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May 16, 2007

EXERCISE AND WORK

Amy Dunkin

My son's friend's mother was telling me that she works in the building right above Grand Central Terminal. It's a great location and so convenient: The train we take is a civilized half-hour commute to the station.

There's just one problem. Her previous office was a good 15-minute walk away, and since she moved, she has gained 10 pounds.

One of the nice things about working in a city like New York is that even if it seems nearly impossible to carve out time to go to the gym, at least you do lots of walking. Incorporating exercise into your work day is one of the great multi-tasking solutions. It's a sensible and painless way to burn calories, reduce stress, and keep your mind clear. Plus it puts an end to excuses for not finding time to work out.

I get a lot of aerobic benefit from going to work. I figure I walk half an hour a day just between my office and the train station. I also try to avoid escalators and take the stairs: At Grand Central in the morning, I climb 78 steps from the lower to the upper level and another 50-something steps to get to the street. I take more stairs when I reach the McGraw-Hill building. Then I do the reverse on the way home.

Any time I can walk to an appointment, I'll do that as well. (I'm always amazed at how many people are willing to creep along in a taxi with the meter running when they could easily hoof it to their destination in a fraction of the time for free.)

There are other ways to slip in some exercise at the office.

One good idea is to keep a set of two- or five-pound weights under your desk. While you're thinking about your next client presentation or struggling to overcome writer's block, you can get in a few sets of tricep curls. You can also do stretches along the wall or holding on to the back of your chair. (Just remember to use a chair that doesn't have wheels.) Get other ideas from lifestyle magazines and Web sites such as this one.

As for me, I recently joined a pool and tennis club near my home that has a very nice little fitness center with a view of Long Island Sound. Last week I had my first Wednesday morning session with a personal trainer there, and I've resolved to go to the gym at least one other day on the weekends.

I also plan to continue my city walking. And I hope I never work in an office any closer to the train station than the one I'm in now.

02:30 PM

Work/Life

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I am fortunate that there's a gym in my building. For a long time I refused to join - just couldn't face exercising - and changing clothes - w/people I work with. But I finally bit the bullet. Some weeks I get there 3 or 4 times, sometimes I don't get there for a couple of weeks - but I've told myself something is better than nothing. I am terrible at getting out of the house when I'm w/the kids and since #1 son has a 7:15 bus, I can't go to the gym at 5am anymore... It helps - but I'm still carrying a lot of baby weight and my youngest is almost 3

Posted by: maria at May 17, 2007 10:57 AM

I just discovered that there will be free yoga classes in Bryant Park (in NYC) every Thursday evening this summer, and can't wait to go. I will be so de-stressed and relaxed for my commute home I hope I don't miss my stop.

Posted by: ellen at May 17, 2007 02:41 PM


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