As someone who has always been very active, I found it hard to stay fit when I landed a desk job. I used to be a hairdresser (and even wrote a light-hearted romance book about it) before and during college. So, I spent most of my day on my feet. When the day came that I started my first job in an office environment, I suffered.

I spent my entire day sitting. That was not good news for my overall health.

Essentially, I spent so much time with my butt in a chair that it sometimes hurt. My back hurt too. And my neck. The tension of spending my days bent over a computer keyboard took a toll on all my muscles.

I needed to find a way to stay fit

Thankfully, I did find one – a simple solution that I still use many years later.

There are creative ways to work in fitness and health-conscious actions to keep the heart pumping and muscles working even for a sedentary professional like myself.

Choose to stay fit

I choose fitness because I have too much planned in life to be sidetracked by muscle aches or low energy. I look at the human body as a vehicle. And, if I want this vehicle to run without issue, I need to fuel it with the best possible nutrients. Basically, I need to treat it like the gift it is. It’s the only body I’ll ever have, and if I don’t take care of it, I’ll have nowhere else to live. This fact alone is enough to motivate me to stay on top of fitness and work it into my life no matter what. It’s a top priority right up there with my family and development.

But how?

So how can you stay in shape when you have a full plate? How do you squeeze exercise in between cooking meals, cleaning the house, paying the bills, working a job, writing a book, running a business and trying to keep up with family and friendships?

Well, it may not be easy, but it’s doable. And if you’re committed to staying in shape, you can find a way. I have a few tips that work for me that I’m going to share right now.

Stay Fit Tip # 1 | Rise Early

I prefer working out early in the day because I start off with already accomplishing something. Working out first thing also gets my blood flowing and feel-good chemicals dancing in my brain. If you do it in the morning, it’s done. Nothing can interfere. If you’re morning schedule is already overwhelming, then rise half an hour earlier.

Stay Fit Tip #2 | Choose the Fit Option Always

Every single day we are faced with choices. We can choose to eat a bagel with cream cheese. Or, we can decide to fuel our body and brain with steel cut oats and berries. I personally love a delicious veggie smoothie. We can eat a calorie-ridden sandwich sided with chips or opt for a delicious entrée cooked in healthy coconut oil and loaded with vegetables and heart-healthy fiber. Or, we can ride the elevator or take the stairs. Another way, we can park close to a building or at the far end of it. Choices are weaved into our day, and if you consistently make the healthier choice, you’ll be healthier. Simple as that.

Stay Fit Tip #3 | Make Exercise Fun

Nothing will stop a person in her tracks faster than a dull routine that never changes. You wouldn’t want to watch the same television episode over again every day of your life, would you? No. You’d want to vary things by switching the channel and catching a glimpse of something that challenges your brain to think differently. It’s the same thing for exercise. You want to change up your routine.

So, one day  you can walk, another day do Zumba, dumbbells, or yoga. By shaking things up, and doing things you enjoy, you’re much more apt to stick with it. And remember, exercise doesn’t have to be a grueling activity that you dread. It never should be!

The best exercise is the kind that you don’t even think of as exercise. Something like dancing or playing volleyball. Make a game out of it. The more fun something is the more you’ll be inclined to participate.

Stay Fit Tip #4 | Be Efficient

Pick a workout that you can do almost anywhere, whether you’re traveling or getting home late from the office. Set yourself up for success by making exercise accessible from virtually anywhere. Store dumbbells under your desk. Or you can use a stability ball in place of your office chair. Sitting on a stability ball strengthens your abdominal muscles. Those are the muscles your body uses to compensate for changes in balance. Basically, you’re getting a low-intensity abdominal workout every time you sit down.

Workout in front of your television, and break out into a series of exercises on commercial breaks. Some exercises you can do during this time are twenty push-ups or sit-ups while waiting for your show to come back on the tube. Or flex and tighten your abs and hold for 30 seconds. Release, and repeat 10 times. Squeeze your butt and hold for 30 seconds. Release, and repeat 10 times. Stand against a wall and do calf raises for one full minute.

Stay Fit Tip #5 | Take Short Breaks

Firstly, work in these short breaks by getting up, stretching your legs, and walking around. Even if you’re just walking, you’ll shed extra calories. You’ll also increase your ability to concentrate during the time when you’re working.

Secondly, when you reach a breaking point, make a point of moving around. Take a five or ten minute walk outside or climb the steps.  Another exercise you can do during these short breaks is to do neck and shoulder rolls, waist bends, and yoga stretches.

Thirdly, take structured breaks. In a one hour time slot, focus really hard on the task at hand for fifty minutes. Then, get in 5 to 10 minutes of activity. At the end of an 8-hour workday you’ll have logged in 40 to 80 minutes of stretching and exercise. It all adds up. And, you’ll be more productive!

Stay Fit Tip #6 | Commit to a Schedule

As I mentioned, I prefer morning time to get in my 30-45 minute workout. But, if you’re not a morning person, consider scheduling your workout during lunch. Put in on your calendar like an appointment. Chances are you’ll show up! If you schedule it as part of your day and make it non-negotiable, you’re more apt to stick to it and not allow someone to sabotage this important time you set for yourself.

So there are my six tips. They’re pretty basic and easy to follow. Try them for a week and analyze how you did. I’m pretty confident that you’ll be amazed at how great you’ll feel and how easy it is to stay fit.