Did you know that only 15% of the Canadian population meets physical activity guidelines? (Those, by the way, are to engage in moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity for a total of 150 minutes per week.) Sedentary roles like office work are a major culprit!

Here are 4 easy ways you can sneak exercise in to your workday.
(You don’t have to exercise in one continuous bout to count toward the weekly recommendation.)

 1. Set a timer on your computer or smartphone to ring every hour.
Perform a very short exercise circuit each hour. For example, do 10 push-ups, 10 crunches, and 10 bodyweight squats. That’s 80 reps each after an 8-hour workday! In a former life as an office employee, I used to get all my coworkers to join me every hour. You can do this with your employees or business partners, if you have them.

2. Take short walks.
Short walks throughout the day don’t just increase your physical activity level, they can also increase your concentration and thus productivity. Take three brisk 10-minute walks during a workday, and you’ve achieved that day’s physical activity recommendation.

 3. Say “NO” to escalators and elevators.
Whether you work in an office building or you run your business from home, say “no” to escalators and elevators! Taking the stairs (at work, at the mall, on transit, etc.) instead will burn calories and increase your overall activity level.

 4. Set up a simple piece of exercise equipment close to your workspace.
Use it every time you pass it (e.g. when you get up to grab a snack or go to the bathroom). You can do shoulder presses with dumbbells, crunches on an exercise ball, biceps curls with a resistance band, or – my favourite – chin-ups on a pull-up bar that attaches to a doorframe.

Several short bursts of exercise are just as effective as one longer session. Even as busy entrepreneurs, we can all prioritize health and make simple changes that’ll have a lasting impact!

Leap of the week: Choose one of the four strategies to set in action this week. Which one will it be? Got suggestions of your own? Please share in the comments section!