And they are certainly good in doing so. Spending 45-60 minutes, 3 times a week, picking up heavy things off of the ground is one of the greatest things I have ever done for my strength and physique. It has been great for building muscle and cardiovascular health. However, when you say "fit" I assume you meant fat loss, first and foremost. And when it comes to fat loss that is done in the kitchen.

    Well, here's my angle. Exercise is for strength, endurance and health. That is, when you lift you should be lifting to increase your strength and what you should be counting is the weight lifted and the reps repped. When you cardio, what you should be counting is miles ran/sprinted/biked. However, what many do is count the calories burned instead. And you do burn calories. You burn calories during the activity itself, you usually get a metabolic "afterburner" effect and you burn calories when your body rebounds (this also has the effect of partitioning a portion your dietary protein and fat towards tissue and hormone construction instead of just flat energy). And that's great. But you just CANNOT out train a shitty diet. Saying to yourself that you can eat/drink X today because you did Y is such a dead end, terrible, philosophy that gets many in trouble. The freedom to eat something because "you earned it" just leads to heartbreak for many. If you're going to exercise, exercise for the sake of your body's strength and health, but don't think that it will suddenly make that sugary coffee and bagel a non-factor in your obesity/diabetes.

    That said, I honestly believe that the "fritos, tab, and mountain dew" part is the real core of the issue here. Refined sugars and grains coupled with modern fats (seed oils, trans-fats) are the bane of many peoples' lives. Insulin resistance, leptin resistance, celiac disease, IBS, SIBO, etc.. Simply switching to whole foods can almost entirely bypass this issue. Learn to cook your own meats, find tasty vegetable recipes, use fruits and nuts as calorie/nutrient dense desserts. When you do this the trans-fats disappear, the refined sugars and HFCS disappear, the 600+ grams of carbs a day disappear. You will learn the role that protein, fats and carbohydrates play in your body and how blindly trying to cut one of them to zero is a poor decision (seriously, when did we decide that we DIDN'T need dietary fat for healthy tissue and hormone production?). Your hunger will likely diminish as well as these foods tend to be VERY satiating.

    It's funny when people ask how to get in shape that they will jump up and be ready to run in place for hours on end per week, but if you tell them that they will HAVE to cook their own meals, well, suddenly they're deers in headlights. People seem more willing to spend hours on end spinning away in their spin classes than spending a few minutes in the kitchen.

    In summary:
    Exercise = Strength, endurance, health
    Diet = Fat loss, disease control, health

    Do them together, but don't think you're going to get strong just through eating or that you're going to lose fat just through running.

If a thing's worth having, it's worth cheating for. -- W.C. Fields

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