Dangers of Being a Desk Jockey

Tilt-Shift view of office desk

Many of us sit in front of a computer all day and unfortunately, these types of jobs also cause many of us to pack on extra pounds. Our bodies were not meant to sit for 8 or more hours a day but that is what many of us do on a daily basis. Sometimes we are so busy that we forget to eat 3 or more meals a day or even worse, we skip meals – mainly breakfast (the worse one to skip in my opinion.)

Working from home is even more likely to pack on the pounds because it is easy to skip exercising and even easier to snack all day because you are only a few feet from the kitchen. Whether you work a 9 to 5 or you work from home, if you sit at a desk all day, you may be looking for ways to incorporate more exercise into your life. Thirty minutes or more of exercise a day is quite easy to achieve with a little discipline.

First off, there are 2 major downsides to being a desk jockey:

1. Weight gain
2. Muscle loss

Exercise in Spurts at Work
In order to prevent both you will need to start incorporating physical activity into your day. Thirty minutes of exercise doesn’t have to be done all at once. If you are extremely busy, you can do little things that add up such as taking the stairs or spending 10 minutes or so during lunch to take a brisk walk. If you can spare the time, you can join a gym close to work and exercise during lunch.

Hire a Personal Trainer
Sometimes the main reason people don’t exercise is a lack of motivation. When you have worked a full day, the last thing you are thinking about is exercising. Hiring a personal trainer can sort of force you to get off your butt. You will want to keep your appointment with a trainer and it can be a lot of fun learning new exercises and getting health advice. A trainer can often work around your schedule so early before work or after should be fine.

Join a Gym or Make a Home Gym
Joining a gym was one of the best things I have done for myself. I work at a desk all day and the gym allows me to take a much needed break. I can run, lift weights, take a class, etc. all in one place. Best of all since it’s open 24 hours, I can go anytime. A home gym can do wonders as well. If you have extra space to set up some weights and a cardio machine, you can save time and money.

Create Better Eating Habits
I ate horribly at my last job. The commute and stress caused me to skip breakfast most mornings, then I’d eat a huge lunch, then fast food for dinner because I would be too tired to cook. Not to mention all of the snacking and coffee runs during breaks just to pass the time. You have to learn to take back control of your eating habits.

  • Don’t skip breakfast
  • Replace soda and fancy coffees (lattes, cappucinos, etc.) with water
  • Pack your lunch the night before
  • Bring healthy snacks
  • Cook easy, healthy dinners
  • Make better choices when dining out
  • I know all of the above is easier said than done. Improving one’s health requires baby steps. What it takes is prioritizing and discipline. You do so much for your job or business but none if it will matter if you let your health slide. You can have a good balance with a little extra effort.

What Are You Doing This Summer?

One great thing about the summer is that you can try out a ton of new fitness activities that you may have never tried before. Fitness never has to be boring, particularly during the summer months, because there are so many things you get to do outdoors. Besides the typical activities such as running, there are other sports that you can try and may end up becoming a fan of.

Of course, trying new things is great but always proceed with safety in mind. It is wise to take lessons where applicable or perform them under the guidance of a professional.

This is probably one of the ultimate summer sports and it is so much fun. Playing this sport not only burns a ton of calories but increases your agility, reflexes, and strength. Playing in the sand is easier on the joints versus indoors.

Rock Climbing
Safety needs to be at the top of the list with this activity, however, you can choose to rock climb outdoors as well as indoors. Rock climbing builds muscle strength, flexibility, balance, coordination, and mental focus.

Getting into the water is always fun and kayaking will work your upper body and burn a ton of calories while doing it. On average, 1 hour of kayaking can burn up to 400 calories. With a fun activity like this, one hour can quickly turn into four.

Mountain Biking
This is a great aerobic workout as well as total body workout. When you are peddling up a hill, your upper body as well as your legs are involved. Even various muscles are used when going down a hill at a fast pace.

Inline Skating
While not affective as running because you can coast more, it is still a great workout and much more fun. Thirty minutes of inline skating can burn approximately 280 calories. Another plus is that it is low-impact unlike running which can take a toll on the knees.

Are you trying anything new this summer? What are some of your favorite outdoor workouts?

image credit: alexindigo

Are You in the Fast Lane?

This is a guest post by Matthew Perry.

Hello again!

I am one of those “visual” people…meaning, if you are going to try to explain something to me you better bring a pen and paper or make sure that I already have some props stored in my memory bank. And no, drawing with your hands in the air does not work either.

So to make a point about how YOU can change your food consumption and exercise program, try to picture this:

Picture the last time you were cruising down the highway at let’s say 80 miles an hour, and it had been a while, maybe a good 30-40 minutes. Then someone pulled out in front of you bringing your speed down to 60 miles an hour…(what a jerk!). That horrible feeling, that feeling of just barely moving starts to set in. You are stuck behind this person and it is just agonizing, you cannot even imagine driving this slow…who drives this slow!

So now you’re stuck for a while going 60 miles an hour. Once you’re over the piss off, you actually get used to the speed and conform and then it just feels normal.


What does driving down the highway have to do with exercise and diet?

Well really not much or anything at all…except the feeling of change.

When you first start an exercise program it can feel awkward. But after you stick with it, it feels NORMAL. The trick is getting through that period of “change”. Once you give into the change and accept the new routine it feels great…like, how did I never do this before?!

And food intake is the exact same way. You might go from eating ice-cream every night to only once a week. Wholly crap…that would be like going from 100 mph to maybe 20…but after you get used to 20, it just feels NORMAL…

If you want to get ahead in life with this exercise and diet stuff, then pay attention to your reaction to change.

Here’s another great testimonial I just have to share with you (I am in the protein powder business you know!) –

Hi Matthew,

I took the protein powder home last night & let a couple of my friends taste it (they thought it was the breakfast Nestle Carnation drink) & they thought it was awesome. After I showed them the bottle it came in they were totally sold. I had to split my bottle between the 3 of us, so I’ll be ordering more in the next week or so…This morning they signed up for your newsletter!


If you want to see what Sara and her friends are so excited about, go to

Cheers to your health and fitness,


Exercising in the Heat – Take Precautions!

The summer time is great for getting outdoors for exercise but it is also important for us to be aware of the temperatures outside. According to the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) site:

How Heat Affects the Body Human
Human bodies dissipate heat by varying the rate and depth of blood circulation, by losing water through the skin and sweat glands, and-as the last extremity is reached-by panting, when blood is heated above 98.6 degrees. The heart begins to pump more blood, blood vessels dilate to accommodate the increased flow, and the bundles of tiny capillaries threading through the upper layers of skin are put into operation. The body’s blood is circulated closer to the skin’s surface, and excess heat drains off into the cooler atmosphere. At the same time, water diffuses through the skin as perspiration. The skin handles about 90 percent of the body’s heat dissipating function.

Sweating, by itself, does nothing to cool the body, unless the water is removed by evaporation, and high relative humidity retards evaporation. The evaporation process itself works this way: the heat energy required to evaporate the sweat is extracted from the body, thereby cooling it. Under conditions of high temperature (above 90 degrees) and high relative humidity, the body is doing everything it can to maintain 98.6 degrees inside. The heart is pumping a torrent of blood through dilated circulatory vessels; the sweat glands are pouring liquid-including essential dissolved chemicals, like sodium and chloride onto the surface of the skin. [Source: noaawatch.gov]

Dangerous Temperatures to Workout In
Heat / Humidity:

86° / 90%
88° / 80%
90° / 70%
92° / 60%
94° / 55%
96° / 45%
98° / 40%

You can see the entire chart here.

I know people who love to run in the heat but I am not one of them. I much rather stay indoors on a treadmill. The last time I ran in the heat, I didn’t feel good at all. I promised myself I wouldn’t do it again. If you do exercise in the heat, at least take some precautions:

  • Check the temperature
  • Wear lightweight clothing (clothes that wick away sweat)
  • Exercise very early in the day or very late at night
  • Stay hydrated
  • Don’t push yourself too hard

Dean Karnazes – Ultimate Endurance and Ultramarathon Man

If you subscribe to any fitness magazines such as Runner’s World or read up on fitness news at all, then you have probably heard of the ultramarathon man, Dean Karnazes. Dean Karnazes is well known for his endurance to run for hundreds of miles. For example, here are a few of his accomplishments:

  • Ran 350 miles without sleep (took over 3 days)
  • Ran 135 mile marathon across Death Valley
  • Has ran several 100-mile endurance runs

Those are just some of the things Dean has accomplished besides other achievements in mountain biking and swimming, not to mention his 50 marathons in 50 consecutive days, in 50 states. He will be participating in the Badwater Ultramarathon (135 miles in 130 degrees) on July 14 – 15.

I thought running 3 miles on a treadmill was torture but there are people out there like Dean Karnazes that push their bodies to the ultimate limits in endurance races such as The Badwater Ultramarathon. So how do you build up your endurance for long distance running? Very slowly.

First off, you either enjoy running or your don’t. I love running and some days I am pumped to do it and some days I just want to skip it all together. The times I make myself go, I always end up being thankful I did because I feel better in the end. If you’re new to running don’t try to run for a long period of time right from the start. I am no expert but I know for myself, when I got back into running, I had to start off slow.

You may need to start off with walking, then a brisk walk, a jog, and eventually running – all of this over a period of time. I used to run 3 miles a day then I stopped. I had to start all over again by working my way back up to 1 mile, then two, etc. Building up endurance in exercise is simply pushing yourself to do a little more each time. It doesn’t have to be massive, even 30 seconds longer than usual helps.

If you want an idea of how Dean preps for an ultramarathon here is a quick snapshot of what he does:

  • Runs 30 miles in the mornings (starts at 4 am) before kids go to school
  • Runs 100 miles on weekends
  • Strength training in the gym or 4-sets of 50 push-ups

I have no desire of pushing my body to the extreme so I’ll stick to my goal of 3 miles per day. I would eventually like to run 5 miles per day but it will take me awhile to build up to that.

You can learn more about Dean Karnazes on his site at UltraMarathonMan.com.