Exercise and avoid the summer sun in Dubai and the MENA region
Unlike other cities in the world, staying active during the work day can seem impossible in Dubai during the summer months. With average temperatures during the day nudging 40°C, it’s not the ideal environment in which to take a walk around the block to get your legs moving after sitting at your desk all day, especially if you’re permanent staff based in the same office day in, day out. While there are many benefits to going outside during your work day, you don’t want to leave the air-conditioned bliss of your office. Here are some tips for staying active when you can’t leave your air-conditioned office.
Change your desk set up
Making a few simple changes to your desk can encourage you to stay active while working. It can be as easy as putting a couple of ankle weights underneath your desk to encourage you to get your legs moving while you’re sitting still. If your company has the scope, ask them for a standing desk or an exercise ball. These are two pieces of equipment that will keep you mobile for hours at a time, which will help burn calories and keep the blood flowing without leaving your desk.
Take advantage of the AC
When going outside in the heat to exercise is out of the question, why not take advantage of your cool office environment? Instead of going for a lunchtime run during a cooler time of year, utilise your office stairs for the same purpose. Running up and down stairs will get your heart pumping, and because climbing creates more resistance, you may get a better workout than jogging outside. If running isn’t your thing, for an hour a week, turn the office meeting room into a yoga or pilates studio. Organise a group of your interested co-workers and, if possible, bring in an external teacher to lead the session. It’s a great way to utilise space while everyone is having their lunch, and this gentle exercise means you can stretch and re-focus in the middle of the day.
Change phone habits
How long do you spend on the phone each day at work? What if, every time you took a call, you stood up or went for a walk while talking? This simple habit can really help get you moving throughout the work day, and should be easy to implement in your day to day with enough practice.
Find excuses to move
Unfortunately, in an office environment, there aren’t many opportunities to move throughout the work day. It means that you must make the effort to move around during your work day. An easy way to do this is to download an app that will give you a reminder to get up every hour to stretch or take a walk. Another idea is to change up the kitchen or bathroom you visit throughout the day. Instead of going to the facilities next to your office, walk up to the next floor up to take more steps.
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