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

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

    And switch to water, for a start.

  • by griffjon ( 14945 ) <> on Thursday March 14, 2013 @01:41PM (#43173451) Homepage Journal

    One great trick, I probably saw it on lifehacker or similar, is to phrase your decisions in terms of priorities - i.e., when choosing to do activity X (TV, long lunch, etc.) instead of Y (gym, run, etc.), consider that you're saying, "no, X is a higher priority for me than Y right now." It's cheesy, but it help keep you focused.

    Yes - bringing a home-made lunch saves a ton of money, and is much easier to portion-control with. Don't eat snacks at work (supply yourself with healthy alternatives if need be).

    Instead of an hour lunch break, take an hour gym break to a nearby gym, or work with your supervisor for a flex hour instead of a lunch break, show up an hour later (and use that to go to a gym on your way in). You'll be *amazed* at the increase in your afternoon productivity by going to a gym in the middle of the day, instead of stuffing yourself at the nearest lunch spot.

    Walk/Run/Bike to or from work - only works if you have access to a shower facility or public transit for one-way commutes at work

    Join a gym, *hire a trainer*, set a schedule. I went to the gym 3x/week for 2 years, slowly lost 5 pounds. Added a trainer, lost another 5 pounds ... in 3 months.

    It sounds like the company cares about health, which is a great start - getting access to shower facilities at work really opens up a lot of possibilities, so investigate some options there.

  • 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.


  • 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: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.
  • 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 ( [] )
  • 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 fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @02:41PM (#43174447)

    I normally have a shot of espresso (straight back) and orange juice for breakfast,

    You'd be much better off have an actual orange than orange juice.
    The fiber helps moderate the metabolism of the fructose and keeps you feeling fuller longer.

    See: Sugar: The Bitter Truth []

  • 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.

  • Re:Lazy (Score:2, Informative)

    by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Thursday March 14, 2013 @03:24PM (#43174973) Homepage

    > 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 can run for 20 minutes at a time and do that 3 times a week then you are indeed in shape. You don't have to be excessive about this stuff. Once you get beyond the basic government guidelines, there are quickly diminishing returns for going overboard.

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"