What does a magazine editor or writer really do at work, besides attending press events and meetings, writing stories, coordinating photoshoots, making videos or finding you the coolest people, food, fashion, beauty and workout classes about town? Squeeze in a workout, apparently.
As Her World writer Hoe I Yune puts it, “As much as I try to attend fitness classes a couple of times a week, it’s tough because my work involves dinner tastings, events and of course, deadlines.”
We asked I Yune and four other editors and writers to share how they #MoveIt150 in and around the office – that is, how they clock 150 minutes of exercise each week. Why 150 minutes? Take it from the National Physical Activity Guidelines, which recommend clocking at least that amount of time doing moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) each week, in order to enjoy the health benefits that it brings.
Men’s Health editor Kelvin Tan takes his workouts seriously: “I work out daily – and I’m a firm believer in how every minute adds up, just like the calories.”
How does he do it? To maximise his workout time, he pops in for a few reps each time he visits the washroom. “The washrooms have always been some distance from my workstation, so it feels like I get the most bang for my time spent walking there to sneak in a workout set.” He estimates that just four washroom visits a day nets him 160 minutes each week.
Peh Yiwen, a writer for Shape, however, prefers the intensity of stair sprints. While she attends group fitness classes three to four times weekly, she noticed that the workouts she tend to choose were mostly strength, toning and flexibility workouts. Taking the stairs at a sprint instead of waiting for the office lift “is the perfect answer to clocking in some cardio each day” for her.
Then there’s Singapore Women’s Weekly editor-in-chief, Barbara Koh. “Time-challenged” is how the spunky lady describes herself. Her approach: Program a fitness monitor to sound an alert if you don’t manage to get in 250 steps every hour. When the alert goes off, Barbara knows it’s time to take a brisk walk, whether it’s to the canteen, washroom or simply to the next meeting.
“Every step counts,” Barbara shares. “These short bursts aren’t enough to add up to 150 minutes a week, but it’s an easy and quick way to get my heart rate up without going out of my way to exercise.”
Another example of how to incorporate exercise into the workday without going out of your way comes courtesy of Adora Wong, CLEO’s senior features writer. The petite rock-climber says, “Being in my seat all day means I want to really get moving whenever I get up, or I feel sluggish. So even stepping over to the printer is one opportunity to get in some squats and star jumps. They might look silly, but they get your heart rate up fast and that means an efficient calorie burn, which is always a bonus.”
For those looking for something a little less obtrusive, there’s always I Yune’s unique take on working out at her desk: “Weighted leg lifts are easy to do without leaving your seat. Better still if it looks as fun as being a mermaid!”
Looks like office workouts don’t have to be boring, once you’ve found the right exercise for you.
If working out in your office isn’t an option, or if you’re not a fan of working up a sweat in your work attire, check out these Fitness @ Work classes that you can pop into right after work, before you head home for the day. Otherwise, make sure to clock those minutes on the weekends with HPB’s Sundays @ The Park programmes.