By Amber Hensley
The differences between women and men are not only well-documented, but frequently at the heart of jokes, anecdotes, and good-natured (and not so good-natured) ribbing. Experts have discovered that there are actually differences in the way women’s and men’s brains are structured and in the way they react to events and stimuli. So the next time your wife, boyfriend, or parent starts telling you how you should have done something differently, then refer back to these big differences between men’s and women’s brains.
- Human relationships. Women tend to communicate more effectively than men, focusing on how to create a solution that works for the group, talking through issues, and utilizes non-verbal cues such as tone, emotion, and empathy whereas men tend to be more task-oriented, less talkative, and more isolated. Men have a more difficult time understanding emotions that are not explicitly verbalized, while women tend to intuit emotions and emotional cues. These differences explain why men and women sometimes have difficulty communicating and why men-to-men friendships look different from friendships among women.
- Left brain vs. both hemispheres. Men tend to process better in the left hemisphere of the brain while women tend to process equally well between the two hemispheres. This difference explains why men are generally stronger with left-brain activities and approach problem-solving from a task-oriented perspective while women typically solve problems more creatively and are more aware of feelings while communicating.
- Mathematical abilities. An area of the brain called the inferior-parietal lobule (IPL) is typically significantly larger in men, especially on the left side, than in women. This section of the brain is thought to control mental mathematical ability, and probably explains why men frequently perform higher in mathematical tasks than do women. Interestingly, this is the same area of Einstein’s brain that was discovered to be abnormally large. The IPL also processes sensory information, and the larger right side in women allows them to focus on, "specific stimuli, such as a baby crying in the night."
- Reaction to stress. Men tend to have a "fight or flight" response to stress situations while women seem to approach these situations with a "tend and befriend" strategy. Psychologist Shelley E. Taylor coined the phrase "tend and befriend" after recognizing that during times of stress women take care of themselves and their children (tending) and form strong group bonds (befriending). The reason for these different reactions to stress is rooted in hormones. The hormone oxytocin is released during stress in everyone. However, estrogen tends to enhance oxytocin resulting in calming and nurturing feelings whereas testosterone, which men produce in high levels during stress, reduces the effects of oxytocin.
- Language. Two sections of the brain responsible for language were found to be larger in women than in men, indicating one reason that women typically excel in language-based subjects and in language-associated thinking. Additionally, men typically only process language in their dominant hemisphere, whereas women process language in both hemispheres. This difference offers a bit of protection in case of a stroke. Women may be able to recover more fully from a stroke affecting the language areas in the brain while men may not have this same advantage.
- Emotions. Women typically have a larger deep limbic system than men, which allows them to be more in touch with their feelings and better able to express them, which promotes bonding with others. Because of this ability to connect, more women serve as caregivers for children. The down side to this larger deep limbic system is that it also opens women up to depression, especially during times of hormonal shifts such as after childbirth or during a woman’s menstrual cycle.
- Brain size. Typically, men’s brains are 11-12% bigger than women’s brains. This size difference has absolutely nothing to do with intelligence, but is explained by the difference in physical size between men and women. Men need more neurons to control their greater muscle mass and larger body size, thus generally have a larger brain.
- Pain. Men and women perceive pain differently. In studies, women require more morphine than men to reach the same level of pain reduction. Women are also more likely to vocalize their pain and to seek treatment for their pain than are men. The area of the brain that is activated during pain is the amygdala, and researchers have discovered that in men, the right amygdala is activated and in women, the left amygdala is activated. The right amygdala has more connections with areas of the brain that control external functions while the right amygdala has more connections with internal functions. This difference probably explains why women perceive pain more intensely than do men.
- Spatial ability. Men typically have stronger spatial abilities, or being able to mentally represent a shape and its dynamics, whereas women typically struggle in this area. Medical experts have discovered that women have a thicker parietal region of the brain, which hinders the ability to mentally rotate objects–an aspect of spatial ability. Research has shown this ability in babies as young as 5 months old, negating any ideas that these abilities were strengthened by environmental influences.
- Susceptibility to disorders. Because of the way men and women use the two hemispheres of the brain differently, there are some disorders that men and women are susceptible to in different ways. Men are more apt to have dyslexia or other language problems. If women have dyslexia, they are more likely to compensate for it. Women, on the other hand, are more susceptible to mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. While handedness is not a disorder, these brain tendencies also explain why more men are left-handed than are women. Men are also more likely to be diagnosed with autism, ADHD, and Tourette’s Syndrome.
By Amber Hensley
Just about everyone would like to keep their brain sharp no matter what their age, so take the advice of many researchers who say that some games work to stave off dementia, strengthen critical thinking skills, and promote brain health. The following games range from online games meant specifically to nurture brain health to puzzles to video games to board and card games. No matter what your interests or level of tech-savvy, there are games here that will help you keep your brain in the best shape.
Online Brain Sharpeners
These online games are developed for improving your brain fitness.
- ThirdAge Games. Brain fitness is the object of these games featured on this site.
- BrainCurls. Find jigsaw puzzles, memory games, and games that sharpen your observation skills here.
- Sharp Brains Brain Teasers and Games. These 50 brain teasers and games are meant for keeping your brain fit and young.
- Grandparent Games. Meant to keep grandparents and their grandchildren connected through shared online games, you can help keep you brain young while connecting with family.
- Braingle. This popular site offers fun brain activities that include brain teasers, riddles, trivia, and brain exercises.
- Fit Brains. If you want brain games designed by scientists specifically for promoting brain health, then give these a try.
- Games ~ Grandma Faith’s Website. These family-friendly games are meant for both young and old and offer plenty of ways to keep your brain working.
- Brain Bashers. The video games here are meant to sharpen your mental acuity while providing entertainment.
- Strategy Games. Keep your brain young with these seven strategy games.
- AARP.org Games. Chess, puzzles, card games, and multiplayer games are offered here to help aging brains stay sharp.
- Games for the Brain. Games like Mastermind, chess, and Sudoku presented here offer you a great way to challenge your brain.
- HAPPYneuron. Try the fun games and activities here to keep your brain young.
- BrainTraining 101. Find an assortment of different types of challenging brain games here.
- Freedom Years Games. Designed especially for seniors, these games include jigsaw puzzles, a memory game, and Sudoku.
Puzzles and Word Games
From crossword puzzles to logic puzzles to sudoku to word games, these puzzles and games will help you get your think on.
- LA Times Daily Crossword. The interactive, online version of this popular crossword puzzle also offers a printable version to take on the go.
- WebCrosswords.com. Similar in format to the LA Times puzzles, these daily puzzles provide more crosswords to keep your brain fit.
- Classic New York Times Crossword Puzzle. Get a daily puzzle free or sign up for a membership to have access to the archives for these super-challenging puzzles.
- Free Online Word Search Puzzles. Word search puzzles can help keep you brain young, and you can find plenty at this site.
- The Letterbox Game. Compete against the computer to make as many three and four-letter words as possible from the words given.
- Web Sudoku. Sudoku has been shown to help keep the brain sharp. Find plenty of games here with varying degrees of difficulty.
- Online Sudoku. Get more online Sudoku here where you can choose difficulty, save your game, reload, get hints, and check how you are doing.
- A Game A Day. This site offers a different word game every day.
- Puzzability Sampler. Try interactive and non-interactive versions of classic games like Hangman, Acrostic, and Slider here.
- The Word Playground. The word games at this website are all original and offer you a different type of online game opportunity.
- Thinks.com Jigsaw Puzzles. Working these online jigsaw puzzles can help sharpen your brain.
- Logic Puzzles. These free logic puzzles offer a solving grid and timer and help keep your brain young with these challenging logic puzzles.
- Instant Online Crossword Puzzle Maker. If you enjoy crossword puzzles, you should give this a try to both work your brain and create unique crossword puzzles you can share with others.
- Wordplays.com. Word games such as Boggler, anagrams, word jumble, and word morph are available on this site.
- word games. Get a good selection of several different types of word games here.
- PlayWithYourMind.com. The original word games at this site offers plenty to give your brain a workout.
- Merriam-Webster Online Word Games. Play classic games or choose the game of the day at the home of this popular online dictionary.
Scientists have shown that playing video games helps improve seniors’ mental performance, so no matter your age, give these video games a try to see if it helps keep your brain young.
- Brain Age. Available on Nintendo DS, this game is excellent for sharpening the brain, and has specifically shown positive results in studies among seniors.
- Flash Focus. This DS game for adults works to strengthen your ability to focus and also helps memory.
- Civilization. This strategy game allows players to build civilizations from the Stone Age into the Space Age and is a great way to use all that history knowledge you may be storing in your brain.
- Metal of Honor. This battle game is one where only the bad guys get killed and the person playing the game sharpens the mind, improves visual learning, and strengthens eye-hand coordination.
- Age of Empires. This complex strategy game will certainly give your brain a workout and help keep it young.
- The Legend of Zelda. Combining action and adventure with puzzle-solving and role-playing, this game will keep your brain working while you are entertained.
- Super Mario Brothers. One of the most popular video games, Super Mario Brothers challenges players with plenty of activities in an attempt to save the princess. New Super Mario Bros. is also available for the DS.
- Guild Wars. This online role-playing game offers rich graphics and the ability to connect players with others socially as well as sharpen the brain.
- Rise of Nations. Used in a study to measure mental skills with video game playing, this game showed improvement in working memory, reasoning, switching between tasks, and–to a lesser degree–short term memory and the ability to recognize rotating objects.
- Arx Fatalis. Eye-hand coordination and "stimulates the brain, beyond belief" are two of the reasons one woman gives for enjoying this role-playing game.
Wii fitness games have become incredibly popular among the senior set due to the ability to participate in sporting events with low impact on the body and the benefits to keeping mental acuity in top form. Whether you are young or old, give these Wii games a try to keep your mind from aging.
- Wii Bowling. Virtual bowling tournaments are all the rage in senior centers, and it seems that Wii bowling is the most popular of the Wii games among seniors.
- Wii Tournaments. Many retirement communities are hosting Wii tournaments for their residents as a way to keep their minds and bodies fit.
- Wii Play. With games like table tennis, billiards, and shooting range, you can participate in plenty of fun activities that will keep your brain working.
- Wii Golf. Wii Golf is an excellent way to enjoy the mental aspect of the game with a low impact on the body or when you don’t have time to go out for a real game.
- Tiger Woods’ PGA Tour 09. Another golfing opportunity with the Wii, this popular game provides mental challenges for golfers of any ability.
- Boxing. Sparring through the Wii helps keep both body and mind physically fit and also provides opportunities to simulate the sport for those a little past their boxing prime.
- Mario Kart Wii. Race go-karts or motorbikes around one of 16 tracks or participate in plenty of diversions like slowing down your opponent or playing in a battle arena.
- The Price is Right. Fans of The Price is Right can gather friends or play on their own while enjoying many favorites from the show including a chance to spin the Big Wheel.
- Link’s Crossbow Training. Buy the Wii Zapper and you get Link’s Crossbow Training, included–a popular shooting game.
- Tennis. Enjoy the mental challenge of the game of tennis without the sore muscles and bursitis that come with the real deal.
- Wii Hooked!. Practice fishing on your own to improve your skills or switch to tournament mode and compete with friends.
Board, Card, and Strategy Games
Not only will these games help keep your brain young with the various abilities they strengthen, but they also promote social interaction, which is also known to help keep the aging brain young.
- Scrabble. This popular word game is famous for it’s brain-boosting abilities.
- Mahjong. An ancient Chinese game, Mahjong strengthens memory and logic skills.
- Dominos. This seemingly simple game actually provides an excellent opportunity to practice your strategy skills and can be quite competitive.
- Checkers. Known as draughts in most other countries, this simple game allows anyone of any age to compete while using strategy to try to win.
- Gin Rummy. Problem-solving skills get a workout with this popular card game that is easy to learn but will always leave you room to grow.
- Chess. Chess helps develop problem-solving, logic, and strategy skills and is known for both its educational value and boost to intelligence.
- Bridge. Find a bridge club or round up several friends who would like to learn to play this game that is considered to be the ultimate in card games.
- Backgammon. Grab a friend and sit down to this fun game that helps protect against brain deterioration.
- Spades. This card game was invented in the US and has gained more world-wide recognition with its availability online in recent years.
- Hearts. Easy enough for the whole extended family to play, Hearts is also great for memory and strategy.
- Euchre. This card game is about battling wits, so learn to play and keep your brain working.
- Parcheesi. A great game for players of all ages, Parcheesi helps strengthen problem-solving skills.
- Chinese Checkers. Despite its name, this fun and simple game is derived from an old German game and helps build problem-solving, logic, and sequencing skills.
Classic Games Online
Whether your friends are too busy when you are available for the real deal or if you just prefer playing online, you can take advantage of these online versions of classic games.
- Free Online Backgammon Game. Try free online backgammon here. Click "Help" for instructions if you don’t know how to play.
- Free Online Mahjong Games. Whether you are a beginner or a master player, this site has a huge number of mahjong games to choose from.
- ChessHere.com. Find others with whom you can play chess online and compete in real time or by correspondence.
- Simon Says. Amazingly similar to the old hand-held game, this online version will strengthen your memory skills.
- Truantduck.com Chinese Checkers. Play this classic game against the computer to practice your strategy and logic.
- Internet Scrabble Club. Play live online Scrabble here where you can select your level, play in other languages, and find online playing partners.
- Tetris. This classic game will sharpen both eye-hand coordination and quick, logical thinking.
- Online Checkers. Strengthen your strategy skills while trying to beat the computer in this online checkers game.
- Bridge Base Online. Players of all levels can play bridge online with this virtual community of bridge players.
- Breakout. This classic game requires you to keep the ball in play until it breaks all the blocks at the top.
- Solitaire. Try one of the many versions of Solitaire offered here to keep your brain working smoothly.
Other Fun and Brain-Stimulating Online Games
While these games aren’t specifically designed to promote brain health, they will help develop certain skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and strategy.
- Bookworm. This online word game can help sharpen the brain while exercising those language art skills.
- FreeRice. Test yourself in several categories including English, Chemistry, Geography, Art, Math, and foreign languages to keep your brain sharp with the added benefit of helping feed the hungry, too.
- Diner Dash. This popular online game has you serving diners. Make sure everyone gets seated, orders, and gets their food without getting angry.
- Legends of Elveron. Try this fantasy game that is heavy on the strategy and doesn’t require any downloads.
- Oregon Trail. Download this favorite to practice the challenges of life on the Oregon Trail.
- Text Twist 2. This fun and challenging game pushes your memory to solve this word game.
- Pharaoh’s Secret. This puzzle game helps fend off brain aging with the strategy and speed you develop while playing.
- Bejeweled 2. Use logical thinking and problem-solving to figure out how to put rows of three, four, and five jewels in this simple, yet challenging game.
- Wheel of Fortune Online. Practice your word power while playing this "spin-off" of the popular TV show.
- Zuma. Combine eye-hand coordination with problem-solving skills and you’ve got Zuma.
- Jewel Quest II. Match jewels in this game that promotes problem-solving against the background of an adventure story.
Fun Things to Do to Keep Your Brain Sharp
While not games in the traditional sense, these fun activities will definitely get your brain working and help keep it young.
- Surf the Internet. Scientists have shown that middle-aged and older adults who surf the Internet show brain activity that was once only attributed to younger brains, so keep your brain young by surfing the Internet.
- Juggle. Juggling requires you to use your less dominant hand, therefore stimulating your brain in ways it typically does not work.
- Practice using your memory. Make a list and try to recall it an hour later or draw a map of a new route you have taken to give your brain a memory workout that will help keep it strong.
- Aromatherapy. Aromatherapy provides a sensory opportunity that stimulates your brain, and when combined with other activities, works your brain in ways that keep it from falling dormant.
- Eat with chopsticks. Learn to use chopsticks and you will provide your brain with stimulation–and learn a new skill.
- Study a foreign language. Many studies show learning a new language provides your brain the opportunity to make new neural connections, which keeps it young and working well.
- Journal. Write down your thoughts, create a poem, or express yourself however you like in a personal journal to help keep your brain thinking and young.
- Read. Reading, especially when it is new material, helps keep your mind sharp.
- Doodle. NPR explains how doodling helps the brain stay focused when you are engaged in mundane activities. Try doodling to keep your brain active.
- Write down dreams. Write down your dreams as soon as you wake up in the morning to help remember your dreams. Examining your dreams can open you up to introspection and give you insight to how your brain is working while you sleep.
- Music. Listening to music uses both the right and left brain, and has shown to increase self esteem along with brain strength.
- Switch hands. Doing regular activities in a different way keeps your brain working and active. Try using your less dominant hand for simple tasks like eating, brushing your teeth, or writing keep your brain young.
- Laugh. Laughing stimulates five different parts of your brain, so laugh often to help keep your brain from aging.
The benefits of exercise go beyond maintaining a trim physique. Experts agree that a fit lifestyle that also incorporates healthy eating clears your focus, boosts energy, and helps you deal with stress in a more balanced, positive way. And if you can sneak in extra exercises while you’re at work, you’ll be much better equipped to deal with all the negativity and chaos that’s thrown your way. Here are 100 tips and tricks to stay fit at work.
At Your Desk
These guides and tips will show you that working out at your desk is possible.
- 60-second aerobics: Read this guide to learn how just 60 consecutive seconds of exercise can help.
- Office Workout: Learn the wrist and forearm stretch, lower back stretch and more.
- Exercise while stuck at your desk: Learn about deskercise and desktop yoga here.
- Stretching Exercises at Your Desk: 12 Simple Tips: Sit on an exercise ball or stand up without putting pressure on your hands.
- Workouts for desk jockeys: Say goodbye to "binge computing" and take breaks to work out at your desk.
- Isometric exercises you can do at your desk: Learn the wall push-off, chair leg extension and overhead press here.
- My Daily Yoga: Learn warm ups, RSI yoga and everyday yoga exercises you can do at your desk.
- Do toe-touches: Do toe-touches throughout the day to prep you for an evening workout.
- How to Exercise While Sitting at Your Computer: Learn the types of equipment you can stash in your desk for impromptu workouts.
- Standing Abdominal Exercises: Try out these exercises so that you don’t get messy or caught in an embarrassing position lying on the floor.
Sneak in these work outs during super quick breaks.
- Go to the coffee shop next door for a break: Walk across the street or next door instead of heading the two steps to your office lounge.
- Offer to run extra errands: Become a gopher on your breaks to burn more calories running all over the building.
- Volunteer for field projects: Get out of the office altogether and volunteer for in-the-field projects that require you to move more.
- Use the bathroom on another floor: Walk up or downstairs to find a bathroom that’s farther away.
- Tune out for a minute: Looking away from your computer and focusing on something besides work does wonders for your mental health, too.
- Take micro-breaks every 30 minutes: Take a 30- to 60-second micro-break every 30 minutes for an ergonomic workout.
- Stretch: Use at least part of your break to stretch your neck, arms, legs and back.
- Take a 10-minute walk: Walk briskly for 10 minutes to help your mood and energy.
- Pick up the package deliveries: Make sure you don’t hurt your back while doing so, but offer to pick up packages and carry them upstairs.
- Ergonomic Microbreaks: Here you can learn all about ergonomic microbreaks and how they help.
These videos demonstrate office-friendly work outs, toning exercises and stretches.
- 15-Minute Desk Workout: This workout requires a sturdy wall and a sturdy chair with no wheels.
- How to do Office Yoga: Spine Stretch Exercise: Practice yoga while getting a great spine stretch.
- Desk Workout: This mini desk workout is just over 3 minutes long.
- Office Workout Routine: Sarah from Diet.com shares toning exercises that help you stay tight at work.
- Tricep Dip: The tricep dip tones arms and only requires a simple chair.
- Butt Exercises: These 3 exercises are incredibly simple and can be done anywhere.
- Thigh Stretch Exercise: This yoga-inspired thigh stretch will keep you loose at work.
- Seated Stretches: Learn how to stretch safely and effectively.
- How to get an office workout: Workout at work without looking like a weirdo.
- The Office Workout - Made Fit TV: Jennifer from Made Fit TV demonstrates exercises that you can do inside your office.
- Irene Estry Office Workout: This humorous British video features a workout guru who visits a production office to share her secrets.
- A Quick 10 Minute Office Workout: You’ll need some equipment for this workout, but it’ll get the job done in only 10 minutes.
- Office Workout: Elizabeth with FitFiend.com demonstrates stress-relieving exercises.
- The Ultimate Office Workout: This young office worker demonstrates exercises that can be done with a clipboard, files, a stapler, stamp and coat rack.
These tips will help you discover ways of fitting in gym time during your work day.
- Wake up just 20 extra minutes early: Come in to work 20 minutes early so that you can extend your lunch break or take off work before the gym rush starts.
- Bring your gym clothes with you: If you already have a gym bag with you, you might as well go during your break or after work.
- Eat right all day: Choose energy-boosting foods that will prevent you from feeling sluggish and gross as the day wears on.
- Go during lunch: Eat lunch at your desk and use your hour off for a quick gym workout
- Pick a low-intensity workout: If you’re afraid to sweat a lot before going back to work, choose a low-intensity workout instead.
- GymLocator.com: This site helps you find gyms closest to a particular location, letting you exercise longer per break.
- Office gym: Before paying for a membership, check to see if your office building has a gym that you can use.
- Swim: Swimming is an excellent way to exercise and relieve stress, so find a local pool to use at lunch.
- Box: You can find punching bags at all gyms and workout centers, and it’s also a great way to relieve stress from work.
- Haggle your benefits: If you have an unorthodox boss, find out if he or she would be willing to set up some sort of benefits plan that includes a gym membership.
Teams and Partners
You might be more effective at sticking to an exercise plan at work if you have others to cheer you on.
- Organize the office Olympics: Remember when Jim on The Office organized a mini-Olympics? When your boss is out, make up fun games that also keep everyone moving.
- Bring in a professional: Find out if you can ask a medical professional or workout coach to come in to your office once a week to lead stretches or simple Pilates.
- Organize a fit lunch group: Get officemates to join you for a walk around the park or even the building during your lunch break.
- Play musical chairs: It’s incredibly dorky, but a spontaneous round of musical chairs will give you a surprising work out.
Keep this exercise equipment near by so that it’s even easier to mix up your work out.
- Treadmill: If you can afford it and get clearance for it, bring a treadmill into your office to use when you’re reviewing files or watching the news.
- Dumbbells: Keep a set of dumbbells in your office so that you can do reps whenever you’ve got a free 5 minutes.
- Gym-Ball Chair: The Design Blog features a gym-ball chair that helps with your workout but still offers back support.
- Resistance bands: Resistance bands can be neatly tucked away in your desk and are versatile tools for all types of exercises.
- Floor Mat: If you want to do any stretching or exercises on the floor, get a mat so that you don’t attract fluff or bits of paper to your suit.
- Jump rope: Like resistance bands, a jump rope can be stored very easily in your desk and offers a fun way to work out at work.
- Step: Get an aerobics step to add power to your lunges and squats.
- iPod: Tune out your work surroundings for a few minutes while you work out by turning on your iPod.
Changes of Habit
Stop buying junk food, taking the elevator and letting your work day affect your mood and you’ll be on your way to a healthier lifestyle.
- Walk to the water cooler: Fill up your water bottle from the water cooler instead of reaching for a new bottle every time.
- Take the stairs: It’s an oldie but goodie recommendation: take the stairs to flex your muscles, get your heart rate up, and burn calories.
- Change your mood: Stop thinking of your office as just a place to work: consider it your own personal gym, too.
- Get creative: Just like the guy in the Ultimate Office Work Out Video, start searching for everyday office supplies that can double as workout equipment.
- Avoid the vending machine: Pack healthy snacks that fuel your intention to exercise and live healthy.
- Stay positive throughout the day: Don’t let the negativity of your regular work day be an excuse to avoid working out.
- Learn to say no: If fitting in a micro-break at work seems impossible, start saying no to unnecessary favors that co-workers want you to do.
- Consider office workouts from a holistic perspective: Taking quick breaks isn’t just about losing weight: they’ll help you avoid injury, make you a more energetic, effective worker, and preserve mental health, too.
Use these social sites for extra motivation, health advice, immediate exercise tracking and advice on how to sneak in workouts at the office.
- SparkPeople: Chat with other fitness geeks, trainers and coaches to learn about tricky ways to sneak in exercise.
- Daily Burn: This popular social site helps you track workouts even when you’re at work.
- FitLink: This community features groups, workout ideas, routes to try and more.
- MyPipeline: Watch exercise videos and then do them at your desk.
- Fitizens: Look up new exercises to try and meet other workout fiends here.
- My Fit Tribe: My Fit Tribe is a fun goal-tracking site for social fitness enthusiasts.
- Traineo: Easily record your office workouts and eating habits here.
- Walker Tracker: Track your steps throughout the day using this site. Chances are, you’ll forget by the time you get home.
- Wellsphere: Wellsphere is a community site for healthy living, working out and healthy eating. Get support, recommendations and more.
- FitConnect: This site encourages you to brag about your fitness progress. Get ideas for new workouts, meet friends and find inspiration.
Let these workout guides motivate and train you even while you’re at work.
- No Time to Work Out?: This plan encourages eating right and doing specific exercises that maximize your allotted time frame.
- Finally: An Exercise for Lazy, Horny Workaholics: Jezebel’s found this crazy video featuring the Hawaii Chair - Hula Workout.
- Workout in traffic: This exercise helps you strengthen your core while you sit in the car.
- Sneaking in exercise: This guide recommends parking further away, walking to do your errands and keeping walking shoes on hand, just in case.
- No Equipment Travel Workout: This workout plan is designed to get you fit anywhere.
- Sitting Yoga: This site has 19 yoga workouts you can do in a seated position.
- Exercise in the Airport, on the Plane, and in a Hotel Room!: If you travel a lot for work, in can be hard to sneak in a workout. Let this guide show you how to do it.
- Exercise at Work: Campbell’s has lots of tips for fitting in extra exercise.
- Simple Exercises That Can be Done Even at Work: Learn all about deskercise here.
- How to Exercise at Work: 6 Exercises to Keep You Fit: Here you’ll find plans to work on your butt, abs and more.
These alerts will signify break time so you never forget to stretch.
- Exercise Minder: Download this tool for free to get occasional reminders to stop and work out.
- Workrave: Workrave is a Windows and Linux program that helps prevent Repetitive Strain Injury by sending you alerts to take "micro-pauses."
- Break Reminder: This very simple Windows tool also reminds you to take breaks to relax your wrists, neck and more.
When you let negativity take over and decide working out at the office just isn’t practical, read these articles.
- People who exercise on work days are happier, suffer less stress and are more productive: If your boss grumbles about you trying to fit a workout in during lunch, show him or her this article.
- Exercise ‘must be tough to work’: This BBC news article reveals a report that exercise isn’t supposed to be easy. Read it to get an extra adrenaline rush even when you’re tired or grumpy.
By keeping your energy up at work, you’ll be more inclined to sneak in a quick work out or two.
- Brush your teeth: Brush your teeth after lunch with mint toothpaste for an instant way to feel more awake and confident.
- Don’t forget carbs: Eat complex carbohydrates as well as fiber-rich fruits and vegetables to give yourself an energy boost that lasts and promote good digestion.
- Power nap: Doze in your car or in the break room if you can get a few extra minutes to gear up your energy.
- Engage in small talk: Chat with a client for an extra few seconds to boost energy and use your mind in a more fulfilling way.
- Pay attention to your sleep schedule: Make sure you’re sleeping on a regular sleep schedule and doing what you can to sleep the right way.
When all else fails, these no-frills exercises will keep you moving and upbeat at work.
- March in place: Close the blinds and march in place all over your office to increase blood flow.
- Jumping jacks: Do sets of jumping jacks throughout the day.
- Lunges and squats: Lunge around your office or cubicle for a simple toning exercise that really works you out.
- Leg lifts: Sit in your chair and do leg lifts to improve circulation, too.
- Dumbbell curls: Make sure you’re doing arm curls the correct, safe way.
- Crunches: Crunches effectively tighten abs and don’t make you sweat too much.