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The problem with sitting behind a desk all day is that it just isn’t natural. Despite having a brain big enough to warrant such a lifestyle (especially if the pay check is big enough), the human body is lagging somewhat in the development stakes. We aren’t born with a telephone receiver-holder jutting out from the side of our head; and our heads are way too heavy to hang forward over a keyboard in comfort (due to brains not dangly earrings); we aren’t born in heels and nylon stockings; and (due to a major planning oversight,) we don’t even have a pouch (which would be far more practical than the briefcase/handbag combo. for stashing documents, lipstick, tampons, lunch money, etc.) In fact, if the truth be known, we’re still better adapted to running around the jungle floor than the corporate jungle.

That’s the real reason we end up with bad backs, crook necks, flab’s instead of abs, thighs that have a life of their own, and all the many other banes of executive womanhood. Sure, we could all just burn our stockings and revert to running around on all fours, but there’s got to be an easier way, right?! Well, there is. But you won’t feel a whole lot better just by taking the stairs, whipping out your ab-buster when things get quiet in the office, and doing pelvic floor squeezes during board meetings. Why not? Because it’s too little, too late, and (almost always,) too inconsistently. Exercise needs to be planned, regular, and a teeny bit challenging.

Now the cold hard facts…

Yes, exercise will take up some of your time (about 3 hours per week is tons), so you may need to improve your time management skills. If you ‘can’t possibly fit it in’ keep in mind that as you get fitter, you will actually ‘create’ time by exercising. How? ….. exercise ‘energizes’, so you’ll work more efficiently throughout the day; exercise relives stress, so you’ll need less time with a G&T (substitute your own favourite vice) at the end of the day; it promotes better sleep, so you won’t need as much; and it improves you immunity, so you’ll be sick less often. Oh yes, and you’ll probably have a stack of extra years tacked on to your life span too. Now I flunked high school math, but you don’t have to be a genius to add it up: you’ll get back a whole lot more time than you invest.

Exercise doesn’t have to hurt (although some of us kind of like that… endorphin’s are seriously addictive, but no-one at the F.D.A. seems to have noticed yet!). All you’ve got to do is breathe heavily for 20 minutes 3 time a week. Please walk/ run around the block/ swim/ roller-blade etc. while you do this rather than lying on your bed reading erotic fiction. Sex only counts if you’re on top the whole time and he/she lasts long enough…..(enough said?). That’ll take care of your heart & lungs. If you want to burn some fat, do it slower, longer, and more often. Also try not to fill your drink-bottle with chocolate quick.

Then strengthen your muscles once or twice a week. Get a good gym instructor or personal trainer to write you a routine & show you how to perform each exercise properly. A program for general conditioning should do a little for each major muscle group (in gym-speak that’s your chest, back, legs, shoulders, arms, and abs.) If you sit a lot, pay extra attention to your back, abs, and shoulder girdle. Remember, you can’t spot reduce !!!! Don’t waste your precious time on inner-thigh/bottomy-bits/other chubby areas. That’s what your fat-burning exercises and diet are for.

And last but not least….. stay mobile! Learn some simple stretches to do as part of your warm-up and cool-down routine. At work, get up at least hourly for a little sashay around the office; and before you sit back down wiggle your arms, roll your shoulders and neck, and generally get limber. Simple.

P.S. Eat regularly, don’t deprive yourself of essentials such as chocolate, learn to love your body, drink lots of water, and try to look modest when told how gorgeous you look……

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